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Lecture | Tea ceremony

Numata Lecture: The Art of Brewing a Cup of Mindfulness: History of Gonfu Tea Ceremony across East Asia and Beyond

Thursday 25 May 2023
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden


Europeans have been enjoying tea ever since the Dutch first brought tea to the continent in 1610. The historic development of tea culture as practiced in East Asia is, however, still exotic and relatively not an informed cultural item to the global majority. Despite the growing interests and demands, especially among younger generations in the West, there has been very little proper academic research or many reliable publications availabe which could aid our understanding of this living tradition of "properly" brewing and enjoying tea leaves. In this lecture, as a part of the BA course "Tea and Buddhism", the history and evolution of one of the most popular tea culture items, "Gongfu tea ceremony" across East Asia will be introduced, clarified, and demonstrated in relation to various religious and socio-political factors, such as Buddhism, Colonialism, and Communism.

This 45-minute lecture will be followed by a demonstration of a Gongfu tea ceremony at Café Noord (coffee room in Matthias de Vrieshof 4).

About the speaker

Dr. Jinkyoung Choi is Numata Visiting Professor in the study of Buddhism for the Academic Year 2022–23. Her academic interests have focused on Buddhist philology, particularly the study of Buddhist Sanskrit manuscript fragments including those of the Dīrghāgama, discovered in the Gilgit area in the 1990s, and of the Yogācārabhūmi, the significant philosophical text associated with one of the influential Mahāyāna schools of Buddhism in India, recently found in various locations, including, St. Petersburg, Kathmandu, and Lhasa. Since 2019, she has become the owner of Laifufu Teesalon in Munich, Germany, where she actively engages in tea education and tea ceremony services for the public. This business endeavor has broadened the scope of her academic interests, leading her to explore the intersection of tea culture and Buddhism across Asia.

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