And as you enter the temple, you cannot speak; you have to leave your thinking and thoughts and speech outside with your shoes. You sit down in a meditative posture. And the host, the lady who prepares tea for you, her movements are so graceful, as if she is dancing, moving around preparing tea, putting cups and saucers before you as if you are gods. With such respect, she will bow down, and you will receive it with the same respect.
The tea is prepared in a special samovar, which makes beautiful sounds – music of its own. And it is part of the tea ceremony that everybody should listen first to the music of the tea. So everybody is silent, listening…birds chirping outside in the garden, and the samovar…the tea is creating its own song. A peace surrounds. When the tea is ready and it is poured into everybody’s cup, you are not just to drink it the way people are doing everywhere. First you will smell the aroma of the tea. You will sip the tea as if it has come from the beyond, you will take time – there is no hurry. Somebody may start playing on the flute or on the sitar. An ordinary thing – just tea – and they have made it a beautiful religious festival, and everybody comes out of it nourished, fresh, feeling younger, feeling juicier. And what can be done with tea, can be done with everything: with your clothes, with your food.
People are living almost in sleep; otherwise, every fabric, every cloth has its own beauty, its own feel. If you are sensitive, then the clothing is not just to cover your body; then it is something expressing your individuality, something expressing your taste, your culture, your being. Everything that you do should be expressive of you; it should have your signature on it. Then life becomes a continuous celebration.
Even if you fall sick and you are lying in bed, you will make those moments of lying in bed moments of beauty and joy, moments of relaxation and rest, moments of meditation, moments of listening to music or to poetry. There is no need to be sad that you are sick. You should be happy that everybody is in the office and you are in your bed like a king, relaxing – somebody is preparing tea for you, the samovar is singing a song and a friend has offered to come and play the flute for you. These things are more important than any medicine. When you are sick, call a doctor. But more important, call those who love you, because there is no medicine more important than love. Call those who can create beauty, music, poetry around you, because there is nothing that heals like a mood of celebration. Medicine is the lowest kind of treatment.
But it seems we have forgotten everything, so we have to depend on medicine and be grumpy and sad – as if you are missing some great joy that you were having in the office. In the office you were miserable – just one day off, and you cling to misery too; you won’t let it go.