When you share a single bowl of frothy tea, handed to you spinning like the greater celestial orbits happening above, you can sometimes close your eyes and feel the others drinking, as if they were your own. We spin the bowl out of respect, offering our neighbor a place distinct from where we've put our mouth, but also as a symbol of our harmony with Nature. There is magic in sharing a single bowl of tea with some loved ones - deep and lasting. And there is a way in which this Global Tea Hut is our whisked bowl, handed round to each of you: like the tea, it has been cultivated with great care and love, time and energy; and like the bowl of tea, we send it round selflessly and with a great respect for each of you. We are honored by your participation.
This is a very special month for us all, in so many ways. The holidays are always a great time of year to share gifts lovingly. It is a time for forgiveness, family and friends. Though the spirit of this month is sometimes lost in the commercialism that preys upon it, we should never postpone the opportunity to show our love - to friends, family and strangers alike. This time of year can afford us a great excuse to share a smile, a kind word or a bowl of nice tea.
This December also marks the end of the Mayan calendar, which many believe to be a time of transition for us as a species - a movement forward into greater harmony and consciousness. This "galactivation", as the great Gregory Wendt calls it, will turn the volume up on the earthly and cosmic rhythms that we've lost touch with. They've never stopped playing - these Nature songs - but many humans have stopped listening. We hope that Global Tea Hut can play a greater role in this shift, and that the coming year will truly be one of global change. Our part is in the sharing of this ancient medicine, older than the Sphinx, that it may awaken a connection to Earth, Sky, Spirit in you; and through that the peaceful connection we all long for in our one, true Heart.
Not only is December a time for giving, it is also a time for receiving, which is sometimes the harder of the two. This month we have a huge announcement to make (you'll be reading about it later in the issue). We have been blessed this month, and our plans to create a permanent center here in Taiwan have begun to take form in a much more dramatic way, shifting from dream to reality. Many of you know that we have a flourishing school/center in Miao Li, Taiwan. Some of you have even come here to visit, experiencing first hand what it is that we are offering. Our dreams are larger. We dream of a permanent center in the mountains, with a prospering tea farm, Japanese Zen gardens, vegetable plots and free residence for any and all of you who plan on coming in the future. We also dream it all green and ecological: solar powered electricity and hot water, organic farming, green building materials, etc. And when that day comes, we'll host annual ten-day gatherings where we can all make this global hut a true circle of tea shared, rather than from a distance (which is nice, but can't take the place of all the hugs we will one day share).
This is a very real turning point for us all. We are building this center as much for you as we are for ourselves to live in. We hope that you will all come and stay periodically, learning about Cha Dao as well as tea farming. Who knows, maybe in a couple years we will have a month of tea sent out to you that we have grown ourselves! There is still a lot to do in the coming years, but we know that it will proceed with the grace that has gotten us this far.
This is also a season of gratitude. We want you to know that we are all here deeply grateful for the opportunity to serve you and create these envelopes, as well as for your kindhearted financial support.
We pray that you have a wonderful holiday season, filled with the warmth of those you love. There is a warm bed and steaming cup ever awaiting you here should you find yourself Eastward-bound. You can be warmed by that as well. You are in our prayers, and they are offerings of joy, health and happiness...