Opening has a twofold meaning,referring both to laying out the mat and the tea sets on it and to treating the guest or guests with openness, frankness and sincerity. The orderly arrangement demonstrates the tea brewer’s respect deep down for the tea, the tea ceremony and the guest. So it’s not just a physical activity, but spiritual as well.
The character “坦” (frank) means “土” (earth) on the left, “日” (sun) on the upper right, and “一” (horizon) on the lower right. Put all that together, and you have a picture of the sun slowly rising out of the horizon, showering the world with the brilliance of the morning glow and filling it with hope. Therefore, frankness has something grandiose in it, and the process of opening is both a process of communication between the host and the tea sets and one between the host and the guests.
Soap for the Soul
An open mind is the best bridge in interpersonal relations. If there were cheating, concealment or dishonesty, then even family and closest friends would fail to get along. We believe it is more advisable to make friends with and trust genuine and familiar people and to take precaution against those we don’t know quite well With those we already trust, there should be no room for equivocation. The late Fu Lei, a well-known Chinese translator, used to say emphatically, “In all the dealings of my life, I have always adhered to the principle of openness and nothing but openness. Beating about the bush or going around in circles can only arouse suspicion. Honesty, humility, respectfulness, and being above-board are always the best policies.”
During the Warring States Period, a general of the State of Zhao named Lian Po at first refused to submit to his boss, the younger general named Lin Xiangru, and frequently found fault with him. On learning that Lin had humbly gone out of his way to avoid confrontation with him solely for the sake of the interests of the State, Lian Po repented and headed for Lin’s home to ask him for penalty. As a result, to the praise of all generations to come, the two reconciled, became great friends and won their state rare opportunities for stable and steady development.
During the Three Kingdoms Period, Liu Bei had to prove his thirst and love for talent by paying three visits to Zhuge Liang before he would agree to serve as his top adviser. Liu’s sincerity eventually helped lay a good foundation for his career. What worked was not Liu’s money, but rather openness,good faith and pursuit of a great cause.
As Confucius put it, “An honorable man is always open and at ease with himself, while the dishonorable is always anxious.” (Shu Er, The Analects of Confucius). We all appreciate openness, and expect openness and sincerity from others, but tend to forget to reciprocate. If distrust and precautionary measures are replaced by good faith as we deal with each other, many things will become easy and many problems will be solved.
Chadao is a very good way to communicate, practice hospitality, and make friends in openness, earnestness, and with due respect. Tea is best and longest-lasting only when it’s served with an open and sincere attitude. The teaching of openness creates an atmosphere of openness and sincerity free from ruse or craftiness as the teapot and the Chinese tea cups are placed in position Tea can promote spiritual and emotional communication and bring people closer together.