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November 2012

Reflections On a Tea Visit

Article Title
AuthorSiim Loog
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Reflections On a Tea Visit

by Siim Loog

A few days have now passed from the amazing seminars and tea drinking sessions in which I had the honor to take part in. Still I can close my eyes and take myself back to the very spot where it all happened. It feels like yesterday, so clear, so powerful.

I have been on a journey of self-discovery and self transformation since April of this year and I have to admit that tea is the best friend you can ask for at such a time. Tea grounds me, makes me calmer and more in the moment so I can see deep inside: who I am and what is really important. And I have figured out that the most important things are small and simple, which you often don´t notice and take for granted: Like spending time with your loved ones, or growing veggies rather than buying them. These little things count in the end, not how much stuff you have collected or your account balance. Tea has a lot to teach you if you are willing to learn.

The fact that I took part in Wu De's seminars shows me that I am on the right path. Because all is connected in our universe - every step you take, every move you make, everything is influencing something and something is influencing everything. And thank God that I made such choices that eventually put me on a cushion next to other great human beings and Wu De. Just listening, learning and noticing the guest of honour, the Leaf. Wu De together with tea taught me many things, but for now I have noticed three main things which really have affected my life in a good way. I'd like to share them in no particular order, because they are equally important:

Respect and appreciation

I learned about these two during our little homework which Wu De gave us. The assignment was to drink three bowls of tea every morning for a whole week. I took this seriously, like no other homework before. On the fourth day, I realized something. I was drinking my bowls of tea and suddenly imagined ancient travellers who hadn't had anything to drink for hours and suddenly happened upon an oasis. I imagined them bending down and, full of gratitude, drinkReflections on a Tea Visit ing fresh water with their bare hands, hands held in a very similar position as mine were holding the bowl. I felt that I need to appreciate more what I am drinking or eating or using and respect it, not take it for granted.

Purity, cleanliness

Wu De said: "A messy room comes out of a messy mind, and a messy mind creates even more messiness". So I looked over my cleaning and noticed that I was more relaxed and calm when my room was clean and in order. I haven´t been much of a cleaning-man but now I will take cleaning seriously. "Cha Dao is 80% cleaning. Clean, clean and clean - inside and out!"

Body is not just a body

I learned that objects aren´t just objects. Everything has life in it. I try to treat all my things with great respect, because they are giving everything they have to make me happy and it would be foolish to not give them respect and thanks for it. A bowl isn´t just a bowl, a table isn´t just a table; they are part of us and make us the man/woman we are.

I will continue my journey with tea and I hope you will do the same. Let's keep learning and practicing, listening to what tea has to say and grow from it. All the best to you and have cup of tea, my dear friends... Perhaps, hopefully, we may one day even share one.