I look at the pot and the cup in front of me.
Their usefulness, their purpose, depends upon an essential emptiness that lies at the very centre of their existence.
That emptiness in turn needs water.
The same water that has ground continents to dust, a formless, shapeless elemental force that can freeze and shatter mountains, has taken on the form of your kettle and received its warmth, then taken on the shape of your teapot, and gently coaxed the flavour out of your tea leaves.
Soon it will become the cup into which you pour it. Then it will briefly become a part of you, before flowing through and out of you, but only after leaving something of itself behind, because one cannot give without taking, and one cannot take without giving.
There, then, is the “why” of teaism – to find that place of empty stillness from which one can see the flow of the universe – the turn of galaxies, and the sub-atomic dance in a cup of green tea.
One cannot see the wind, one can only see the effects it has on the things it encounters.
Tea is a kite. Go fly it.