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Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Humanity in a Tea-Cup

In 1906, a Japanese man named Okakura Kakuzo published a treatise tea and aesthetics called The Book of Tea  that  revolutionized the way people looked at the beverage and at  Eastern cultures in general. For Kakuzo, tea was far more than a warm drink -- it embodied a way of life and a spiritual awakening. Teaism, like flower arranging or archery, is fundamentally a form of Taoism and Zennism, a path to the divine. 

So, as I embark on my journey as a blogger for Teaism, what better place to begin than with Okakura? 
“Strangely enough, humanity has so far met in the tea-cup. It is the only Asiatic ceremonial which commands universal esteem. The white man has scoffed at our religion and our morals, but has accepted the brown beverage without hesitation. The afternoon tea is now an important function in Western society.” 
What is it about tea that enables it to bridge cultures with such simplicity and ease? From the ancient Japanese Tea ceremony to a steaming mug of chai in the morning, tea brings us the pleasure of ritual, a quiet moment to stop and smell the aromas, a moment of zen. 

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