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Purchase a copy of Tea & Ceremony

Purchase a copy of
"Tea & Ceremony"

Tea and Zen offer a way to experience peace and harmony amidst the raw rush of daily life, a way where shared humanity can flourish and grow.   In the spirit of tea is true hospitality, and in Zen, there is a realization of co-dependence and interconnection intrinsic in life and nature.   Exploring Tea and Zen, we find an incredible path of integration and renewal in a world of unease and separation.  

Every tea gathering requires a host and guest.   Even tea for two is about relationship and intimacy, about making a heart to heart connection that dissolves separation.   In tea, the host is not separate from the guest, nor the guest from the host.   Both respond as one entity that results in a choreography of form and movement that intensifies each experience as it arises.

There are countless books on tea, but I wrote Tea and Ceremony, Experiencing Tranquility , to introduce readers to tea and Zen, and the wonder of ceremony that brings people together in an atmosphere of congeniality and respect.   The practice and study of tea is a path of discipline, concentration and awareness.   For many, tea provides a way to create a removal that improves the quality of life by providing detachment from the growing trials and limitations that inhibit awareness of the present.   As D.T. Suzuki says, it “wonderfully lifts the mind above the perplexities of life,” opens the heart, and establishes an affinity with others.

The book draws on lifelong practices that are rooted in authentic tradition, and based on principles of harmony, respect, purity and tranquility.   By embracing and practicing these principles generosity, hospitality, mindfulness and equanimity arise, along with genuine concern for others.

Contact Diana Saltoon by sending a message to diana.teaandzen@gmail.com


 


Harmony comes from the focused efforts of both host and guest to create an atmosphere of peace. This combined effort produces a mutual attention that is as natural as the rhythm of nature. The host interacts with the guest, both thinking of one another as if their roles were reversed. In a tea gathering, the host chooses a theme that sets the tone for the occasion, often one inspired by a season or time of day. A theme reflected in the calligraphy, flowers, and utensils. It is the harmony of these elements that encourages contemplation, humility, and moderation, and heightens a sense of the passing moment.

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Respect refines the exchanges that take place between host and guest and among the guests. It encourages everyone to look within and discover the inherent bond between themselves and their environment - their dependence on one another and the earth upon which they live. Thus, the etiquette and consideration of host and guest are not merely forms but essential in daily life.

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Purity begins with the physical surroundings of the tea gathering. The care given the garden, the tearoom and utensils before, during, and after a gathering, establishes an essential order that centers the host and guests. Host and guests perform gestures of purity to cleanse the heart and mind off the “dust of the world.” The aesthetic ideals of the Way of Tea, which emphasize the use of simple, natural materials and the avoidance of ostentation, is another aspect of purity.

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Tranquility is a deep sense of peace that occurs when purity, respect, and harmony are present.

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Updated: June 4, 2015