Category Archives: 03.The word “Way” may refer to a method, a path, a state of being, a goal, and the starting point of a new life-Rong-tsang Tsai

We prefer a more comprehensive definition to the term the Way of Tea. First, the term refers to the way3 in which a pot of tea is to be prepared and appreciated. Next, it is the path4 to tea; in the manner one can tour a city by various routes. Third, it points to the state of being5, such as the state of tea brewing, tea infusion, tea drinking, and the ambience – this embodies the good and the bad, the favorable and the unfavorable. Fourth, it is a goal6 as tea leads to tranquility and calm, enabling one to experience solitude and silence, delight, excitement, and even fame and gain. Fifth, it conjures up a new beginning7 – because of the term, our attention has been directed to understand, accept and appreciate the Way of Tea. The concept has brought about such changes in us, both physical and spiritual, as if the world of new experience has endowed upon us a new life.

The word “Way” may refer to a method, a path, a state of being, a goal, and the starting point of a new life-Rong-tsang Tsai

道是方法.道是路.道是境界.道是目的.道是新生命的起点-The word “Way”may refer to a method, a path, a state of being, a goal, and the starting point of a new life

蔡荣章-Rong-tsang Tsai

(2001.08《茶艺》月刊社论Published in “Tea Art”monthly magazine)

As the tea culture continues to develop, argument centering around the use of the words “art” and “way” is not uncommon.  The terms may be used interchangeably; however, they do differ in their respective emphasis – a focus on the tangible forms would point to the term “the art of tea, or tea art”1, and a wider definition encompassing the intangible aspects would warrant the use of the term “the way of tea”2.  Here’s more to the latter.

Some have questioned this author why “Lu Yu” the place was named a “Tea Art Centre” when it first opened in Taipei(1980).  The fact is, it began as a retail outlet for tea drinking, tea leaves and tea ware; hence, the tangible aspects, and as such, the use of the term “Tea Art”.  True, the term “The Way of Tea” (pronounced as chadao in Mandarin) in the like of Lu Yu: House for the Way of Tea, would have given the name a much wider perspective, covering the thoughts, the aesthetics and the practices associated with tea. And yet, some people tend to equate this particular term with its ceremonial manifestations, referring solely to the brewing, and the rites and rituals during a tea making and drinking session. Advocates of this interpretation describe the visually-presented ceremonies as Chadao (also known as tea ceremonies in some cultures (such as Sado in Japan) to highlight the strictly codified procedure involved), and the term pronounced as wu chadao, referring to the ’non-tea’ aspect of it to illustrate the non-visual presentation.

We prefer a more comprehensive definition to the term the Way of Tea.  First, the term refers to the way3 in which a pot of tea is to be prepared and appreciated. Next, it is the path4 to tea; in the manner one can tour a city by various routes. Third, it points to the state of being5, such as the state of tea brewing, tea infusion, tea drinking, and the ambience – this embodies the good and the bad, the favorable and the unfavorable. Fourth, it is a goal6 as tea leads to tranquility and calm, enabling one to experience solitude and silence, delight, excitement, and even fame and gain. Fifth, it conjures up a new beginning7 – because of the term, our attention has been directed to understand, accept and appreciate the Way of Tea. The concept has brought about such changes in us, both physical and spiritual, as if the world of new experience has endowed upon us a new life.

Essentially, there is nothing good or bad about the Way of Tea. The reason behind this discussion is simple: by zooming in on to the very concept, which is exclusive to more advanced and sophisticated societies, it also highlights the proactive attitude towards better quality of our life.

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以下为文內之编码Coding in the text:

茶艺1 the art of tea, or tea art1

茶道2 the way of tea2

方法3 the way3

the path4

境界5 the state of being5

目的 a goal6

新生命的起点7  a new beginning7

Introduction:

The aesthetics, character and the state of mind created are not to be undermined in the understanding and enjoyment of tea; and yet, they are the hardest to express.  Writings on the thoughts pertaining to tea, regardless of languages used, remain scarce.   We have attempted to express them in Chinese, with accompanying English translation(Translator:Katherine Yip.2010.01), to elaborate our thoughts as they are. What we want is to share the knowledge of tea alongside tea drinking.  This is, in our opinion, an important contemporary task in promoting the tea culture (Coding in the text is for cross-referencing of the academic terms of tea).

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