"Because one believes in oneself, one doesn't try to convince others.
Because one is content with oneself, one doesn't need others' approval.
Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her."
~ 🍃 Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu
Tea called me back home to my heart today.
I have been very privileged to be in the presence of so many experienced tea masters during my weekly visits to @chazhiji_official. I sat for a few hours with Master Lin today. His reputation, as well as Henry's, have preceded them because of their relationship with Wu De and @globalteahut. Sitting with them and drinking tea brewed by Henry is an honour itself. Couple that with Master Lin doling out his teachings is truly a blessing for which I cannot begin even to express gratitude in words.
Today Master Lin showed me two cups of leaves (swipe to see) and asked me to smell them in a deep, slow inhale.
One has fewer leaves than the other. I picked up the first one with fewer leaves and smelled a slow, steady burn of the scent up my nostrils.
The second cup's leaves hit me instantly and its scent a quick rush through my head.
He smiles and quotes a saying by Lao Tzu: “少则得，多则惑。”
· "He whose (desires) are few gets them; he
whose (desires) are many goes astray." ·
In life we want quick hits of pleasure. We seek to manifest our desires in the fastest possible way. But it is this slow appreciation that truly fills us up and keeps us full of gratitude.
I shared with him how I feel anxious about the future, how much I feel I need to add on more to give in my service. That sometimes I don't feel worthy enough or good enough.
He said simply, "You are polluted.
"When students ask me, 'How many leaves should I use for a brew?' I laugh and tell them, 'One leaf'."
"So go back and start with one leaf. Sit with it every day. When you can finally taste true flavour and pleasure from that one leaf, you have achieved Zen."
And finally, I teared up when he said, "Thank God every time you get to serve tea. To be able to be in service is a blessing you should be grateful for."
And I am so, so thankful. Thankful to be in service. Thankful to be walking the Way of Tea. Thankful for meeting chajins along the Dao, as we all come together as eternal students of the Leaf, in generosity, in compassion and in selfless grace. We are in this together. All of us. The Dao leads, and we follow. I lead with service and am gracefully embodying the vessel for Cha Dao. 🙏🏻