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afrai ([personal profile] bravecows) wrote in [community profile] forkedtongues2010-10-31 12:59 pm

Prescriptions for the drinking of tea

The Chinese writer Lin Yutang, who I believed was based in the USA at the time, quotes the following in his book The Importance of Living from "Ch'asu, an excellent treatise on tea". I have no idea who wrote this or indeed if it is even a real book, rather than something Lin Yutang made up himself; do let me know if you've heard of it and know where the original may be found.

Proper moments for drinking tea:

When one's heart and hands are idle.
Tired after reading poetry.
When one's thoughts are disturbed.
Listening to songs and ditties.
When a song is completed.
Shut up at one's home on a holiday.
Playing the ch'in and looking over paintings.
Engaged in conversation deep at night.
Before a bright window and a clean desk.
With charming friends and slender concubines.
Returning from a visit with friends.
When the day is clear and the breeze is mild.
On a day of light showers.
In a painted boat near a small wooden bridge.
In a forest with tall bamboos.
In a pavilion overlooking lotus flowers on a summer day.
Having lighted incense in a small studio.
After a feast is over and the guests are gone.
When children are at school.
In a quiet, secluded temple.
Near famous springs and quaint rocks.

Moments when one should stop drinking tea:

At work.
Watching a play.
Opening letters.
During big rain and snow.
At a long wine feast with a big party.
Going through documents.
On busy days.
Generally conditions contrary to those enumerated in the above section.

Things to be avoided:
Bad water.
Bad utensils.
Brass spoons.
Brass kettles.
Wooden pails (for water).
Wood for fuel (on account of smoke).
Soft charcoal.
Coarse servant.
Bad-tempered maid.
Unclean towels.
All varieties of incense and medicine.

Things and places to keep away from:
Damp rooms.
Kitchens.
Noisy streets.
Crying infants.
Hotheaded persons.
Quarreling persons.
Hot rooms.

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