The First Visit of Chinese Chan and Tea to Gridhakutta, India
On February 27th 2017, for the purpose of “Belt and Road Culture Exchange”, Master Renda of Boshan Zhengjue Monastery of Shandong Province brought Chan Meditation and Tea Ceremony to Gridhakutta of India with his traveling group.
Gridhakutta is also called the Vulture Mountain because its peak resembles the shape of vultures, while its meaning is the bright Dharma wisdom. It is said that Shakyamuni Buddha used to teach Dharma here; for example, The Heart Sutra and The Lotus Sutra (Saddharma-Pundarika Sutra) among many other well-known classics were preached here. Faxian, a monk in the Jin Dynasty of China and a monk in the Tang Dynasty - Xuanzhuang both had been here.
According to Wudenghuiyuan(a chronicle of Chinese Chan Sect of Buddhism), Shakyamuni Buddha used to pick up a flower to show it to the public. All were silent and bewildered except the venerable Mahakasyapa, who grinned. Therefore, the Chan Sect which proposes “the enlightened one can check whether the one who claims the attainment of enlightenment is true or not without the need of consulting sutras and verbal communication. This sect was spread to China by the first patriarch Bodhidharma and brought to a greater height of development.
时隔25个世纪，博山正觉寺将禅宗参禅悟道的修心方法与精美的茶道艺术相结合，创立了以“弘扬中华优秀禅茶文化，展现真诚善良精美艺术，增强庄重典雅高贵气质，提升学人品德文明素养”为主旨的禅修茶道，开办讲习班、增益班、提升班，培养禅茶师数千人，并原创了禅茶音乐会，给现代都市人带来了心灵的盛宴。 With a gap of 25 centuries, Boshan
Zhengjue Monastery combines the mind cultivation methods of Chan Practice with the exquisite Tea Ceremony to create The Chan Tea Ceremony, whose principle is to promote and promulgate Brilliant Chan Tea Culture of China, to put on an elegant artistic performance with sincerity and kindness, to strengthen the noble quality of solemnity and refinement. Workshops, Enrichment Classes and Improvement Seminars have been organized; thousands of Chan Tea masters have been trained; Chan Tea Musical has been created to enable contemporary city dwellers to feast their eyes on the spiritual banquet.
At the moment, the divine hill is resonant with The Great Compassion Mantra. The podium where the Buddha had taught Buddhism had turned into a place for Chan Meditation immediately. Chan Tea Masters are sitting straight, washing and heating cups to the beautiful Chan music, appreciating and dropping tea leaves, making the tea serenely, dividing tea accordingly, making offerings to all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Thus, a magnificent Chan Tea Artistic Performance pulled off in the exotic Holy Land, like a flower in full bloom.
After that, different artists began to demonstrate their talents one after another. The Ode to Tea reveals the graceful restraint of this scene: “Unique fragrance and colour of tea leaves were released after being brewed. The taste is a mixture of bitterness and sweetness, and the colour is comparable to that of a fine piece of green cloth.”The solo performed on the Chinese zither renders the imagery of the towering Mountain Tai and the boundless sea.In the Ode to Pagoda, one can feel the spirit of the considerable height of the pagoda; in the Kunqu Opera, one can be moved by the Bodhisattva ‘s spirit of sacrificing oneself for the good of others. Through the verse “picking up the flower and smiling at the audience to confirm enlightenment, and how wonderful isthat the bhuta-samjna (reality)is invisible”, one can review the scene when the Chan Sect was established. The lines “in order to savor the flavor of sweet dew, one should consult the man who sells tea for Chan and tea bear striking resemblance”have revealed the secret of “the Chan meditation state can be shown through tea ceremony, while the tea business prospers because of its association with Buddhism.”
当前，“一带一路”倡导“文化先行，树立文化引领经济的高度自觉，推动传统文化的传承与现代文化的创新”，禅修茶道以其独特的心灵交流方式将为发展国际间友好互助、为中华民族实现伟大复兴增添浓墨重彩的一笔。 At present, the
“Belt and Road” campaign promotes the principle that “culture goes ahead of the rest, creating a culture of highly self-conscious economy; foster the creation of combining the heritage of traditional culture and modern development.” Chan Meditation and Tea Ceremony will make an outstanding contribution to the mutual support and friendship between different countries as well as the national rejuvenation of China through its unique spiritual communication methods.