Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tea and Meditation


Tea is my calling--or is it my fate to follow the leaf? I have been a book designer for over 15 years now. In the very beginning, novels and big book titles were my most coveted projects. Throughout my career, I've designed for every kind of book a designer could hope for. Spiritual titles were merely part of my workload until recently, when my calling began to reveal itself and the path that I am now on.


Through designing for spiritual and self-help titles, I was lucky enough to come into contact with many authors and their associates. Most of these meetings were life-changing and mind-opening, to say the least. A recent encounter with a Jewish Tibetan ngagpa lama (a student of Chogyam Trunga Rinpoche and his main successor, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche) from Montreal completely awakened me and my views on life, being, and the relationship between tea and the mind. After learning basic meditation and "Knowing" (direct translation of meditation in Tibetan) with his guidance, I now find myself frantically trying to re-read all of these books that I have designed in my search for the true meaning of tea.

To be continued...

Faith to follow, or to Shepherd?

Ruling Your World: Ancient Strategies For Modern Life

The Tibetan Book of Yoga: Ancient Buddhist Teachings on the Philosophy and Practice of Yoga

Footprints in the Snow: The Autobiography of a Chinese Buddhist Monk

Dalai Lama: Man, Monk, Mystic

9 comments:

Gingko said...

Wow! It's nice to know some books on my shelf are designed by you, including a few of my favorites!

google.com said...

I'm curious, what makes you think tea has "meaning" in the first place? How do you know you're not looking for something that isn't there? :)

Also, when going through all the different "meanings" that I'm sure people have attributed to tea over the past millennia, what criteria will you use to determine which one is the "true" one?

Michael Vincent said...

Feels good to be riding the crest of a wave, don't it! Make sure to take notes of what the view looks like from the top. ;)

Ho Go said...

Very nice designs for the books. I'm not sure you'll find the 'meaning' of tea in them, though. :)

Philippe de Bordeaux said...

Suzuki's book was a revelation in my young life ...
Affordable ,easy to access...Effective.

Best Regards.

. PHILIPPE .

The Unconquerable said...

When I said "true meaning" I didn't mean in a philosophical sense at all. It is about it's subjective applicability to one's life. Meditation is about finding a sense of complete involvement in a process. So for example, with tea, the process of drinking tea can be a meditation because the tea drinker can project a tremendous sense of presence and awareness to the process of drinking tea. Tea in particular lends itself very well to the experience of this sense of presence and has been used in that way for over a thousand years. So meditation in this sense isn't about finding a "true" meaning. It is far more visceral and less philosophical than that. It is trying to tune into an aspect of our experience that is more vivid and delightful without any conceptual overlay. The argument as to existence or true meaning is not part of that necessarilly. While Buddhist meditation schools do sometimes address the issue of "trueness" through, for example, deconstructionism and subjecte experience, that's way beyond my pay grade.

google.com said...

Ok, I'm very glad to hear that you didn't actually mean what you said, and that you just consider tea a useful meditative aid, which seems perfectly reasonable by comparison. :-)

Ho Go said...

As one of my acquaintances would say, 'Who is drinking the tea?'

toki said...

That's a very good question - Tead off. 'Who is drinking the tea....' Most of us are, each of us seaching for very different meaning. Thanks for stopping by, from a world away - T

 
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.