Unlearning Tea

University is a place of learning. It essentially teaches one how to learn. This is great, but too much attachment to learning, in my opinion, can establish preconceived notions. How is it, that one can break down such preconceived notions to observe reality with a renewed sense of perception? Without judgment, and thus, with creativity.


Where can I learn how to unlearn?


I had a small insight today in Taiwan: Tea can teach us unlearning. A wonderful aspect of tea is that she will forever change. No one tea can ever be drunk again.  Every harvest, the orientation of elements that tea is subject to can never be re-created. The clouds will differ; the sunlight will differ; the plucked leaf will differ; and ultimately, even if processed exactly the same way, the tea will differ, and so tea can teach us to let go of our expectations. Tea tells us that rivers have risen and fallen, birds have eaten the insects, weeds have loosened the soil, and the winds have come from afar – the forever-changing content of nature is somewhere in this tea. This is why the static image of two leaves and a bud is actually dancing.

Approach this tea as if you have never approached it before, because you haven’t. Drink this tea as if it is the last cup you will ever drink, because it is.


One response to this post.

  1. […] out because each step is ultimately subject to change by the variable factors that exist. Remember: Tea is about breaking down preconceived notions.  It’s really up to the tea master in that moment to choose what to do and when to do it. […]


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