Are these people drinking different beverages?
Why do some tea experts criticize others when tea is supposed to teach humility?
My sighing has increased as I’ve observed word-darts being flung viciously at good tea folk for reasons that make no sense? Surely this isn’t done to honor tea! Can a mind full of poison comprehend the goodness of tea?
There’s one lesson about tea that needs attention in my opinion. It could help teach humility to everyone, and that lesson is in the the building up of community.
Tea is meant to be shared and not enjoyed in total isolation… all the time…by a select few.
Humility is produced when we drink tea together without the need to be a know-it-all. Then, the healing of the inner person can begin. This step is often glossed over but is as necessary as the tea itself being healthful to drink for the body. Share, pour and drink in community.
If I sit behind my computer with my many exquisite tea’s as Guru of my fabulously fine tea world without the balance of other people, I will eventually become more and more prideful and critical. I will look to myself! The temptation to be an expert will gradually outweigh my judgement to be kind and what good is the tea to me if I have become the poison to it.
My journey has a story.
Tea has not only helped me physically by decreasing my migraine and fibromyalgia symptoms, but the experience of drinking tea in community, at least once a week… is a major reason for decreasing chronic depression (a side effect of fibromyalgia).
At the local tea house, I’ve made tea friends of college students, young professionals and a few older people like myself, along with the knowledgeable teahouse staff.
We drink together without age discrimination because tea culture has always been wonderfully all-inclusive!
When we do gongfu tea tastings, we share with everyone who’s around. Any customer who wants to join in is always welcome! The thrill of a person new to experiencing gongfu style tea and loving it, is one of my favorite things to do!
If anyone ever wondered why I write so often about my local tea house, Happy Lucky’s, it’s to encourage everyone to find their own special community!
I bring my own packets of tea for the people in the shop to taste, and new blends are brought from the work-room by the Master Tea Blender for me to taste. People come and go at the bar, talking about their lives. We discuss studies at the University, boyfriends and girlfriends…what’s for dinner, recipes and the weather.
“What was it like in the 1960′s?”, I’m asked. And I share memories from the past. The Hippie Era, Civil Rights Marches, the day President Kennedy was shot.
I do the slide along with Joe’s mom… spontaniously, some old blues music playing overhead. We’re sitting on barstools, talking to a group of dancers in their 20′s.
A student from Cambodia, adjusting to 70 degree weather which is the coldest he’s ever been and the first bed he’s ever slept in, can’t comprehend how I live alone at age 65 when my daughter and grandchildren live in the same town. It isn’t done in Cambodia!
The adventurous life of drinking tea with others keeps me alive, young and (I hope) or at least… working on humility… as a goal!
If you spend your life only drinking tea with experts that you want to impress, you’ll lose your perspective and joy.
Tea is for all people, all ages and should be shared together!