Category Archives: 茶道精神

论茶道精神养成的基本观念/许玉莲

论茶道精神养成的基本观念

许玉莲         马来西亚茶道研究会

内容大纲

前言:什么是茶道精神

一.茶道精神的演说与实操之差异

二.茶道精神等于道德守则吗

三.茶的四个“纯粹”的思想

四.茶道精神养成需遵循的基本原则

小结:培养当代茶道精神

关键字眼:茶道精神  气质  纯粹  信念  道德守则   

前言

什么是茶道精神?茶人泡茶时有一定的原则与要求,他们又自然地把这套方法用在生活如:要找优质的水泡茶那种决心、保持清洁卫生应怎么彻底的做、珍惜一支壶是如何的谨慎…………,点点滴滴,一一延伸至衣、食、住、行以及待人接物的作风上,逐渐形成一种不可取代的生活态度。当很多人同时坚持要这样子过生活,要这样子泡茶,社会就出现一股气质,此种气质的养成,来自这群茶人认为茶要如何表现,我们姑且称这种气质为茶道精神。

一.茶道精神的演说与实操之差异

茶道精神可凭空编造吗?不可能的,请来满腹经纶的专家将他们认为最好的世俗价值比如幸福、爱、融洽等嫁接在茶道,是发表演说而已;期许大家和睦共处相亲相爱,这是很好的愿景,不过我们不会因为抱负着这种期许,就说我们的茶道精神是幸福、爱。期许与实践之间有很大的不同,我们认为任何一种赋予精神的茶道理念,都须经茶人具体在整个泡茶奉茶喝茶过程将细节做出来才存在;缺少一天一天锲而不舍的身体力行在茶汤中,即使很会说茶道精神的道理,也是虚有其表。

茶道精神,它无论泡茶时或非泡茶时都要凸显吗?那是一定的。也许初期建立心得时只觉得茶席上泡茶才有这个需要,慢慢地茶人将发觉生活上如果不依照既定的茶道观念去做,心里会觉得不满足。

有人说:“茶道精神我有体悟了,但我还没有时间去实行这个茶道精神的境界?”这话说得不实在,精神面貌的样子,是从内往外散发的,一旦对某种理念有了坚持,它必得经过漫长岁月实践,熟练到连自己都忘记了,人们也看不出你在做了,只觉得你本来就是长得如此气质,那才是最佳的印证。

是否泡茶经验越久、可以把茶泡好就会产生出茶道精神呢?不一定,泡茶钟点数与泡茶技法固然重要,信念坚定却是需从心做起。

二.茶道精神等于道德守则吗

茶道精神等于做人的道德守则吗?不,茶道精神指发生在泡茶的时候所产生的信念,道德守则指的是生活中既有的做人道理。

任何人都可以将任何茶道精神学会吗?不,茶道精神不是“学习”是“献祭”,是先有某种精神特质倾向的人,他们泡茶喝茶达至一种深度,慢慢一点一滴累积,最后才出现此种特质的茶道精神。为了他们所信仰的茶道精神,他们会用自己的生命去做,谓之“献祭”。

我们喝什么茶,就会长成一个什么样的人,故品茶说茶道,不可将种茶、制茶、包装茶、买卖茶、存放茶、泡茶、奉茶、品茶与茶道分开说。对茶没有抱持一种立场,即便有道,这道也不可能属于茶的道。所有事情都有一个经过,茶从鲜叶变成茶叶变成茶汤最终成为茶渣的过程势必经过无数手段,人们使用不同方法去处理、实现各自的目的,这就是对茶的态度。茶一旦离开这些被完成的门路与技能,它是无道可养成的,因为思想、工作、生活作风是道的基本。

三.茶的四个“纯粹”的思想

茶道精神必须从茶生成出来,茶叶有四个阶段的生命:鲜叶、茶叶、茶汤和茶渣,从欣赏这四段不同过程的特质,我们领略到茶里面有四个“纯粹”的思想。第一是茶青,鲜叶不必添加其他成分,不要多余的动作,无需要搀合物,只需要空气,阳光温度与时间,鲜叶就可成为不含杂质的茶叶。

