38 Quotes for Tea Ceremony and Zen Buddhism

Browse through this compilation of quotes from famous figures throughout history for the Japanese tea ceremony (茶道 Sado, 茶の湯 Chanoyu) and Zen Buddhism!

1. "Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves--slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future."

-Thich Nhat Hanh

2. "Every morning we are born again, what we do today is what matters most"


3. "Remember that the universe is already taking care of you"


4. "Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality."

- Lao Tse

5. "Nothing we see or hear is perfect. But right in the imperfection is perfect reality"

-Shunryu Suzuki

6. "When you go into nothingness, you become everything."


7. "You are never alone. You are eternally connected with everyone"

-Amit Ray

8. "Simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures."

-Lao Tse

9. "The greatest wisdom is seeing through appearances."


10. "Radiate boundless love towards the entire world--above, below, and across--unhindered, without ill will, without enmity."


11. "It is the nature of the wise to resist pleasures, but the foolish to be a slave to them."


12. "Teatime is a chance to slow down, pull back and appreciate our surroundings."

-Letitia Baldrige

13. "Life is not a problem to be solved but an experience to be held."

-Alan Watts

14. "The tea ceremony is like any other art where years of study are necessary to do it with grace and a depth of understanding and skill. The masters say that it takes ten years of dedicated study to do it right."

-A.L. Sadler

15. "Tea ceremony is like a concert or a ballet, in which all the participants are simultaneously the performer and the audience."

-R. Corless

16. "Tea is more than an idealization of the form of drinking; it is a religion of the art of life."

-Okakuro Kazuko

17. "Teaism is a cult founded on the adoration of the beautiful among the sordid facts of everyday existence. It inculcates purity and harmony, the mystery of mutual charity, the romanticism of the social order."

-Okakuro Kazuko

18. "In Japan, I took part in a tea ceremony. You go into a small room, tea is served, and that's it really, except that everything is done with so much ritual and ceremony that a banal daily event is transformed into a moment of communion with the universe."

-Okakuro Kazuko

19. "Meanwhile, let us have a sip of tea. The afternoon glow is brightening the bamboos, the fountains are bubbling with delight, the soughing of the pines is heard in our kettle. Let us dream of evanescence, and linger in the beautiful foolishness of things"

-Okakuro Kazuko

20. "Tea...is a religion of the art of life."

-Okakuro Kazuko

21. "The ceremony is a way of worshipping the beautiful and the simple. All one's efforts are concentrated on trying to achieve perfection through the imperfect gestures of daily life."

-Okakuro Kazuko

22. "When I drink tea I am conscious of peace. The cool breath of heaven rises in my sleeves and blows my cares away."

-Lo Tung

23. "The tea ceremony is a highly ritualized version of the host and guest interaction, and a heightened expression of the emphasis on etiquette."

-D. Kondo

24. "The tea ceremony is a stylized way of preparing tea from water heated over a charcoal hearth. The smallest detail, from the charcoal to the receptacle for left-over water, must be carefully planned."

-Y. Kawabata

25. "Tea is the elixir of life."


26. "Tea tempers the spirit, harmonizes the mind, dispels lassitude, and relieves fatigue, awakens the thought and prevents drowsiness."

-Lu Yu

27. "Each step of the tea ceremony is very important. A solemn, respectful manner must be maintained at all times. It is polite to admire the way the tea master conducts the ceremony. It is impolite to say anything more."

-H.B. Jovanovich

28. "The tea ceremony is regarded as a means of physical, mental, and spiritual discipline. The spirit of the tea ceremony is based upon the Zen principle of oneness with nature. Followers strive to recognize real beauty in the plain and simple."

-S.F. Slack

29. "Of all the arts, the tea ceremony is the most Zen. Any element of the ceremony might produce satori. The subtle, fleeting fragrance of tea on the edge of taste suggests the hidden, yet open, secret of emptiness."

-W.C. Dell

30. "The only thing we carry into the tea ceremony is the fan, which represents the meaning: I've willingly set aside war and all my worries outside the teahouse."

-G. Prochnik

31. "The tea ceremony is about finding order, balance, and harmony within yourself and with those you have invited to share the experience. It celebrates the aesthetic beauty in the mundane, the superiority of the spirit over matter, and tranquility."

-J. Bacarr

32. "When you realize nothing is lacking, the whole world belongs to you."

-Lao Tse

33. The whisking of tea should feel like the wind blowing through pines.

34. Serene-tea: The absence of stress while drinking tea.

35. "There is something in the nature of tea that leads us into a world of quiet contemplation of life."

-Lin Yutang

36. The path to Heaven passes through a teapot.

37. "When we discover that the truth is already in us, we are all at once our original selves."


38. "Time oozed from my pores, drinking tea... I tasted the 7 seas."

-Shinkichi Takashi