As an enthusiast (someone with obsessive tendencies coupled with deep excitement), Arran is always nervous when I start getting into something. It’s been a year of my dabbling with tea ceremonies, after first having a mini one with my friend Mel in LA, and then learning more in a beautiful tea house in New York. I had of course drunk so many types of tea before, but Taoist and Zen tea traditions involve a lot of reverence and ceremony. The silence, the grace, the commitment to the ceremony fascinated me and drew me in. And deep.
I have spent this week with a new friend Sam, diving into training and long tea ceremonies and meditation. He’s an enthusiast too, and we have a tonne to froth over together. We spoke a lot about the two ways to approach tea. One is mastery, and seeking to upgrade always, the tea, the serving ware, ourselves as humans serving the tea, and usually involves a more complicated ceremony called Gong Fu. The other is Bowl Tea, which literally can be as simple as some tea leaves in a bowl with hot water poured on top. It can get far more complex than that mind you, but that’s the essence of it is meditation, silence and stillness, and ultimately, plainness. One is mastery, one is humble. One is seeking constant progress, one is reminding us of the distilled simplicity. One can get too egotistical and elite, and the other can get too lazy. And both are vital, they are the equanimity we all need.
With two wings we must simultaneously be moving between actively evolving and growing, and surrendering and allowing ourselves to meet the world as it meets us, expecting nothing.
Sent with love,