第二是茶叶,茶叶只需要干净的器物、干净的水、泡茶者干净的手、泡茶者的全神贯注和无杂念的心,茶汤自会释放芬芳内涵物。

第三是茶汤,不需环境、服装及其他项目衬托,不要多余的杂味,只要纯净的茶杯与健康身体来饮用。

第四是茶底,茶叶奉献了茶内涵物,茶渣坦荡荡的呈现茶叶生命如何一直走来的痕迹,与价格、包装、品牌名誉无关,茶是纯粹的茶。

四.茶道精神养成需遵循的基本原则

茶人对如何种出不受污染的优质鲜叶、如何把茶泡好、如何品享茶汤及在好好观赏茶渣过程,对茶、对涉及之人士所做的一切都会带有一种对茶好的坚决态度,一定得亲身经历过实操过才有办法构造茶道精神,否则是纸上谈兵。综合上述从茶生长出来的四个纯粹理念,我们认为茶道精神的培养需遵循三个与茶相关的基本原则,即优质、清洁及个性。在喝下每一口茶的同时,我们应开始思量,我们如此做的背后,所得到的满足快乐、所付出的代价与应负的责任是什么,我们不可能光是风花雪月纵情休闲,或纯粹堆砌辞藻说空洞内容的门面话即谓之茶道精神。

原则第一何谓优质,它是指好的茶叶不等于好看的茶叶,不等于於贵的茶叶,要用新鲜原料,制出香味馥郁、可满足身体需求的茶叶。茶具亦如此,要用无危害性原料,让人放心之余还感受到工艺之美,用起来又恰到好处。

简单概括,从种植茶到清理茶渣的整个进行历程,一切需按照时间、时空、时节、时代来考虑。比如说,时间是说茶叶发酵时间要多少才熟成?老茶收放要多久才酝酿足够?泡茶时间要多长才算好?不能随意喜欢就短一些,不喜欢就长一些。

时空是说不同时空的茶山所采摘鲜叶有不同优劣之处,要精炼其可爱的一面,并应透明化产地。

时节是自然现象:阳光、风霜、雨水及空气湿度都影响茶的生长及性质,要做出当时最好的品质。

时代是说不要忘记先天和后天的配合,当代的技术、生活方式一天天在变,要能掌握并精进,比如泡茶法的演变需符合现代家居环境。

原则第二何谓清洁,它是指生产到使用过程务必能维持人体、物体、环境在一个健康、卫生、协调的状态,指的不但是茶叶无农药残留,勿让人类吃进有碍身体健康的物品;也是指人类与自然的相处,应当保持善良的关系,否则清新空气的消失,土地生态的遭破坏,都是我们在茶道建立中付出的代价。

对我们周遭的世界的影响的忽视,是破坏自然、破坏人类生活的源头。比如现今很多茶叶使用铝箔袋包装成小包行销,一包净重约10克,买1公斤茶叶就需用到100个铝箔袋,再加上泡茶时吃的茶食也用这种包装,耗费了又任其遗弃在土地上的铝箔袋数量之多,变相成了“花钱买垃圾”造成土地污染,对茶道对土地与人类都会造成伤害。

原则第三何谓个性,是指支持人们持续某种合理的态度生产茶品饮茶,无论他们的规模有多么小,都不应受到剥削,应尊重多样化选择。

我们对大集团市场操作、工业机制规格化的方式要有反省,标准化的模式固然有助推动经济,但有时这些发展并没有我们想象那么好,茶叶物质的获得更容易并没有让我们成为一个更懂得欣赏茶的人。

