ChaDao – The Dao of Tea*
PinMingLunDao 品茗論道 is a commonly used Chinese phrase which means to discuss and understand the Dao through the taste of the tea. This phrase embodies the lifestyle of the most traditional Chinese sages and scholars, whether they be a master of Daoism, Confucianism, Buddhism, martial arts, music, calligraphy or traditional Chinese medicine.
Tea is also an important part of my life. For almost 40 years, I have studied with many masters in different fields of classical Chinese wisdom traditions. Most of my teachers have preferred to pass their wisdom and knowledge through conversations around the tea table. I have experienced the teachings of the ancient Chinese shamans, who emphasized the natural way of life – what has long been my spiritual path – through savoring tea.
For thousands of years, tea rituals have been an integral part of Chinese culture. From the perspective of inner cultivation, tea characterizes Yin qualities – woman, tranquility and water. We use different varieties of teas for specific healing purposes as part of our daily life. Drinking tea creates space for a calm and clear mind to develop.
As a part of your daily cultivation practice, drinking tea awakens your consciousness to a level similar to those which arise from a deep Qigong meditation practice – this can in turn make room for a great Qi transformation to occur within your body!
Savoring tea is an art — it is an art of Dao, internal alchemy, Qi transformation, martial arts, life and an art of love.
*Excerpts from Master Wu’s foreword to The Art & Alchemy of Chinese Tea by Daniel Reid