Tea Notes 茶谱 (Partial) – Ming Dynasty Tea Book by Zhu Quan

Wenzhuo Liu

Tea could entertain me to write poetry and abruptly add lustre to floating clouds, mountains and rivers; Tea might subdue sandman and carry me away from the world; Tea may give me more interests to talk, words would touch varied spectacles, how strong tea effects!

“茶之为物,可以助诗兴而云山顿色,可以伏睡魔而天地忘形,可以倍清谈而万象惊寒,茶之功大矣!”

<500 Arhat Drawing 五百罗汉图> Song Dynasty

However, all creatures in heaven and earth have their own characters, the best way is to infuse tea directly and drink in order to pursue its naturalness. In the past, the importance of various tea drinking appliances was not so important in my tea drinking way, therefore, I prefer this brewing tea method and grinding tea tools, adore innovations and change into simplicities, strike out a new tea ceremony for myself. I enjoy to drink tea with those monastics who took travelling in clouds as meals, together with those daoists who cultivate themselves by breathing the sun and sunglow. Although drinking tea requires utensils, and the utensils have their own reasons, they are just convenient for entertaining and talking with guests after all.

“然天地生物,各遂其性,莫若茶叶,烹而啜之,以遂其自然之性也。予故取烹茶之法,末茶之具。崇新改易,自成一家。为云海餐霞服日之士,共乐斯事也。虽然会茶而立器具,不过延客款话而已,大抵亦有其说焉。”

<500 Arhat Drawing 五百罗汉图> Song Dynasty

Those who are free from the dust, such as sublime and refined beings, poets and daoist priests, they are all aspirant to get rid of the world of mortals, rest their spirits beyond material affairs, do not associate with social temporals and stain themselves in secularities. When I drink tea with people, the places should be either between springs and stone, or under pine trees and bamboos, or facing the bright moon and a refreshing breeze, or around clear windows and clean tables, only then I would talk leisurely with guests to explore the daoist reciprocal transformation between immateriality and materiality, and study the way of heaven and earth, these conversations could make our minds calm and free from the material world.

“凡鸾俦鹤侣,骚人羽客,皆能志绝尘境,栖神物外,不伍于世流,不污于时俗。或会于泉石之间,工处于松竹之下,或对皓月清风,或坐明窗静牖,乃与客清谈款话,探虚玄而参造化,清心神而出尘表。”

<500 Arhat Drawing 五百罗汉图> Song Dynasty

Because the tea ceremony is meant to be one man’s matter in the mountains and forests, loftily aloof from worldly things, drifting away from this world, how could we talk it over with laymen at a common point? I once raised my head and gazed the sky, cooked clear spring water with a swaying fire, that is what I so called, an inter flow is shared with the sky to open up my mind, with such water to nurture my inner spirit, this way is not only to amuse myself around a tea stove but also helps me on my self-cultivation, how could one word “quiet” be expressed these? It is written by Han Xuzi Immortal Qu.

“本是林下一家生活,傲物玩世之事,岂白丁可共语哉?予法举白眼而望青天,汲清泉而烹活火,自谓与天语以扩心志之大,符水以副内练之功,得非游心于茶灶,又将有裨于修养之道矣,岂惟清哉?涵虚子臞仙书。”

Read Tea Notes whole book: Tea Notes- the Daoist Tea Book

More about: Ming Dynasty Tea Ceremony

 

 

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