Cleansing refers to the process of having the body and the spirit enter a ream of cleanness and purity. Cleansing requires that apart from the tea host being physically fully prepared for brewing a pot of tea, the tea utensils used and the ceremony itself must be good enough to create a pleasant atmosphere. Besides that, the mind has to be cleansed of the dust of the world and be fully focused on tea. Before cleansing, humans are but dust of the world, and their hearts are trapped in dust; after the cleansing, humans become like clouds in the sky and their hearts drift free. Cleansing is the initiation of a dedicated and dignified state of mind and the preparation for entry into the world of tea ceremony.
Soup for the Soul
Our rooms need to be cleaned regularly, or they would be covered in dust and we would feel very uncomfortable living in there. Our spiritual rooms need to be cleaned too, or they would be covered in grime. A dusted heart can easily get lost, dark and obscure. There are two kinds of dust in the world, one external, the other internal. External dust is visible and easily cleaned. Internal dust, however, which is made up of desire and miscellaneous ideas, can only be cleared away with sobriety and wisdom.
Tang Dynasty calligrapher Yan Zhenqing wrote a very good poem cm tea:flowing moon purifies flesh and bones; /a moving light cleanses the innermost heart.” A watery moon mirrored in a cup of tea dances in the ripples of the tea drink, refreshing and enchanting the heart and soul of the tea drinker. Tea drinking can wash away the dust of one’s heart. Once cleansed by the tea drink, the pristine nature of the heart is then revealed. To drink tea is to cleanse one’s heart. Once cleansed of all dust, we come face to face to the true nature of our spirit, and our souls of great harmony, peace and quiet and mercy get reinstated. Once cleansed of all sorrow, impulsiveness, agitation, greed and lust, what we have would be ease,peace and joy.