Thursday, September 22, 2011

Korean Tea Classics Book Club- Dong Cha Song- Hymn In Praise of Korean Tea- 15

"A profound subtlety lies at the heart of this process that is hard to express"

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.



Unknown said...

A thing that struck me from section 15, is it seems they are talking about brewing tea in a fashion more similar to how it is done today. The author talks about a teapot,and straining the tea, something which has never been mentioned when dealing with the roasted, ground and whisked tea which is most often referenced in this book.

Matt said...


...and so DongChaSong ( and ChaSinJeon) seems to have more relevance with drinking tea as it is done today among those who practice the Way of Tea.


Matt said...


Notes from stanza 15:

Cho-Ui's footnotes quote the following passages from ChaSinJeon:

Section 2. Drying Tea Tea- see commentary here:

Section 16. Grades of Spring Water- see commentary here:

Section 8. Infusing Tea- see commentary here:

As noted in the footnote by the translators, this stanza uses "Spirit" and "Soul" as a metaphor for tea leaves- the Yang embodiment of tea, and uses "Body" and "Essence" as a metaphor for water. Together they from the Dao of Tea in its completeness- that which "true vitality cannot divide". Without water tea leaves cannot be infused. Without tea leaves there is simply water.

However, "Spirit" and "Soul" also refer to the person producing, preparing, and consuming tea- the active or "Yang" element acting on the "Body" and "Essence"- the tea, the material substance.

In this way, this stanza states that if tea is not produced, prepared, and consumed with "Spirit" and "Soul", it is not really true tea.