Tea and beyond, in specific tea drinking and beyond
Getting to know tea and tea drinking is a journey of spiritual endeavor for many although not all of us. If just to drink a cup of tea and finding good tea a train stop for the time being, it is a good beginning, if you are willing, the track will take you much further.
We often wonder what can tea do for us, physically and mentally. We all started with drinking tea that makes us feel good, comforting, energizing, uplifting etc. The tradition of afternoon tea, the practise of gong fu tea are some of the social interaction mechanism that brings people together for spiritual replenishment. I would consider this to be physically conscious with subconscious mind while anticipating tea drinking.
Learning about tea can be a large subject, the basics are types of teas, varietals of teas, location, climate, elevation, growing practise, seasons, age, process, storage, brewing methods. Next stage is body sensation of tea, taste, smell, effect of tea. Then the next set of questions is why teas have different effects to human body, what's in tea that have such effects, what's in the soil, the region of the soil that induce such effects, what are the regional characteristics shared by the soil, the food, the people, the everyday ware, art and such, then what does the history of this region tell you about the previous question. As you can see, a cup of tea is extended to human physics, agriculture, physics, chemistry, history, geography, philosophy, and eventually law of nature. Law of nature is the ultimate way of life and bigger then life, it is the planet earth, it is the whole universal law. Once one understands nature, tea becomes easy and it becomes part of you as you are part of the nature. When you try to study a subject as an external mater, it is foreign to you mind, when it became part of you, it helps you expand your mind to other territories. It is a relationship between a tree branch and a tree root, if you only stand on a branch, you can see only the view from that branch, when you can root yourself, you can see every view of every branch.