Here is a minor classic of the Orient. It is perhaps the most entertaining, most charming explanation and interpretation of traditional Japanese culture in terms of the tea ceremony. First published in 1906, it traces the custom from its roots in Taoism to its role as a Zen meditative discipline.
This book explains the origins and meanings of Japanese tea and instructs listeners on how to prepare tea Japanese style. More importantly it describes tea as an emblem of Taoism, and as a soulful triumph of the Japanese quest for perfect harmony. The act of brewing a pure cup of tea becomes a metaphor for living a more spiritually attuned life. Like the text, narrator Nicholas Tekoski’s respectful tone balances between prose and poetry. Tekoski reads in an American accent. His gently curious outsider stance energizes the studious and meditative language here. Tekoski seems to discover and understand the philosophy outlined here as he moves through the narrative. Listeners can join him and also learn what the book teaches about tea and life.
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