I've been reading The Book of Tea by Kakuzo Okakura, which is about the history of tea in Japan, and the origins of the tea ceremony. As someone who often ponders the spiritual qualities of beauty, and the importance of reverence for everyday things, the strange and beautiful philosophy of tea is really resonating for me:
Tea began as a medicine and grew into a beverage. In China in the 8th century, it entered the realm of poetry...The fifteenth century saw Japan ennoble it into a religion of aestheticicm -- Teaism. 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... It is essentially a worship of the Imperfect, as it is a tender attempt to accomplish something possible in this impossible thing we know as life.
The world is groping in the shadow of egotism and vulgarity...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.