Sharing is the step where the tea host serves tea to guests and invites them to share a good cup of tea. It is the interaction and communication between the host and the guests and both parties are deeply involved in the tea ceremony to savor and enjoy the drink. Guests can now take part in the ceremony and experience Chadao while enjoying tea. The teaists share out of love and thankfulness. Sharing is the exchange of hearts and minds and the two-way conveyance of thoughts and feelings from one person to another.
Soup for the Soul
In Mencius: Liang Hui Wang, Mencius asks the King of Qi, “What is greater joy, keeping joy to oneself or sharing with others?” The king replies, “Sharing it”. Mencius asks again, “Which is more joyful, sharing joy with just a few, or sharing it with a great many?” The king replies,”Sharing it with a great many.” For example, enjoying music on one’s own does not compare to enjoying it together with many people. The king’s answer makes this point well: the more shared, the more enjoyed. The spirit of sharing is part of a lofty life, and sharing is the source of a joyful life. Leo Tolstoy said that love has the magic power to nullify the basic laws of arithmetic. A woe shared with someone else is halved in intensity, and a joy shared is doubled. Tang Dynasty poet Bai Juyi wrote a poem titled “Reflections on Brewing Tea with Spring Water, which reads: “I am sitting here sipping limpid water, / and watching how it brews, / I instinctively offer a large bowl /To the one who loves tea.”
What is shared through Chadao definitely includes spiritual enjoyment As Lu Yu put it, “By enjoying tea alone, one gets the spirit of the drink; drinking it with someone else is great fun; and sharing it in a gathering can be pathway to wisdom!” To feel the appeal of a cup of tea and share tea with other people will not only benefit the body and the spirit, enliven the heart, inspire people for good works, but also cause all of us to develop true love and friendship for one another and gain wisdom.
Sharing can begin by sharing a cup of tea by Japanese tea cup – its color, aroma, and taste; feelings, enlightenment and insight associated with it; brewing techniques, methods of tea appreciation, wisdom gained from Chadao, etc.
As Confucius put it, “Wherever three are gathered, there must be at least one of them who is worthy to be my teacher.” All tea professionals in the world can be good mentors and all teas in the world can be friends. Precisely because of the spirit of sharing, tea became a well-known drink throughout the world. Precisely because of the spirit of sharing, the humanistic value of Chadao became recognized by more and more people. Precisely because of the spirit of sharing, tea appreciation became true “tableside wisdom.”