The art of tea, like most traditional Chinese (and Japanese) arts, involves harmony among the Three Powers: Heaven, Earth and Man.
Heaven provides the sunshine, mist and rain needed for growing the tea;
Earth provides soil to nourish the tea plants, clay from which all kinds of ceramic tea things can be fashioned and rocky springs overflowing with pure water with which to brew the tea.
To those man adds the skills by which processed tea leaves, water and ceramics are conjoined to create the fabric of a seductive art.
– John Blofeld
All the birds have flown up and gone;
A lonely cloud floats leisurely by.
We never tire of looking at each other –
Only the mountain and I.
The birds have vanished down the sky.
Now the last cloud drains away.
We sit together, the mountain and me,
until only the mountain remains.
Though one should live a hundred years
yet better is life for a single day
moral and meditative.
There is a grace approaching
that we shun as much as death,
it is the completion of our birth.
It does not come in time,
but in timelessness
when the mind sinks into the heart
and we remember.
It is an insistent grace that draws us
to the edge and beckons us surrender
safe territory and enter our enormity.
We know we must pass
and fear the shedding.
But we are pulled upward
through forgotten ghosts
and unexpected angels,
And there is nothing left to say
but we are That.
And that is what we sing about.
An unceasing Sound is
floating down from the heavens,
I wonder how you are engaged
in pursuits of no avail.
Spring has beautiful flowers
Summer has cool breezes.
Fall has bright leaves.
Winter has pure snow.
Is the world throwing me away?
Am I throwing the world away?
I lie around in the Dharma room;
I don’t care about anything.
White clouds floating in the sky,
Clear water coming down to the ocean,
The wind passing the Pagoda,
I surrender my whole life to them.
– Seung Sahn