In China, the art and practice of drinking tea is about much more than merely soaking leaves in a cup of hot water. The tradition is rooted in Daoism, and emerged from a philosophy that honoured living a life of grace and gratitude, balance and harmony, and fulfilment and enjoyment - what the ancient Chinese called Cha Dao, or the Way of Tea.
Cha Dao takes us on a fascinating journey through the Way of Tea, from its origins in the sacred mountains and temples of ancient China, through its links to Daoist concepts such as Wu Wei or non-striving and the Value of Worthlessness, to the affinity between Tea Mind and the Japanese spirit of Zen. Interspersed are a liberal helping of quotes from the great tea masters of the past, anecdotes from the author's own trips to China, and traditional tea stories from China and Japan. The unique health benefits of tea are also explored, and a chapter is devoted to describing the history, characteristics and properties of 25 different tea varieties.
This book will interest tea lovers, as well as those who want to learn more about tea culture, Daoist and Zen thought and practice, and Asian history and culture.
Introduction. 1. Cha Dao: The Way of Tea. 2. A Brief History of Tea in China. 3. Lu Yu Meets a True Tea Master. 4. Tea Mind/Zen Mind. 5. Just One Flower. 6. The Slippery Art of Wu Wei: Or, the Art of Doing Nothing. 7. One Last Cup. 8. The Uncarved Block. 9. The Man Who Knew Too Much: A Tale of Tea and Enlightenment. 10. The Value of Worthlessness. 11. A Daoist Tea Ceremony. 12. Making a Cup of Tea. 13. A Gong Fu Tea Ceremony. 14. The Health Benefits of Tea. 15. Types of Tea. 16. Tea Time. 17. A Few Last Words. Sources for Tea. Bibliography. About the Author.
'Cha Dao take us on a fascinating journey through the Way of Tea, from its origins in the sacred mountains and temples of ~China through its links to Daoist concepts such as wu wei or non-striving and the Value of Worthlessness, to the affinity between Tea Mind and the Japanese spirit of Zen... This book will interest tea lovers as well as those who want to learn more about tea culture, Daoist and Zen thought and practice, and Asian history and culture.
A reviewer says "Cha Dao is not only a wonderful book on tea, its history, and the joy of appreciating its warmth, aroma, and its many flavours, but is also an excellent primer on Daoist thinking and living. I loved this book. It informed me about tea and the customs surrounding it, lifted my spirit, and sharpened my mind. For those who enjoy tea, it deserves a place on your bookshelf".'
- The Empty Vessel
'There is a wealth of discovery in this small book; the understanding of ancient philosophy and the place for tea in this ideology. It is a book to dip into over time; a book to seek new learning and different ways of thinking or being.'
- Margaret Thornby's tea & tea room talk
'This book interweaves the simple pleasure of drining tea with the Way of Dao, the ancient Chinese philosophy... Sitting down and enjoying a cup pf tea is one of life's simple pleasures, and this book has given me even more reasons to reach for the teapot.'
- Kindred Spirit
'Approaches the heavenly drink not from the point of view of a nutritionist, purveyor or aficionado, but from a cultural and philosophical perspective. Towler is an instructor of Daoist meditation and qigong living ni Eugene, Oregon, and has for many hears been the editor of the Daoist journal The Empty Vessel. As a consequence of the author's particular interests, this book is about "the art and practice of drinking tea." In short, it has as much to do with the tea drinker as it does with the tea... Solala Towler has given us 169 pages of ruminations, citations, exotic stories, and thought provoking references.'
- Huffington Post
'Solala Towler describes the various tea ceremonies, types of tea and medicinal benefits of tea. It's a fun romp of a read, not too heavy, saturated with history and philosophy, and of course, Tea.'
- Dojo Rat Blog
Solala Towler is an instructor of Daoist meditation and of several styles of Qigong, including Soaring Crane Qigong, Essence Qigong, and Wuji Qigong. He has studied the Daoist arts for over 20 years, and has led many tours to China to visit the sacred mountains and temples of Daoism. He is the author of 12 books on Qigong and the Daoist arts, is a former president of the National Qigong Association, and is the editor of The Empty Vessel: The Journal of Daoist Philosophy and Practice. To find out more about Solala's work, visit his website at www.abodetao.com.
Editor in Chief: Tianjun Liu, O.M.D.
Associate Editor in Chief: Kevin W Chen, Ph.D.
Photographs by Chris Janzen
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