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Appreciating the Aesthetics of the Chinese Tea Art

Excellent tea drinkers are not only good at discovering beauty, but also good at creating beauty, to appreciate and enjoy beauty. Without this aspect, a complete aesthetics theoretical system of the Chinese Tea Ceremony could not be established.

From the aesthetic theory, aesthetic activity is a special form of practical activity. Aesthetic a mental activity of spirit wakening-up, personality promoting, self-pleasure, mind purification and character improvement. Aesthetic is the most purely human feelings. Because there is no utilitarian heart in the process of aesthetics, the well-known ideologist Mr. Li Zehou and Mr. Liu Gangji put an aesthetic life as the highest state of life.

The Chinese Tea Ceremony Aesthetics have the following four points:

Beauty is Generated from Heart

What is beauty, since Ancient times people have had different interpretations. We tend to support "the subjective aesthetics" This is that although the aesthetics

must be based on the natural properties of material things, feelings are up to the human subjective mind. The Tea Ceremony aesthetic is a self-appreciation of personality; the process can be summarized as follows:

The Sage Heart is usually tranquil, which reflects the truth To know the objects spiritually, the beauty would be generated by heart.

Tea is an Oriental Art, affected and fed by the Oriental Culture and its aesthetic process is bound to be imprinted the Chinese classical aesthetics. "The Sage Heart is usually tranquil, which reflects the truth" combines the three religious philosophical ideas of Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism, "Harmony between Humanity and Nature”, "Eliminating the Impurities", "Return to Innocence". "Sacred Heart" refers to selfless, no worry, no confusion, clean, non-logic and tranquil heart, which is the prerequisite for the aesthetics. "Reflects the truth" is such as the heart like a mirror to view things in the world under the "Tao" between Humanity and Nature", to experience, understand and being enlightened by Tao.

"To know the objects spiritually" is the practice of the philosophy of "Harmony between Humanity and Nature", is the completion of human and humanized nature process, is to remove the barriers between human and nature, to reach "the original beauty of heaven and earth, the rationales of all things."

"Beauty is from a free Heart" is the tea aesthetic epistemology. The potential of beauty in the hearts of tea, the beauty of the tea heart, how can beauty be naturally conceived, the aesthetic feeling of how beauty can be developed naturally. The process of aesthetic tea, tea is actually through the "material things", "exogenous", "outside world" to "no others", "unknown" process, is the tea for the spirit of man and nature of communication, carried out with the tea the process of spiritual dialogue.

Enjoyment in Eyes and Heart

"In eyes" is to see objective things. "Knowing in the heart" is to understand objective things.In the aesthetic process, "in eyes" is to observe the aesthetic object; "knowing in the heart" is the accordance and consistency between aesthetic object human. What kind of personality has these kinds of aesthetics; on the contrary, what kind of aesthetics would affect what kind of personality. Each undergoing "enjoyment in the eyes and heart" will bring a smooth fitness, receiving a snow shower for the soul; each undergoing smooth fitness will establish a personality.

Nature is beautiful, "the moonlight on snow," "Great river flows day and night", "clear river like a brocade" "grass growing in spring near the lake", "chrysanthemum has good color", "the new space mountain after the rain", "a long straight smoke in the desert", "long river and a round sunset"…all are exciting; tea is beautiful, silver needles, snow buds, flag spears, sparrow tongue…thousands kinds of styles; tea art is also a beautiful process, charcoals in the furnace, pine breeze in the pot, sunset glows in the Chinese style cup, bitter and sweet flavors in mouth…all are touching. However, for these things, some people may turn a blind eye; some people may have indifferent response. No matter how alive, beautiful or imaginative these things can be, some people still don't have the slightest move in heart. Although they have been "in eyes", there is no "knowing in heart" at all. The tea ceremony aesthetics focuses on the issue of mind and heart, only the understanding of the beauty of tea art could improve human characters through self-cultivation and promote the perfection of personality, which is the main purpose of studying the Tea Ceremony.

