The importance of tea

Tradition says that the Japanese monk Eisai (1141-1215) in 1168 brought seeds of the tea bush from China and planted them around his temple. Since then the "way of tea" (Chado) has been connected with the Rinzai school of Eisai Zen, and is an element of Chinese culture cultivated and transformed by Rinzai. In China, tea had already been used to harmonize the various organs of the body. Although not strictly religious, Chado is intimately linked with the spirit of Zen: it is said that "Zen and tea taste the same". Eisai introduced the Rinzai version of Zen in Japan, which seeks a spontaneous form of satori, a Japanese expression that means the attainment of enlightenment, achieved through a meditative concentration in everything.