Tea as Daoist Meditation, with Robert Coons

After nearly a year hiatus from releasing new episodes, and nearing what’s hopefully the end of a worldwide pandemic, we’re very happy to welcome back Robert Coons to talk with us about tea as a medium for meditation and health, from a Daoist viewpoint. Robert is a well-known teacher and writer on Daoist meditation, a tea vendor, an acupuncturist and practitioner of qigong and martial arts,  and was our guest two years ago in our episode “Tea & Daoism: Adjacent Connections”. He’s about to launch an online course on tea meditation, so we took this opportunity to get an overview of Robert’s perspectives on tea as a meditation practice.

We begin looking at the origins of tea as herbal medicine in China and possible historical roots for tea meditation, and we also look at tea meditation as a novel practice built on older influences. Robert chats with us about how our setting and intention in preparing, serving and drinking tea can lead to the generation and movement of qi, or energy,  and we discuss the roles mindfulness, physical movement and tactile sensations, as well as our choices of tea, play in this process. We talk about why tea meditation is gaining a lot of attention at this moment, how tea fits in with goals of opening the mind and improving health and longevity, and why tea can serve as a gateway for deeper levels of meditation practice. Robert also gives us a peek at his new “Tea Mastery” course and how it will be part of a broader platform for tea meditation and self-care resources.

For more info on Robert’s upcoming course, go to the Tea Mastery page on Robert’s Qigong Meditation website (https://courses.qigongmeditation.online/tea-mastery-course), and be sure to subscribe to the email list for updates and registration info.

Robert’s other online platform for qigong and traditional Chinese medicine resources, mentioned in the episode, is https://tcmsix.com/.

Internal Elixir Cultivation: The Nature of Daoist Meditation is available on Amazon at this link

Talking Tea is produced and hosted by Ken Cohen. You can follow Ken on Twitter @kensvoiceken.   

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The views and opinions expressed by guests on Talking Tea are those of the guests and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Talking Tea or its staff.

This podcast features music from “Japanese Flowers” (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii/japanese-flowers) by mpgiiiBEATS (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii) available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/). Adapted from original.

Image of Robert Coons courtesy of Robert Coons.

Emptiness in Tea Practice

When a friend who’s a longtime Buddhist meditation teacher asked me recently if “emptiness” comes into our study and practice of chado, the Japanese way of tea, I didn’t quite know how to answer. On Talking Tea we had chatted a bit about emptiness in a Daoist context, and its relation to tea, in our episode Tea & Daoism: Adjacent Connections, and we touched on some of the connections between tea and Buddhism in a few of our earlier episodes. But I hadn’t thought about how, or if, emptiness comes into play in the specific practices of the Japanese way of tea.

To explore this question further, we asked Drew Hanson, an instructor in the Urasenke school of chado and founder/owner of the Boukakuan Japanese Tea House in New Jersey, to join us again on Talking Tea. (Drew was our guest in two earlier Talking Tea episodes, Tea, Heart to Heart and Chabana: Flowers for Tea.) 

Continue reading “Emptiness in Tea Practice”

Tea & Daoism: Adjacent Connections

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Today we’re exploring connections between tea and Daoism, the millenia-old Chinese religious and philosophical tradition that has had such a profound influence on culture and history in and beyond China. We’re joined by Robert Coons, who straddles both the tea world and the world of Daoism. Robert is a well-known tea vendor based in Canada and China and is also a writer, teacher and podcaster on Daoism, qigong and Daoist meditation.   Read the full show notes

Tea Culture/Youth Culture

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This week on Talking Tea we look at the growing popularity of tea and tea culture among youth and teens. Chatting with us (via Skype) is Connor Adlam of Tching.com, the well-known blog and online forum for tea information.   Read the full show notes

Tea & Relational Culture: What’s Tea Got to Do With It?

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One of the things we hear over and over again from people in the tea world is how so many great relationships have been created and nurtured through tea. But what is it in tea culture that’s so good at bringing us together?  Read the full show notes