一些值得保留的文化也会在这样的运作之下快速消失,比如我们再也喝不到1990年代那种熟火铁观音、正山小种的味道,这意味着某些价值观已经被放弃。是哪家制茶师做的茶?哪位茶人收藏的茶收了三十年他怎么收?又哪位茶人掌壶泡制茶汤?这些代表着的不但是一种配方,一种技术,更表现了茶人们的一种态度,一种活力,一种信念。

结语:培养当代茶道精神

只有在我们有了对人、器物、时间、土地、与茶的“纯粹” 信念,知道如何守护这些事物的优质、清洁、个性的基本观念,我们才能快乐地与茶道打交道,建立属于我们的当代茶道精神。

Fundamental Concepts in Nurturing the spirit pertaining to The Way of Tea

Hooi Yoke Lien

The Way of Tea Research Institute of Malaysia

Content

Foreword:What is the spirit pertaining to The Way of Tea?

A. The difference between preaching and practising

B. Is it the same as the code of ethics?

  • The four dimensions of tea’s “pureness”
  • The basic principles in its pursuit

Conclusion:Nurturing a contemporary spirit pertaining to The Way of Tea

Keywords: the spirit pertaining to The Way of Tea    temperament     pureness    conviction    code of ethics      

Foreword

What is the spirit pertaining to The Way of Tea? Tea enthusiasts embrace certain principles and uphold particular standards; as such, it is just natural that they apply these principles and standards to their daily lives, for example, using only good quality water for brewing, giving an unwavering attention to cleanliness and hygiene, handling teapots with utmost care, to name a few. Over time, this conviction would develop into a preferred attitude towards different aspects of life, be it basic necessities such as clothes, food, shelter and transportation, or the way we interact with other people. When a lot of us put what we believe into practice — making tea in particular and living in general — an ethos rooted in the ways tea enthusiasts brew, serve and take tea will emerge in the society. Such ethos may be described as the spirit pertaining to The Way of Tea.

A.The difference between preaching and practising

Can such spirit be made out of thin air? The answer is no. Experts pontificating about the Way of Tea in terms of secular values such as happiness, love and harmony do so for the purpose of public speaking. While a world of people living in harmony and love is a laudable vision, one should not arrive at the conclusion that the essence of it is happiness and love. There is a big difference between longing and practising. We believe that for an idea to contribute to the spirit pertaining to the Way of Tea, it must be reflected in every detail when a tea enthusiast brews, serves and takes tea. Without a day-to-day and hands-on experience, any preaching about this subject matter is nothing more than empty talk.

Are we to pursue such beliefs all the time, even when we are not brewing? The answer is yes. When a person first embarks on the experience with tea, he may think that it matters only when he is brewing a pot of tea in a tea presentation setting. However, as times goes by, the same tea enthusiast will be let down by his own inability in applying the principles of the Way of Tea to other aspects of life.

Some may say, “I am fully aware of the spirit pertaining to the Way of Tea, but I haven’t got time yet to implement it.” This is rather weak reasoning, given that its external manifestation comes from deep within us. When we persist in beliefs we truly embrace, we will put them into practice time and time again over the years until these beliefs and their manifestation becomes a part of us. No concerted effort is needed by then, and the impression is that it has been this way all along. 

Does it mean that the more experienced we are and the better our ability in brewing a good pot, the more likely we will be recognising the spirit pertaining to the Way of Tea? Well, there is no single right answer. The time devoted to brewing surely counts, and the technique is of much importance; but deep conviction comes straight from the heart.

B.Is it the same as the code of ethics?

Is the spirit pertaining to the Way of Tea the same as the code of ethics? No. It refers to the beliefs generated in the course of tea brewing, serving and taking. The code of ethics, meanwhile, refers to existing ethical principles pertaining to humanity.

Is it possible for just about everyone to capture the spirit pertaining to the Way of Tea by way of learning? Again, no. It is not a matter of “learning”, but rather is a form of “sacrificing”. It happens the time a person with certain temperament comes across tea. When he has gained much experience, steep after steep, sip after sip, he would have developed traits and characteristics reflecting the spirit pertaining to the Way of Tea, and it just follows that he would devote his life to upholding the spirit. This is what I meant by “sacrificing”.

