Sunday, June 12, 2011

Korean Tea Classics Book Club- Dong Cha Song- Hymn In Praise of Korean Tea- 5


"A remarkable tale tells how Emperor Wen was cured of a headache by it."


Feel free to join the online book club at anytime by simply purchasing Korean Tea Classics. Dong Cha Song is 17 stanzas in length, we will go through each stanza week by week. Jump in and join the discussion as you please.

Peace

3 comments:

Julien ÉLIE said...

I wonder what the Six Passions are.

I do not understand the story about "Thunder Pod and Fragrant Down began to be made" and then also came "Day Lily" in the middle.

Matt said...

Julien ELIE,

Thought the "6 Passions" were passions of all the five senses as well as the mind in Daoist thought.

"Thunder Pod", "(Purple) Fragrant Down", and "Day Lily" are all names of different types of Tang tea. See here for how teas are named and categorized:

http://mattchasblog.blogspot.com/2010/09/korean-tea-classics-book-club-cha-bu.html

"Thunder Pod and Fragrant Down began to be made"

Both suggest that tea is a giving of yourself, an offering to both guests (Thunder Pod) and Buddha (Purple Fragrant Down).

Peace

Matt said...

All,

Notes for stanza 5:

"Long since buried, one unsparingly gave a fortune."

Speaks to how the offering of tea is regarded as the highest of offerings and how its offering transcends human into superficial realms cultivating "protection and benefit".

"Of all the kinds of fine food enjoyed at high tables, only tea can still the six passions."

Speaks to how tea facilitates a healthy body and mind and is used to cultivate the Middle Way bringing contentment.

"Fragrant tea" suggest that tea is somehow heavenly or bestows wisdom and enlightenment. "Fragrant" also speaks to the part of tea that is closer to Heaven or is of yang nature- more connected to the mind.

"the spreading taste fills the whole space under Heaven" now speaks of the compliment of fragrance- taste. "spreading taste filling the whole space" suggests that the taste of tea brings a certain completeness, fullness, and contentment with it. "the whole space below Heaven" also speaks to the part of tea that is closer to Man, here on Earth or is of yin nature- more connected to the body.

"A remarkable tale tells how Emperor Wen was cured of a headache by it."

Speaks to how tea is an effective remedy for headaches. Green tea in particular is an important herbal remedy for a certain type of headache in which it is thought that heat inside the body is the cause. Conversely, heat was also thought to cause vivid dreams, manic behaviour, and restlessness that could have been attributed to "possession" in Emperor Wen's time. Currently, green tea is still an ingredient in the most common herbal formula for headaches in China today.

Peace