We live in a hectic world, full of distractions and busyness. And for most of us, bar giving it all up and moving to a monastery, this isn’t going to change any time soon. How, then, do we find this allusive inner peace? I’m reminded of a Daoist poem, part of which goes, ‘all movement comes from stillness, and will return to stillness, imagine a stillness as vast as the universe’. This idea of finding the still point behind all movement is one of the fundamentals of Chinese Daoism, and is one of the ideas we will be looking at in our monthly tea and philosophy group.
The Way of Tea group is based around a traditional Chinese tea ceremony, which has been used for thousands of years to create an atmosphere conducive to finding the still point amidst everyday life. We also weave in ideas from various Daoist texts, and see how these ideas could influence our lives. In this way, conversation mingles with the spirit of the tea to create a unique space for transformation.
Oolong tea also has great health benefits, sitting balanced as it does between black tea, which is warming, and green tea, which is cooling. As such, it restores balance to the body and mind, and is often used as a daily tonic to reduce among many things, stress and excess weight, remove free radicals from the body, and improve the complexion.
My own journey into this still point amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday life has taken me all across China, where I lived for many years, encountering many masters of Daoism, Tea and medicine. I now practice acupuncture, teach Qigong and translate classical texts, but always return to the still point with a cup of oolong, listening to the whispers of wisdom from this remarkable plant.
If you’d like to join me, please come along to Corinium Acupuncture & Eastern Healing Arts (78a Dyer Street, Cirencester, GL7 2PF) on the first Friday of each month from 6:30 – 8:00.