We can see the world from a cup of tea and mediate on the ups and downs of life by savoring it with an undisturbed heart. Drifting along like a cloud over a period of no more than a hundred years, how could we possibly meet if fate had not predetermined it? As we cross our paths today, let us learn to let go and go easy. Let us experience together the simple and sophisticated Eight Teachings of the TAETEA System,immerse in the long-lost elegance and serenity and enter the world of true self and true freedom!
Teaching No.1: Cleansing
Cleanse the heart of worldliness, quiet down and concentrate on the world of tea. Prior to cleansing, a human being is a dusty particle whose heart and mind are preoccupied with things of the world.
After the cleansing, the individual becomes free as a cloud and his or her mind can follow the heart’s desire.
1.Worship of the tea master
China is traditionally a land of ritual and propriety. All tea masters should pay due respect to Lu Yu of the Tang Dynasty, who is known as the Sage of Tea and founder of Chinese tea culture.
2.Taking a Seat
Bow to the tea-loving guests who come from all corners of the world and invite them to take seats.
3.Cleaning the hands
Only clean hands can produce best-tasting tea.
A prerequisite for Chadao practice is a peaceful mind. Only people with a mind as tranquil as undisturbed water can perceive the Tao of tea.
Teaching No.2: Opening
Set the tea table and treat each other with sincerity.
Opening is the stage where the Taeteaists reflect on nature, examine their souls and cultivate their minds.
1.Roll out the tea mat.
Roll out the tea mat and shew sincerity to the guests. Teaists need to be frank and true with one another.
2.Arrange the utensils
Both tea and teawares have souls of their own. Most of the utensils used in the TAETEA System are Yixing’s purple clay sets. Due to the porous nature of the clay, these unglazed wares can breathe, preserve heat, and create a special flavor for the brew. They can spread out the tea leaves and condense the fragrance of the tea. Their humble but noble outer form befits the true essence of this drink. In poetic words, “the tea adds to the beauty of the purple clay, while the purple clay wares are the cutting edge of Chadao.” Just as different musical notes cm make melodious tunes and diffident flavors can make delicious food, the layout of the tea table can also create beauty and harmony with (Afferent tea wares. With the purple-clay teapot at the center of the tea table, and other items around it in perfect symmetry, this pattern signifies both physical and spiritual balance and harmony.
3.Boiling the spring water
Tea and water maintain a symbiotic existence. The host water for brewing tea is mountain water, river water and well water in descending order. The TAETEA System chooses pure and natural water from mountaintops for tea brewing.
Teaching No. 3: Awakening
Awakening is the stage when the heart and soul are awakened or refreshed. In spiritual terms, it is the state of being enlightened or anointed, like “having fine cream poured onto one’s head.” In concrete terms,it means to awaken the “nature” of the tea vessels so that they may produce a good brew.
1.Awakening or anointing
Just as we can see the world in a blade of grass,we can see the truthfulness of a heart from a cup of tea. A cup of tea can awaken and warm up a heart. Fill the teapot to two thirds of its capacity with the elevated flushing technique, then rinse its lid in a circular manner, warming the teapot to prepare it for tea making. Swing up on high and pour water into the teapot and fill it up two-thirds full. Pour water on to the lid of the pot in a circular fashion and pour water all over the pot to awaken its “nature”.
2.Warming up the cups and bowls
Pour water out of the purple clay teapot clockwise into the drinking cups one by one to warm them up, dump the rest of the water in the pot into the washing bowl, stop when the pot is empty. Lift the drinking cups from left to right one by one, move them to the tea washer, warm and cleanse the cups and bowls by spin-wiping their interior. This not only helps preheat the tea cups so that the tea’s aroma may be easily released, but also serves to clean up the cups again. Thus, the dust is cleaned up and the heart and mind are fully awakened.
Teaching No. 4: Measuring
1.Appropriate give and take
Using the right amount of tea leaves is critical to the quality of a brew. With the tea canister in one hand and the tea scoop in the other, scoop out the right amount of tea leaves in two goes. True happiness means knowing when to stop and being content with what one has.
2.Appreciating the tea leaves
With fatty, sturdy, tight leaves, golden hairs and an auburn luster, ,these are TAETEA’s good old tea leaves.
3.Putting the tea leaves into the teapot
Mare haste, less speed. Whisk the tea leaves into the purple clay teapot at three goes, in a slow and graceful manner, and imagine greeting and treating a fair lady walking genteelly into the room and filling up the room with fragrance.
Teaching No. 5: Cultivating
Just as water nourishes the tea, the heart has to be nourished by the Tao. Tea trees and their leaves that grow from the earth cannot be nourished without water, just as tea leaves cannot become a good brew without being steeped and nourished in water. A tea leaf without water is nothing more than a dry leaf without life.
