words by Kaylin Toh photographs from EAT MOVE LOVE 2015
A cup of tea is a cup of peace
Soshitsu Sen XV, quoted by Kenneth S Cohen
Tea Ceremony is about the art of tea, literally “gong-fu cha” in Mandarin or the mastery of man brewing tea. In Japan, the ceremony is known as cha-no-yu or chado and incorporates four main principles – Wa, Kei, Sei, Jaku – harmony, respect, purity, and tranquility – which practitioners incorporate not only into their tea preparation but also into their daily lives. The elements of nature are reflected in the process such as the seasons when the ceremony is conducted.
The ceremony is both a form of art and meditation with meaning in the objects used, in the fellowships and with nature. By being mindful with something so simple as making tea, and taking those few minutes of time to put heart into making a cup of tea, we really get to connect with ourselves and enjoy that moment of peace. And of course, research has shown the benefits of tea, including how L Theanine in tea causes that calm feeling people feel.
Peace to me is when I find that quiet moment, no matter how brief, to slow down everything around me, not to be bothered by the harried pace of life that goes on everyday and to simply connect with myself.
Just to spend those few minutes of silence for myself, to hear my inner voice, to connect with how I truly feel, and be aware of what is it that moment, not judging what is going on, whether thougths or emotions,but to just simply be, that is peace to me.
I would say it is like being a candle that burns gently and steadily in the wind.
And when I am in that moment of balance and equilibrium within myself and the world, that is peace. Just like that moment of calm when you have a sip of tea and go ‘ahhhh’ and that warm little smile draws across your face.
Peace on Earth
Peace on earth to me is when people in the world share love and happiness for everyone around, when they recognize how connected we are, and how we are all essentially brothers and sisters.
That is peace on earth, that is a world full of love and goodwill for eveyone, sans conflict or ill intention. When everyone is mindful that their thoughts and actions contribute to the peace in the universe. There is already peace on earth now, just that it has not entirely filled the world yet so we need to spread more of this peace and love around!
My wish for the world is for it to be filled with lots and lots of love and loving energy, compassion, harmony, and peace too! And for everyone to be happy, full of joy and bliss.
A passionate tea lover, Kaylin is committed to sharing her knowledge and love for tea. She believes that everyone needs a quiet space, a safe haven, and a moment to relax. Tea is a divine gift that confers not just delicious flavour but also health benefits and calming properties to the one who drinks it, allowing one to have more peace and connect with oneself readily or have heart-to-heart connection with others easily. Ultimately with more tea drinkers out there, this world will have more loving interaction, and become more tranquil, peaceful and harmonius.
When not brewing tea, Kaylin can be found volunteering across borders, and spreading love and joy in the little ways she can as she lives her life motto “love all, serve all.”