The Japanese Tea Ceremony developed as a way of applying Zen Buddhism to the actions of everyday life. The ceremony is structured like a circle. A series of elaborate and ritualized actions are done in a specific order leading up to the drinking of the tea. The drinking itself becomes a brief moment of altered consciousness where the drinker becomes aware of the present moment and in doing so transcends the world around them. After the drinking, the steps leading up to the drinking are collapsed in reverse completing the circle.
Here is a pdf file of Kakuzo Okakura's brief but wonderful 1906 book, The Book of Tea, now in the public domain, which was an attempt to explain zen-based Japanese aesthetics to Westerners.
Kakuzo Okakura: The Book of Tea