The so-called Tea Ceremony to preserve health actually blends into tea drinkers daily lives. They do not even need to think about anything. They don't even need to pursue it purposefully. They just relax and follow their own ways, brew well a teapot of tea every day, enjoy it, appreciate it, after a period of time, you will automatically get there. But, if you have the interest and the will to follow the ways introduced in this book, relax and follow their own ways, brew well a teapot of tea every day, enjoy it, appreciate it, after a period of time, you will automatically get there. But, if you have the interest and the will to follow the ways introduced in this book, choose one and practice with it, and you definitely would be able to have an efficient result.
"Join(ing) tranquility" is the basic step of Chinese health preservation studies, Tea Ceremony health preservation naturally is the same. "Sitting down quietly to view everything, savoring tea and enjoying the harmony Living here accompanied by tea, studying history with it. The mountains are so quiet like in Ancient times, and the day is so long like a small year." No matter if you are a Taoist or Buddhist, if you want to have a long life, you firstly need to be tranquil. The modern pharmaceutical research shows that after the human body joins in tranquility, the brain is highly peaceful; the brain cells will recover from exhaustion. When it is not interrupted by the state of being aware (folly conscious), the organs of the human body will work and co-operate efficiently, and guarantee a healthy life by delay the aging process. How to join tranquility? The Buddhists and Taoist have their own ways. In this chapter, we will summarize all of them and to make a simple process to practice with.
Creating Balance within the Body
Creating balance within the body refers to adjusting the body to different gestures before tea brewing and savouring with gongfu tea cups, making it relaxed, natural and comfortable, to make a good start for heart adjustment and breath adjustment.
Generally, we take the "Sitting Mountain" gesture, because it is easy to brew tea. Sitting on just about 1/3 or half of the chair, sit the hip backwards a little bit straight up the spine and relax, put feet on the ground naturally and open a little bit, backwards the head a little, eyes watch straightly or keep them closed, relax the knees and put hands on both legs or in the lap or on the stomach.
The key word is "relax". Before sitting down you'd better loosen your belt and tie, loosen the shoes in order to make an easy environment and make the blood run smoothly within body. Keep a good gesture and relax everything single part, your arteries, heart, face expression, organs even your tongue, to make a good preparation for heart and breath adjustments.
Creating Balance within the Heart
Heart adjustments are made to clear the mixed minds, calm down the active heart. The Taoist think that heart adjustment is a good way to "clear the heart source, peaceful the air, if the heart is clear that nothing could interrupt it, if the heart is calmed down that the spirit would be cheered up if the air is peaceful that nothing could drive it away, hence everything is in the right position". Hence heart adjustment is very important, people are so frequently using their brains to think things. The Buddhists call it "capricious". How do you make heart adjustment? For Taoists they usually take the "Emperor Huang's Inner View" method, for Buddhists, they take the "To stop through binding the image to keep tranquility" method.
The Emperor Huang's way belongs to peace work to keep thinking method. This way is done through "keep thinking", "welcome breath" to concentrate on the heart.According to Sun Simiao's introduction, "practice this way constantly, keep the thinking, you would feel the organs like hanging bells, so clear, keep on trying."
Welcome breath is when the "heart and eye watches the air, up to Dingmen, down to Yongquan, do it every day, it is caUed welcome breath". At the same time, breathe the air in through nose, then breathing out through the mouth, do it slowly, get more air in, do it before taking foodn. Practicing this would help you to reach the goal of "stop(ping) thinking and adjust(ing) the heart".
The "to stop through binding the image to keep the tranquility" method is to concentrate the mind on only one thing inside the body or outside, making the mind keep steady without moving. According to Buddhism, it is to tie the heart to one image, make heart calmly with it, without other thinking. This is also called the "Mind keeping way".
The Mind keeping way' has the advantage that "one mind replaces millions", which force yourself to concentrate on one thing, dispel the chaos, forgetting the objective world, and finally forgetting the subjective world, to gain entry to a complete tranquil world.
