excerpt from:  ZEN – Its History and Teachings and Impact on Humanity by OSHO

He lived on a mountain whose name was Tai. The second legend is that Bodhidharma was the man who created tea- the name tea has come from the mountain Tai, because it was created there. All the words for tea, in any language, are derived from the same source, Tai.


The way Bodhidharma created tea cannot be historical, but it is significant. He was meditating almost all the time, and sometimes in the night, he would start falling asleep. So, just to stay awake and teach a lesson to his eyes, he pulled out all his eyelashes and threw them on the temple ground. The story is that out of those eyelashes, the tea bushes grew. Those were the first tea bushes. That’s why when you drink tea, you cannot sleep. Tea is immensely helpful during meditation. Today the Buddhist world drinks tea as a part of meditation because it keeps you alert and awake.

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