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The Story of Tea & Shen Nong

※ M A G I C A L · T H E A ※⁣

Many lifetimes ago, Shen Nong {神農 · Divine Farmer}, the Emperor of this earthly kingdom, found upon a stroll through the mountains in which he dwelled, Tea. His disciple, a monk who would traipse the length of the mountain from below to study with him, was walking through the forest with his master when they decided to take a rest under a tree as dusk began to set in, as the moon began to rise. Silently, they set to boiling water to nourish and replenish themselves. In meditative silence, they were about to take in these invigorating spring water when, a single leaf floated down into Shen Nong's bowl. He took a sip, and exclaimed: "This is the emperor of all medicinal herbs!"


Shen Nong went back home and meditated that night. In that meditation he began to commune with Tea. She told him grand stories before his time, when warriors drank tea before setting off into their warships, when Gods still treaded this land. She told Shen Nong that She did not really belong here on this cold mountaintop, and that She sought to return home. This would be her last crown of leaves, and thereafter, She shall perish forevermore should Shen Nong not take these leaves and disseminate them across the land below. 

Not long after this discovery, the monk fell ill. Shen Nong  would go into the forest every day, and come home to boil the leaves that he and the monk had harvested and dried before into canisters of tea leaves, turning them into herbal medicine that he fed to the monk every day, vowing to the tree that he will spread this plant medicine to all the people in the world. The monk would often find Shen Nong at the tree, his palm against the thick majestic bark, looking sad. When asked what was concerning him, his master would say, "This plant wants to leave the mountains."


One day, on another visit to the mountains, the disciple found Shen Nong under the ancient tree, now barren of all leaves, with his eyes closed, and his spirit about to transition to another realm. Saddened by the eternal departure of his master, the monk held onto Shen Nong's hand and listened to his master's last words. He spoke of the plant, how those tea trees are feeling the desire to connect with all that flourish at the bottom of the mountains, that the trees have said that though they have grown tall and strong here for many centuries, way before the time when humans have walked these grounds, these trees knew that though this has cultivated their meditative powers, it is now time to descend the pinnacles for they were never meant to be isolated away in these hidden formidable peaks. He remembered his master's words, and walked into the forest to find the ancient tree again. There, to his  surprise, the monk found that once again, the trees are flourishing with leaves.


With tears and also, a newfound understanding, the monk knew that he would need to carry out his master's wishes. He will carry these leaves down to the rest of the world.


🌿🕊⁣

Why Tea?⁣

Tea is adaptegenic. She embodies all five elements and more - without humans, these hands and these beating hearts made of trillions and trillion of lightyears of stardust, the alchemy would not be complete. Mother Gaia has gifted us with so many modes of plant medicine, but Tea, it would seem, is extraordinarily resilient. She has stood for many an ancient century, and She has a way of shifting our vibrations tenderly and awakening our hearts. We do not need to enter the plant kingdom to feel Her. Tea comes to us. She returns us into the space of harmony with Nature, reminding us that we are and have always been part of Mother Gaia. ⁣

Tea also allows us to let go and let flow, to get out of the way so that the Universe can get to work for our highest good. Are you ready to welcome Tea into your lives? Links in my bio for your next Tea Ceremony ⚛☯️💜

° Story of Shen Nong is my retelling of the tale in Tea Medicine by Wu De @globalteahut. Any errors or misinterpretation are mine.



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©2020 by When Still Waters Speak.