"Tea is a religion of beauty. It can claim to be called The Way of Tea only when it is exalted as a religion. Until the mind is ready, we cannot hope to enter the Sanctuary of Tea."
This beautiful quote by Japanese philosopher Soetsu Yanagi, as translated by the ever prolific Global Tea Hut founder, magazine editor, Zen Monk Wu De, perfectly leads me into the story of my discovery of Cha Dao, The Way of Tea. I am no stranger to meditation, but my first sit with May Nogoy at Fivelements Habitat in Hong Kong had truly been a groundbreaking experience. I never expected that I would find myself in another spiritual awakening on this beautiful journey to connect with source and manifestation, but that afternoon, as I sat taking sips of hot tea from a beautiful handthrown bowl, just so, I found myself witnessing an elementary lifting of the veil - I had walked in with no idea what to expect, with my mind racing with thousands of thought strands and errands to run, and even sitting down, I was anxious about courtesy and competitiveness - I don't want to be the last one to finish, what do I do now, omg ahhhh - but as we come to the fourth round of tea, I was mesmerised by the beautiful gestures, May's hypnotic moves, and as I looked out of the window at a majestic cumulus floating past the baby blue sky back in September, I heard a voice distinctly tell me within my heart, "I know what to do now. There is nothing to fear. Go for it." For a very important juncture in my life. .
Now I know the leaves in the bowl too, (now that I know better), I know that tea is medicine, as another tea sister Resham Daswani has said in her tea sits; and sustainably farmed tea is living tea that is so close to nature that it reconnects us with Her great spirit. Tea, among so many beautiful things I can't yet put into words just yet, is teaching me that it is okay to receive through accepting tea, and that all great art transforms and achieves limitless potential through sharing.
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