The Mind keeping way, usually focuses on "Dantian". When mind keeping, don't focus too closely, otherwise you would feel nervous. The Ancient peopled experience is: do not use your heart to keep, but do with mind, keep in a certain way but not too close. Do it naturally, the real air would be motivated.
There are still a lot of other heart adjustment ways like heart diet, sitting to forget, counting breath, reading silently, we firmly recommend to take one and keep on with it.
Creating Balance when Breathing
"Breath adjustment", is using the consciousness to adjust breathing. To rectify the improper way of breath, like the "Wind way", "Asthma way", "Violent way" and nice habits will benefit breath.
The so-called "Wind way", is breathing in a hurry the "Asthma way" refers to breathing not smoothly, the "Violent way" means to not breathe long enough or not smoothly enough. The "Way of breath" refers to no hurrying; no roughness, no blockages, and no interruptions and thereby form a relaxing way to breath. This way is the best and healthiest way to breathe. The main ways of breath are as follows:
Natural breathe refers to the normal way of breathe. We have the nose-breathing way, the nose and mouth breathing way, the chest breathing way and the compound breathing way. As a learner, it is suggested to follow the Natural way, the things need to be noticed is relaxing during the practices.
(2)The deep breathing way
The Deep breathing way is based on the natural breathing pattern, gradually increasing the amount of air being breathed in, making it long and slow. The normal frequency of breath is 15-18 times per minute, but skillful people could reach to 2-3 times one minute.
(3) The abdominal breathing way
This means through the abdominal muscle's movement to assist with breathing. Using this way would move the muscles which would also massage the organs; this is good for the digestive system. The Abdominal breathing way is suitable to take the nose breathing method.
(5) The fetus breathing way
The fetus breathing way was originally from Lao Zi's theory "the most breath, just like the fetus breathing. Through long term and constant practices making the frequency of breathing go to its lowest point and hard to notice, as if breathing stopped, which is called "Stop(ping) breath". When reaching this level, your body vigor could communicate with the universe freely, and your potential would be greatly awoken.
The Ancient pharmacists thought, air is the basic substance of the Universe, the integral part for material, energy and information. The Buddha said, "People's life is just breath". The traditional medical scientists also thought that "human are in the breath and breath are in human", breath is the sign of life. The modem pharmacists have implied that breathing in the right way can make people younger.
Creating Balance with Breathing
Following breath is Master Yi Xing combining the mind with breathing perfectly, it is staple and easy to do, it is an interesting way of conscious breath and suitable to preserve health in the Tea Ceremony. Especially introducing it here:
Come in, my body and mind are relaxed.
Breathing out, I smile.
Peacefully settling down to this very moment, How wonderful is this moment!
Breathe in, I am breathing in.
Breathe out, I am breathing out Breathe in, lam deeply breathing in.
Breathe out, I am deeply breathing out
Breathe in, lam tranquil,
Breathe out, I amsecure.
Breathe in, I smile,
Breathe out, I am at ease.
Breathe in, at this very moment,
Breathe out, a nice moment.
Focusing on the current moment,
How nice this moment is!
Master Yi Xing thinks that, in this busy society, breathing clearly is a big fortune; it can make our bodies more concentrated, cheerful and relaxed. Before we brew tea, we could repeat the poem first and then sit down, retell the poem, breathe with the mind, until in a peaceful and settled Buddhist atmosphere.
"Tea and Zen Affinity" since ancient times. It is the same between practicing tea and Zen, when we temporarily leave for a busy day at work, forget everything for a moment, sit down in the tea room, brew tea, appreciate the tea and enjoy the tea. You could turn off TV, light an incense stick, relax the whole body and smile, follow the Master Yi Xing's way to practice. When you breathe consciously, your heart is full of joy, then start to brew the tea by kongfu tea set. The tea aroma would blend in your heart, and the flavor must be better, and the function of health preserving must be better.