1.Nourishing the leaves
Warm and moisten the tea leaves in boiled water so that it may spread out and awaken their tea nature.
2.Removing the first brew
Since the essence or spirit of the tea has yet to be distilled, the soup produced during the warming and moistening process is undrinkable and should be dumped into the gongdao cup, even though a light aroma of the tea would now become detectable.
3.Filling up the teapot in the style of a phoenix nodding
When pouring out water, let your arm go up and down three times so that the water may flow out in cadence. Water flow needs to be smooth, even, continuous and steady. As a salute to the guest, the spout of the kettle needs to go up and down three times, as if a phoenix were nodding three times in a row.
4.Removing the Foam
Skim off the froth to reveal the clear surface of the tea liquid. Rinse the teapot with the first brew in the gongdao cup to further warm the pot and enhance the aroma.
5.Filling up the gongdao cup
Just as all people are born equal, all tea drinkers are equal at the tea table as wall.
Teaching No. 6: Experiencing
Do unto others what one would expect them to do to oneself. Behave in a way that would benefit all. The experiences of life, like tea-drinking, can be a mixed blessing. The doctrine that one should do unto others what one would expect them to do to oneself is a universal law that applies to Chadao as well.
1.Tasting the fresh brew
Trying the first cup of tea is more of an enlightening experience than anything else. We should take it easy regardless of the outcome.
2.Presenting the tea
Make a positive response to the taste of the fresh brew, and invite the guests to enjoy it.
Teaching No. 7: Sharing
Enjoy tea with your guests and share the joy together. Sharing means drinking merrily together. Those who enjoy giving know the joy of sharing, and those who enjoy sharing are always thankful. Teaists share with love because they are thankful. The Tao of TAETEA (the Tao of Great Benefit) is the Tao of compassion, which means to laugh with those who laugh and weep with those who mourn.
1.Distributing the tea
It is the Chinese custom to fill a cup to the brim when presenting liquor, and to fill it to just 70 percent of its capacity when offering tea. This means what the host or hostess is offering is 70 percent tea and 30 percent hospitality.
2.Serving the tea
A thousand cups of wine may not make a friend, while a single cup of tea may intoxicate some. What we Taeteaists want to offer to people is a warm heart of sincerity and mutual benefit.
3.Sharing the Tea
By inviting guests out to tea,we share a tea culture m which we savor the good taste of tea, imbibe its aroma, immerse in its unheard melodies and contemplate the essence of Chadao.
Teaching No. 8: Finishing
Putting things away and call it a day.
1.Drinking up the tea in the cup and giving thanks
“Host and guest finding much joy in a cup of green tea, we feel as if the brisk wind is lifting us up to heavenly realms,” so wrote Qing Dynasty poet Zheng Qingzhi. It’s a predetermined blessing that people should get together and drink tea. Let us enjoy the peace and quiet of this light moment, and remember the great feelings of being together.
2.Collecting the Utensils
Since all eight teachings have been covered, it’s now time to put away the tea wares and call it a day. In other words, it’s time to let go. Only by letting go can we expect to gain anything and only by discarding the old can we expect to obtain something new. We enjoy complete freedom the moment we let go of everything, and when we enjoy letting go of things, we can look forward to the start of a new beginning. Chadao is a gem of the Chinese nation with rich and profound cultural connotations. In just more than ten minutes today, we have had a sense of the full dimensions of Chinese Chadao and we have been able to savor and enjoy a natural life of peace and quietude. Hopefully a seed of love and care for tea has been sowed in the heart of every guest. We sincerely hope it will grow into a towering tree that honors Chadao and fully comprehends the meaning of life.
The Zen Chadao Tool Kit
Lu Yu created a Chadao combination set consisting of 24 items, providing people easy access to the study of Chadao. The TAETEA Academy of Chadao, on the other hand, has designed a portable training set specially designed for Chadao practitioners – the Zen Chadao Tool Kit. The tool kit is a portable wood container of several layers in which are stored a variety of tea sets, including purple clay teapots, lidded bowls, drinking cups, gongdao cups etc. Inside the kit is also an audio player that plays music and teaching materials,which Chadao practitioners may listen to as they follow the prompt in studying the Eight Teachings and other subjects. Ownership of such a kit is like having a standby “Chadao mentor” from whom the practitioner could learn anywhere anytime.
The TAETEA Academy of Chadao has designed Chadao apparel exclusively for Chadao practitioners, including professional apparel and practicing apparel. The professional apparel for males and females is licensed for use at work by franchise store staff and employees. In both summer and winter styles, such apparel is practical, beautiful and elegant. The practicing apparel is used by professional Chadao masters or Chadao learners while studying of learning the Chadao. Featuring an elegant, comfortable, and simple style, the Chadao apparel bears different logos and insignias that represent different levels of the Chadao masters who wear them.