It is fair to say that the tea we take determines the persons we are. It is impossible to talk about the Way of Tea as if it is separated from tea planting, processing, packing, trading, storing, brewing, serving and drinking. The Way of Tea demands a personal stance. Much like everything else, there is a process with many steps, from freshly picked leaves to dried tea leaves, the tea infusion and the residue of infused tea leaves. People handle them differently to achieve their respective goals. Such is the attitude towards tea. If tea leaves are regarded as something separate from the processing methods, skills and techniques, there would not be any “Way” at all, as the Way of Tea could only come from the way we think, work and live.

C.The four dimensions of teas pureness

Naturally, the spirit pertaining to the Way of Tea is born out of tea.  The life cycle of tea can be divided into four stages, namely, freshly picked raw leaves, dried tea leaves, the tea infusion and the residue of infused tea leaves. Appreciating the characteristics of these four different stages in the entire process, we have come to realise four dimensions of “pureness” that tea embodies. First, there are the raw leaves harvested from tea trees. All it needs is air, the right temperature and amount of sunlight, and time required for these fresh leaves to transform into pure tea leaves; no additional ingredients and extra handling are necessary.

Second, there are the dried tea leaves that require little more than clean tea ware and brewing utensils, clean water, clean hands as well as undivided attention and an undistracted mind of the person who brews to release their aromatic substances.

Third, there is the tea infusion, the consumption of which involves nothing but clean cups and good health of the person who takes it. We need neither special setup and attire, nor activities and flavours to enhance the enjoyment of the infusion. 

Fourth, there is the residue of infused tea leaves, which bear traces of the entire life cycle after they have unreservedly presented us the substances that have gone into our tea infusion. Tea is an experience at its purest; it does not need price tags, packaging and brands to speak for itself.

D.The basic principles in its pursuit

Tea enthusiasts stand up for what they belief by giving it their best shot. Growing quality, unpolluted fresh leaves; brewing a perfect pot of tea; taking tea the way it deserves; and appreciating the residue at the bottom of the cups are but some of the ways to reiterate their conviction. The pursuit will be nothing more than empty words if there is no personal commitment or hands-on experience. The four dimensions of “pureness” discussed above has shed light on three basic principles we need to follow in order to capture the spirit pertaining to the Way of Tea, namely, quality, cleanlinessandcharacter. In between sips, we should be contemplating the satisfaction and joy such principles bring, and the effort we have to make and the responsibilities we have to take. Whiling away the hours or delivering hollow rhetoric could not be further away from the true spirit pertaining to the Way of Tea.

We need to differentiate between good teas and good-looking or expensive teas; they are not the same. This is a key concept behind quality, the first principle. It takes fresh raw leaves properly processed to impart natural aroma and yield tea infusion that satisfy our needs. The same goes with tea ware. Aesthetic tea ware made of not-toxic, hazard-free materials is not only a joy to behold but also gives you peace of mind.

Consideration as to the duration, space and time, seasons and times must be made throughout the entire process, from planting to clearing of tea residue. For example, duration may refer to the length of time required for fermentation of the tea leaves, ageing of vintage teas, or steeping the perfect cup. There is no room for impulsive decisions when timing is concerned. 

Fresh leaves harvested from different locations of the same mountain at different times of the year vary noticeably in terms of quality. Space and time, therefore, is important to bring out the best of the harvest. Meanwhile, the place of origin should be transparent and clearly stated. 

With the natural phenomenon of the seasons comes periodic change of climates. Conditions such as the amount of sunlight, wind intensity, rainfall and relative humidity affect the growth and characteristics of tea.  As such, it is important to present the best possible quality of each season. 

