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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Temple Stay: Daily Rites -- Dado (Tea Ceremony)

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Making and enjoying good tea is one of the practices of the Buddhist religion. Koreans say that there are several ways to enjoy good tea. One should start off by enjoying the sounds of water boiling, and then relaxing with the soothing aroma of tea and seeing its soft and subtle colors. Lastly, one can feel the warmth of the tea radiating through the cup as they slowly savor the taste.

The Korean tradition of drinking tea features neither the formality of Japan nor the popular daily routines of China and the West. It is somewhere in between, with the freedom of being neither totally monastic nor totally secular.

For centuries, Seon meditators have enjoyed tea drinking as a means of reflecting upon themselves, nature, and the principles of the universe. Predecessors have said that tea drinking affords the opportunity to quietly appreciate the tea fragrance, color and beauty; and by striving for truth in this, tea drinking can lead one to the world of enlightenment, thereby making the concentration in tea drinking a form of Seon in itself. This gave rise to the saying, "Seon and tea are the same flavor."

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