Achievement through Further Thinking

How to achieve "Enjoyment in the eyes and heart"? One approach is "through further thinking". "Achievement through further thinking" was the theory of image creation by Gu Kaizhi. It is an important artistic concept. In the tea art aesthetics, "further thinking" has two meanings. The first one is to give a full play of the artistic imagination, to contact things in different spaces and different times, through inspiration to reach "a nice achievement". The second is empathy, that is, to move the aesthetic feelings and imaginations in to the aesthetic objects, after twists and turns of thinking, to grasp the essence nature of the objects, or a clever image idea, or a deep inspiration.

The mork poet Jiao Ran in the Tang Dynasty, wrote the poem. Drinking Tea with Mr Lu on the 9th:

In the temple on the 9th, the chrysanthemum is yellow in the East Garden. Most people prefer wine, rarely know that tea has aroma.

Jiao Ran, in the Tang Dynasty, was born in about 720 A.D., Tao Yuanming in the Eastern Jin Dynasty, was born in 365 A.D.,there is a 300 year gap between them. In the poem, however, Jiao Ran thinks of Tao Yuanming who was addictive to alcohol from "the chrysanthemum is yellow in the east garden", and then thinks of a poem written by Tao Yuanming: "Picking chrysanthemums from the East Garden, leisurely saw the southern mountains". Also thinking of "most people prefer wine", which are further thoughts. The end of the poem "rarely know that tea has aroma" is the "nice achievement" after "further thinking", Jiao Ran thinks that there is true flavor in tea; drinking tea is the most beneficial thing; tea should be mostly loved by people.

Emperor Qianiong in the Qing Dynasty was ruling the country by using the rules of the Tea Ceremony, and a lot of his poems have the "nice achievement" after the "further thinking" through tea savoring, and then being enlightened the rationales to manage the country.

For example, Savoring Tea in a Hill House with a Bamboo Furnace:

Taking the Spring water near the hill house, smell the aroma from tea bowl A proper control of the furnace fire is essential, just tike. a balanced policy to manage the country.

The fire with big burning flame is called "fierce fire", while small fire and slow fire is called the "gentle heat". Qianlong knows that, to brew a pot of tea, it is necessary to take control of those two fires. Think of the principles to manage the country, inside and outside, skillfully alternating policies are also needed, which is "nice achievement" as well.

In the Aesthetic of tea art, the "achievement through farther thinking" is not only the wonderful means of "enjoyment in the eyes and heart", but also the way to improve self-cultivation.

Organic Feelings in Common

Tea is a highly integrated Art of loving.

Tea art aesthetic is different from the general aesthetics. We appreciate music, relying mainly on the ears; enjoy painting, calligraphy, arts and crafts products mainly rely on the eyes. The tea art aesthetics is a full range of aesthetics with contents and factors included in the tea activities, which are people, tea, water, utensils, environment and art. It is necessary to mobilize all human sensory organs to do it. According to Buddhism, there are "six roots" inside people, "six dusts" outside, and "six knowledge" in the middle. The so-called "six roots" refers to the eye, nose, ears, tongue, body and mind that are with the six sensory functions, which are the "things that heart depends on". The so-called "six dusts" refers to color, sound, smell and taste, touch and principles of the six external existences. The so-called "six knowledge" is the perceptions of "six roots" to "six dusts". In the tea art aesthetics, we must mobilize all the human senses, to fully feel the complete beauty of the tea art, which is called "six roots' consensus".

Only when we learn well the aesthetics of the Tea Ceremony and use the basic theory of aesthetics to guide tea art, can tea activity become a ture art. Only when we grasp the concept of aesthetics, could we enjoy the beauty of life. Otherwise it would be just a completion process of life.

Goethe said, "If we want to escape from this world, there is no more reliable way than arts; to combine with the world, no more reliable way than arts as well". We love the Tea Ceremony, firstly we would like to escape from the rigid, mechanical, and utilitarian way of life, to release our minds from the "cage" of the social rationality principles and get completely emancipated. To get more straightforward and fun, have less utilitarian and pragmatic hearts; have more self-care and less rational stress.

We love tea, because in the Tea Garden, you can view the living environment through the artist's vision. With the aesthetic eye, you will find beauty everywhere within this imperfect world. With aesthetic thinking and understanding to see ourselves and the world, you will feel the poetry beauty of the past ordinary life of boredom; your heart will be naturally integrated into this wonderful world and achieve a high degree of harmony with this world.

