The Six Values of Cha Tao (The Way of Tea)
The cultivation of Stillness, Awareness, Concentration, Wisdom and Presence. Includes Prayer, Offerings, Devotional Acts, the Study of Holy Texts and Masters of Bygone Eras. The intentional attendance to our interior lives. Existing freely in the fullness of our whole being.
Striving towards the ideal Good that is known through human-heartedness and the quiet voice of the conscience. To Be Good and Virtuous not as one Ought to be, but as one Is in their true Self. Morality based on the purification of the mind and emotions through meditation, self-observation and the insight that All Life is Connected. By embodying virtue in our lives, we invite other to strive for virtue within themselves.
3 Vitality –
All consciousness and matter is composed of energy vibrating at different frequencies, balanced by the emptiness within which all Form exists. Form is Emptiness and Emptiness is Form. The clarity of our Body (right practice), Feelings (right attitude), and Mind (Right Understanding) depend upon the energy composing our Being. Diet (Plant-based, Organic, Whole Foods), movement (Qi Gong, Dao In, Tai Qi, Yoga), healing (Chinese Medicine, Herbs, Acupuncture, Healing Arts), cleanliness, purity, and reverence for one’s self and one’s environment create the ripe conditions for a Life of Tea and Tao. These details of our daily life create the energy with which we serve tea and our clarity as harmonious channels of Tea Spirit.
Right Practice – Growing Deep Roots and Vast Canopy by way of the five brewing methods in our tradition.
From the Forest – Bowl Tea – Connecting to the Trees and Spirit of Tea. Pillar of Nature.
The Great Connector - Sidehandle Pot Bowl Tea - The casting off of qualitative mind to rest in our connection to others, to the leaf, and to the moment. Pillar of Nature.
Shaman's Brew - Boiled Tea - The ancient method of boiling earthy, dark teas in the spirit of Shennong and the misty, mythological origins of tea's first discovery.
Aesthetic Sensibility- Gong Fu Cha- The skilled craft, discipline and art form of brewing the perfect cup of tea. Alchemy is Sublimation, Sublimation is Art, Art is Expression, Expression is Flow, Flow is Natural, Natural is Graceful, Graceful is Beautiful, Beauty is Art, Art is Alchemy. Pillar of Taoism.
No Guru, No Method, No Dogma - Whisked Tea - To understand Zen, one must understand tea. To understand tea, one must understand Zen. Tea and Zen, one flavor. All is completed in one breath. Pillar of Zen.
5 Tradition- 4 Pillars – Honoring that which has come before and the generations to come. The 4 pillars of this tradition stem from the source and evolve through the traditions that have always treated Tea as a means of communing with Nature, with Oneself and with Others. The 4 pillars: Nature, Shamanism, Taoism, Zen.
6 Community – Being a Man or Woman for Others – Developing meaningful, authentic relationships with the proper utilization of tea as a bridge to connection: Service, Healing, Selflessness, Consideration, Love.