 Times refers to a combination of traditional ways and new practices. Thanks to the effect of technological advancement, our lifestyle is changing from day to day. It is necessary to keep abreast of the development and move with the times by, for example, adapting tea making methods to suit modern interior setting.

Cleanliness is defined as sustaining a healthy, hygienic and coordinated state of existence for humans, objects and the environment throughout the entire process, from tea production to its use. This second principle goes beyond zero pesticide residue on tea leaves to prevent the intake of harmful substance, and covers an amicable coexistence between man and nature. Otherwise, depleting clean air and destroyed land ecosystem will be the prices to pay as we pursue the Way of Tea.

Neglecting such impact on the world around us is the very source of destruction inflicted upon Nature and human life. For example, a shift in marketing trends to smaller pack size has seen a large number of teas sold in 10g individual aluminum foil bags. This way, a kilogram of tea would mean 100 aluminum foil bags, not counting similar packaging used for snacks accompanying a cup of tea. The number aluminum foil bags disposed of is alarming. This “throwaway” culture incurs a high cost not only economically, but also environmentally. It certainly has a negative impact on the land, the people and the Way of Tea.

What do we mean by character? The third principle points to the support we should lend to people who insist on a rational approach to tea production and consumption; we need to do so regardless of the size of their operations, or the person’s background. They should not be exploited, and diversity needs to be respected.

We must reflect on the ways in which market control exercised by large corporations and standardisation of our industrial mechanism. The model of standardisation propels our economic growth; however, such development may not be as good as we would want it to be —  greater accessibility to tea does not automatically make us great tea connoisseurs.

In similar ways, some of our invaluable cultures are rapidly fading away. For example, the dark roast Tieguanyin and Lapsang Souchong we used to enjoy in the 1990s are hard to come by these days, which means that certain values have been abandoned. Which tea craftsman has made this wonderful tea? How did this tea collector manage to keep his rare fine for 30 years? Which tea enthusiast has brewed such a good pot? Indeed, tea is a lot more than its blend or technique; it is the embodiment of a tea enthusiast’s attitude, vitality and belief.

ConclusionNurturing a contemporary spirit pertaining to The Way of Tea

Only if we appreciate the ideas of “pureness” with regard to the people, utensils, time, land and tea, and stand by the basic principles of quality, cleanliness and character, can we embrace the Way of Tea and its contemporary spirit to its fullest.

Reference:

《现代茶道思想》,《茶道艺术家茶汤作品欣赏会》,《茶道入门-识茶篇》,《茶鐸八音-茶文化復兴之声》

About the Author

✪President, The Way of Tea Research Institute of Malaysia

✪Principal, Hooi Yoke Lien Tea Institute

✪Columnist, 《茶道》Magazine, Fujian, China

✪Member,  Promotion Committee, International Sans Self Tea Gathering

✪Visiting Associate Professor, Department of Tea Culture, Zhanghou Science and Technology College, Fujian, China

✪Researcher, Tea Culture Research Centre, Zhanghou Science and Technology College, Fujian, China

✪Visiting Associate Professor, School of Tea Culture, Zhejiang Agriculture and Forestry University, China

✪Visiting Lecturer, Tea Art Training for Teachers, Tea Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences

✪Consultant and Adjunct Lecture, ”茶道新生活“研究所, China

✪Founder and Chief Writer, contemporaryteathinker.com

✪Recipient, 首届“中华茶文化传播优秀工作者”(the 1st Outstanding Chinese Tea Art Promotion Award, organised by the Institute of Industrial Economics, Chinese Academy of Social Science)

✪ Published works including《茶道艺术家茶汤作品欣赏会》 、《茶铎八音》 、 《喝茶慢》、《我就要让这世界香》and a score of published theses.

✪《我就要让这世界香》was named one of “Top 10 Tea Books recommended by the Tea Media” 2015

✪《茶道艺术家茶汤作品欣赏会》,co-authored with Professor Rong-Tsang Tsai, was named named one of “Top 10 Tea Books recommended by the Tea Media” 2016

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