Excellent tea drinkers are not only good at discovering beauty, but also good at creating beauty, to appreciate and enjoy beauty. Without this aspect, a complete aesthetics theoretical system of the Chinese Tea Ceremony could not be established.

From the aesthetic theory, aesthetic activity is a special form of practical activity. Aesthetic a mental activity of spirit wakening-up, personality promoting, self-pleasure, mind purification and character improvement. Aesthetic is the most purely human feelings. Because there is no utilitarian heart in the process of aesthetics, the well-known ideologist Mr. Li Zehou and Mr. Liu Gangji put an aesthetic life as the highest state of life.

The Chinese Tea Ceremony Aesthetics have the following four points:

Beauty is Generated from Heart

What is beauty, since Ancient times people have had different interpretations. We tend to support "the subjective aesthetics" This is that although the aesthetics

must be based on the natural properties of material things, feelings are up to the human subjective mind. The Tea Ceremony aesthetic is a self-appreciation of personality; the process can be summarized as follows:

The Sage Heart is usually tranquil, which reflects the truth To know the objects spiritually, the beauty would be generated by heart.

Tea is an Oriental Art, affected and fed by the Oriental Culture and its aesthetic process is bound to be imprinted the Chinese classical aesthetics. "The Sage Heart is usually tranquil, which reflects the truth" combines the three religious philosophical ideas of Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism, "Harmony between Humanity and Nature", "Eliminating the Impurities", "Return to Innocence". "Sacred Heart" refers to selfless, no worry, no confusion, clean, non-logic and tranquil heart, which is the prerequisite for the aesthetics. “Reflects the truth" is such as the heart like a mirror to view things in the world under the "Tao" between Humanity and Nature", to experience, understand and being enlightened by Tao.

"To know the objects spiritually" is the practice of the philosophy of "Harmony between Humanity and Nature", is the completion of human and humanized nature process, is to remove the barriers between human and nature, to reach "the original beauty of heaven and earth, the rationales of all things."

"Beauty is from a free Heart" is the tea aesthetic epistemology. The potential of beauty in the hearts of tea, the beauty of the tea heart, how can beauty be naturally conceived, the aesthetic feeling of how beauty can be developed naturally. The process of aesthetic tea, tea is actually through the "material things", "exogenous", "outside world" to "no others", "unknown" process, is the tea for the spirit of man and nature of communication, carried out with the tea the process of spiritual dialogue.

Enjoyment in Eyes and Heart

"In eyes" is to see objective things. "Knowing in the heart" is to understand objective things.In the aesthetic process, "in eyes" is to observe the aesthetic object; "knowing in the heart" is the accordance and consistency between aesthetic object human. What kind of personality has these kinds of aesthetics; on the contrary, what kind of aesthetics would affect what kind of personality. Each undergoing "enjoyment in the eyes and heart" will bring a smooth fitness, receiving a snow shower for the soul; each undergoing smooth fitness will establish a personality.

Nature is beautiful, "the moonlight on snow," "Great river flows day and night", "clear river like a brocade” “grass growing in spring near the lake”, “chrysanthemum has good color", "the new space mountain after the rain", "a long straight smoke in the desert", "long river and a round sunset“…all are exciting; tea is beautiful, silver needles, snow buds, flag spears, sparrow tongue…thousands kinds of styles; tea art is also a beautiful process, charcoals in the furnace, pine breeze in the pot, sunset glows in the cup, bitter and sweet flavors in mouth…all are touching. However, for these things, some people may turn a blind eye; some people may have indifferent response. No matter how alive, beautiful or imaginative these things can be, some people still don't have the slightest move in heart. Although they have been "in eyes", there is no ”knowing in heart“ at all. The tea ceremony aesthetics focuses on the issue of mind and heart, only the understanding of the beauty of tea art could improve human characters through self-cultivation and promote the perfection of personality, which is the main purpose of studying the Tea Ceremony.

