Tuesday, January 26, 2010

New Book Explores Tea as a Way of Life

New Book Explores Tea as a Way of Life
(from a press release)

“Tea tempers the spirit and harmonizes the mind; dispels lassitude and relieves fatigue; awakens thought and prevents drowsiness; lightens or refreshes the body and clears the perceptive faculties,” writes Lu Yu in his Tang Dynasty work, The Classic of Tea, one of the oldest treatises on tea. Author Solala Towler takes this understanding of the benefits of tea to a deeper level. “Tea is an important part of my life. I learned the natural way of life, the teachings of the ancient Chinese shamans, and my spiritual path through drinking tea,” says Towler. “It is impossible to separate Daoist philosophy from the practice or Way of Tea.”

This interconnectedness between the way of tea and Daoist philosophy and practice is highlighted in Towler’s new book Cha Dao: The Way of Tea, Tea as a Way of Life. By examining the interwoven relationship between tea and Daoist principles and practices, Towler provides the reader with a plethora of interesting anecdotes and an intriguing, well-presented historical philosophy.

In China, the art of drinking tea is about much more than merely soaking leaves in a cup of hot water. “The art and practice of drinking tea is rooted in Daoism and emerged from a philosophy that honored living a life of grace and elegance, of balance and harmony, of fulfillment and enjoyment.” This is, essentially, what the ancient Chinese called Cha Dao, or the Way of Tea.

Cha Dao takes the reader 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, tales 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.

Cha Dao: The Way of Tea, Tea As a Way of Life

Buy Loose Leaf Tea in Canada
RedUmbrella Tea, Canada’s Loose Leaf Tea Co.

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