Lao Zi and the meaning of tea

“First, we ought to take more time for stillness. To the mind that is still,” Lao Zi said, “the whole universe surrenders.”

Pure enjoyment and profound meaning of drinking tea has deep roots and long tradition in China. The tea history is intimately associated with the ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Zi. He was the founder of Daoism and lived during the sixth century B.C.E.  The word Dao means a Path. Lao Zi himself spoke of it as:

“There is a thing which is all-containing, which was born before the existence of Heaven and Earth. How silent! How solitary! It stands alone and changes not. It revolves without danger to itself and is the mother of the universe. I do not know its name and so call it the Path.“

Lao Zi saw the big things in the small things, that the universe could be mirrored in a cup of tea. A cup of tea can connect us with ourself and with others. When you drink a good cup of tea you open for Dao inside you. Having a cup of tea can manifest embodied ritual, simple and direct. Like a ritual, a deeper meaning than the action itself.

Lao Zi’s texts have deep wisdom, simplicity and messages of peace.

 “Simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
you accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself,
you reconcile all beings in the world.

Lao Zi

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