Achievement through Further Thinking

How to achieve ”Enjoyment in the eyes and heart"? One approach is “through further thinking". “Achievement through further thinking" was the theory of image creation by Gu Kaizhi. It is an important artistic concept. In the tea art aesthetics, "further thinking" has two meanings. The first one is to give a full play of the artistic imagination, to contact things in different spaces and different times, through inspiration to reach "a nice achievement". The second is empathy, that is, to move the aesthetic feelings and imaginations in to the aesthetic objects, after twists and turns of thinking, to grasp the essence nature of the objects, or a clever image idea, or a deep inspiration.

The mork poet Jiao Ran in the Tang Dynasty, wrote the poem. Drinking Tea with Mr Lu on the 9th:

In the temple on the 9th, the chrysanthemum is yellow in the East Garden. Most people prefer wine, rarely know that tea has aroma.

Jiao Ran, in the Tang Dynasty, was born in about 720 A.D., Tao Yuanming in the Eastern Jin Dynasty, was born in 365 A.D.,there is a 300 year gap between them. In the poem, however, Jiao Ran thinks of Tao Yuanming who was addictive to alcohol from "the chrysanthemum is yellow in the east garden", and then thinks of a poem written by Tao Yuanming: "Picking chrysanthemums from the East Garden, leisurely saw the southern mountains". Also thinking of "most people prefer wine", which are further thoughts. The end of the poem “rarely know that tea has aroma" is the "nice achievement" after "further thinking", Jiao Ran thinks that there is true flavor in tea; drinking tea is the most beneficial thing; tea should be mostly loved by people.

Emperor Qianiong in the Qing Dynasty was ruling the country by using the rules of the Tea Ceremony, and a lot of his poems have the "nice achievement" after the "further thinking" through tea savoring, and then being enlightened the rationales to manage the country.

For example, Savoring Tea in a Hill House with a Bamboo Furnace:

Taking the Spring water near the hill house, smell the aroma from tea bowl. A proper control of the furnace fire is essential, just tike. a balanced policy to manage the country.

The fire with big burning flame is called "fierce fire", while small fire and slow fire is called the "gentle heat". Qianlong knows that, to brew a pot of tea in iron teapot, it is necessary to take control of those two fires. Think of the principles to manage the country, inside and outside, skillfully alternating policies are also needed, which is "nice achievement" as well.

In the Aesthetic of tea art, the "achievement through farther thinking" is not only the wonderful means of "enjoyment in the eyes and heart", but also the way to improve self-cultivation.

Organic Feelings in Common

Tea is a highly integrated Art of loving.

Tea art aesthetic is different from the general aesthetics. We appreciate music, relying mainly on the ears; enjoy painting, calligraphy, arts and crafts products mainly rely on the eyes. The tea art aesthetics is a full range of aesthetics with contents and factors included in the tea activities, which are people, tea, water, utensils, environment and art. It is necessary to mobilize all human sensory organs to do it. According to Buddhism, there are "six roots" inside people, "six dusts" outside, and "six knowledge" in the middle. The so-called "six roots" refers to the eye, nose, ears, tongue, body and mind that are with the six sensory functions, which are the "things that heart depends on". The so-called "six dusts" refers to color, sound, smell and taste, touch and principles of the six external existences. The so-called "six knowledge" is the perceptions of "six roots" to "six dusts". In the tea art aesthetics, we must mobilize all the human senses, to fully feel the complete beauty of the tea art, which is called "six roots' consensus".

Only when we learn well the aesthetics of the Tea Ceremony and use the basic theory of aesthetics to guide tea art, can tea activity become a ture art. Only when we grasp the concept of aesthetics, could we enjoy the beauty of life. Otherwise it would be just a completion process of life.

Goethe said, "If we want to escape from this world, there is no more reliable way than arts; to combine with the world, no more reliable way than arts as well". We love the Tea Ceremony, firstly we would like to escape from the rigid, mechanical, and utilitarian way of life, to release our minds from the "cage" of the social rationality principles and get completely emancipated. To get more straightforward and fun, have less utilitarian and pragmatic hearts; have more self-care and less rational stress.

We love tea, because in the Tea Garden, you can view the living environment through the artist's vision. With the aesthetic eye, you will find beauty everywhere within this imperfect world. With aesthetic thinking and understanding to see ourselves and the world, you will feel the poetry beauty of the past ordinary life of boredom; your heart will be naturally integrated into this wonderful world and achieve a high degree of harmony with this world.