Tasting Boundless Tea

Yutang Lin

Preference limits and causes elaborate endeavors;
Like and dislike, gain and loss, yield endless sorrows.
Not choosing sorts and grades, one pinch of each kind,
Join to brew boundless tea of fragrance and flavor new.


The art of tea consists of many refined details. In accordance with each one's preference in taste, there are likes and dislikes leading to the ups and downs of gain and loss. Fortunately I have been enjoying good tea most of the time, thanks to favorable circumstances and others' generosity without my own pursuit and endeavor. As a Buddhist practice in making offerings I frequently present superb tea into fire pujas, smoke pujas and Dragon vases. Recently I even went beyond the conventional way of brewing only one kind of tea in a pot. Each time I arbitrarily chose three or four kinds of tea, and put a pinch of each kind into the pot. Consequently I enjoyed new flavor and fragrance of nameless tea again and again. Tea drinking is a matter of daily life that could lead to likes and dislikes and yield entanglements, but it could also be used to practice letting go of grasping and opening up to a variegated life. Could other matters of daily life be any different?

Written and translated on July 22, 2000
El Cerrito, California

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