Chinese Taoist tea and Chinese Buddhist tea are known as China’s two famous religious tea. Buddhist tea has Zen and Taoist tea has tea theory. Chinese tea culture has a profound religious and cultural foundation. It can be said that without this foundation, tea can not form culture. How did Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism act on tea culture and make Chinese tea culture form a grand atmosphere.
Huishan- Hui Mountian Spring 惠山泉, was tasted by Lu Yu, the “tea sage” of Tang Dynasty, according to legend, therefore, Huishan spring was named Lu Zi spring, honored as “the second spring in the world” by Qing Emperor Qianlong. The spring is now located in Xihui park at the foot of Hui mountain in the western suburb of Wuxi City, Jiangsu Province. Because Huishan spring water is famously good, so many ancient tea experts came to taste and discuss. Li Shen, a poet in the middle Tang Dynasty, “茶得此水，皆尽芳味也 once tea has this spring water, it will give off all its fragrance of this tea”. Zhao Mengfu, the great calligrapher of the Yuan Dynasty, wrote “the second spring in the world 天下第二泉” for Huishan spring, which is still well preserved on the back wall of the spring Pavilion. In Song Dynasty, the famous poet, Su Shi was well versed in his poem, he brought the best tea cake to try the second spring in the world. After drinking, he repeatedly praised the wonderful.
Tea’s bitterness can clear the heart, Qin’s low and deep sounds can calm the mind down “茶苦可清心，古琴低沉可静心“, playing Qin (Guqin), tasting tea… several tea friends listen to the dialogue between Qin and tea, tuning Qin, boiling water and infusing tea. In a certain sense, there are many similarities between these two kinds of treasures with profound cultural heritage. Tea has a very long history, even before the beginning of human civilization, Qin, one of the oldest plucked string instruments in China, it has been popular since the time of Confucius with a history of more than 4000 years. Because Qin music style belongs to the quiet, virtual quiet, deep quiet, and so on static beauty. This is why Guqin is most suitable for playing in the dead of night, because such an environment can match the style of Qin music and the artistic conception it pursues. Tea and Guqin have very similar temperament, so in a tea ceremony performance, Guqin is generally chosen. When we clean our hearts, we do not simply drive away the external fatigue, but use Qin, emotion, tea, and Tao to drive away the turbid Qi in our hearts, and then cultivate our body and mind, so as to achieve a truly transcendent spiritual enjoyment. Ancient Chinese literati loved Qin and tea, playing Qin and drinking tea became a vivid portrayal of the life of literati and scholars, both of them can cultivate people’s character, temperament and sentiment, and meditate on Buddhism and Taoism, so as to achieve spiritual enjoyment and personality’s transcendence.
In China, there has always been a saying that tea and wine compete for merit. But in the minds of Chinese literati, the status of tea is still above wine. Throughout the status of tea and wine in the poets’ minds, there is a process, a leading wine poetry first, tea and wine on an equal footing, to the tea dominating position. In the early Tang Dynasty, the poets used wine to boost their spirits. With the emergence of tea drinking groups such as Lu Yu and Jiao Ran, more and more poets of Tang Dynasty became associated with tea. The tea loving monk, Jiao Ran not only knew, loved and enjoyed tea, but also wrote many charming poems about tea, he thought that wein was far from tea “The elegance and purity of this tea is unknown to the world, people relying on drinking alcohol is to deceive themselves and others. 此物清高世莫知，世人饮酒多自欺 – <饮茶歌诮崔石使君>”. Jiao Ran discussed the art of tea drinking together with Lu Yu, the sage of tea, and advocated the tea tasting atmosphere of “replacing wine with tea”. He made great contributions to the development of tea culture in Tang Dynasty and later generations. Bai Juyi’s attitude towards tea and wine is more typical, “when there is no alcohol for guests to drink, 聊将茶代酒 for the moment, make do with tea instead of alcohol – <宿蓝溪对月>”, “We can know the strength of an alcoholic drink when we drive away the sorrow, we can see the effect of tea when we break the drowsiness 驱愁知酒力，破睡见茶功 – <赠东邻王十三>”, it was Bai Juyi who added a large amount of tea into the poetry world and made tea and wine keeping abreast of the world of poetry. From his poems, we can see the gradual rise and transformation of tea among literati.
Patrick Liu www.deutsche-daoistische-vereinigung.de
Nei Gong is an exercise that is performed in silence. Nei means “inside” and gong means “work”. So Nei Gong is also called inner work. Whether standing, sitting or lying, we can cultivate our energy with the help of our Spirit. Exercises in standing include, for example, Zhan Zhuang exercises, in sitting you practice mainly with simply crossed legs, in half the lotus set (one leg is placed on the other), the full lotus set (the second leg is placed on the first), etc. Exercises in lying down include sleep meditation, where you can take different lying positions.
“When drinking the first bowl of tea, I feel moist in my throat and lip; the second bowl dispels the loneliness and boredom in my heart; during the third bowl, I’m embarrassed at creativeness, and start to search for new knowledges; the fourth bowl is drunk out, my grievances along with my light sweat dissipate through pores; the fifth bowl refreshes myt mind; the sixth bowl can help to communicate with immortals; after the seventh bowl, I feel that I’m extraordinary and refined, a slight breeze crushed my arms. Where is the Penglai Mountain? With this wind, I, Yu Chuan Zi, want to fly to there.”
It has rained several times, last night’s thunder ended the continuous spring rain and awakened thousands of tea trees. Tea trees compete with each other for growing most fresh and tender tea buds, the spring color in Jianxi could occupy the first place, what a vibrant landscape.
Zhu Quan’s book <Tea Notes> had a profound impact on tea drinking in later generations. He regarded tea drinking as a way of manifesting his ambition and cultivating Taoism. He promoted tea drinking to the height of Tao, which not only improved the tea ceremony art since the Tang and Song Dynasties, but also laid a theoretical foundation for the development of tea drinking in the Ming Dynasty and later literati.
Chen Tuan, one of the most famous daoists had lived in secluded Wudang mountains to cultivate himself, <History of Song 宋史> recorded that Chen Tuan liked to drink tea, the Zhou Shi Zong emperor had rewarded him 30 Jin tea according to <History of Song · Chen Tuan Biography 宋史·陈抟传>. Chen Tuan had written <Memorial of thanks for emperor’s autograph edict, Tea and Medicine 谢手诏并赐茶药表> to Song Tai Zong emperor, which was included in <Whole History of Song 全宋史>.
Chinese family has a tradition of serve tea to guests, regarding to the Daoist Scriptures, this tradition is from Daoism. In the Spring and Autumn period, when Laozi (Lao-tzu) left Hangu strategic pass, he asked the pass guard Yin Xi to welcome him at home and could serve him tea firstly “首献茗”, Laozi said, people who appreciate tea after eating, you are all on the same way, they should be all disciples of Daoism “食是茶者，皆汝之道徒也”. ——《道经·天皇至道太清玉册》