On December 15, SFYAD completed the first set of six classes of Tea and Meditation Class at San Bao Temple. The last class was opened to the public for tea appreciation, which attracted 15 residents who are interested in Chinese culture.
During the class, Venerable Miao Zhong explained the process of tea meditation. In the previous five lessons, the students first practiced meditation to calm their minds and focus on the present. Students then took turns to practice brewing and serving tea in the group, and students at the same table observed each other and gave feedback to the tea meditation practitioners. Tea leaves, tea sets, water temperature, time, and the correct steps reflect the various causes and conditions of brewing tea. These factors will affect the tea's color, aroma, and taste. When pouring tea, Venerable Miao Zhong taught the students to distribute the tea equally and to learn to treat all beings equally through this training. During tea tasting, students must also learn to taste the sweetness and bitterness in the tea. After six classes of learning and practice, the students not only learned about the steps, techniques, and inspection of brewing tea but also learned about the true meaning of causes and conditions in Buddhism.
After the class, Lilian Tao, one of the students shared her learnings, “We should face the world with the understanding of impermanence and should not allow external factors to disturb our minds and lead us to panic. We must calm our minds and experience every action at the moment and see the causes and conditions of the moment clearly in order to make the best decisions at that moment. In other words, we should live in the present moment.”