Our new center is going to be an amazing place, where the hearth is always going, a kettle everready to be laid on the coals and tea flowing steadily. Wherever you are in the world, tea lovers everywhere will have a home - a place to learn to serve tea in the ancient spirit of leaves and water, shared freely and without any personal profit. Basically, our aim is to connect over the three basic needs we all share in common: tea, food and a place to stay. Everyone who comes here gets tea'd, fed and a bed! And if you are out there having a bad day somewhere, you have but to remember that tea is being shared here and brighten up your day. Others have found great comfort in the fact that they always have a back-up plan: why be scared to take a risk, in business, love or life, when you can always move to Taiwan and learn about tea if things take a wrong turn?
Let us make one thing clear: it is our aim to build not just the best tea center in the world, but the best that has ever existed! We aim to have a Puerh cave, a huge library of vintage teas, beautiful gardens to stroll through, awesome tea rooms and tea houses, comfortable residences, a huge vegetable garden with enough energy to feed all our guests and lots of activity. We will learn to serve and share tea spirit, cook and eat together, meditate every morning/evening with longer retreats annually, and celebrate around bonfires, dancing and singing together!
There is one other important thing to share about this Light Meets Life project: We envision many other such centers around the world, first in the beautiful mountains near Los Angeles, and from there to other places in the world. Let this center be the roots of a large tree that seeds tea centers all around the world. People could do world tours, staying only at free tea centers where food and free tea abound...
This last month we kicked off our first fundraising campaign in LA and San Francisco. Everything went incredibly well and many of the pieces have started coming together. Much more important than raising money and/or awareness about this project, we moved enough people that some have stepped forward with the intention of filling key roles. Donations are, of course, a wonderful way to support, but it is always more meaningful to fill a cause with your own energy and love. The money, after all, represents your work and energy. When you work for a cause like this great tea center, your love is the very mortar the bricks are made of. It was so amazing to see confirmation in this way. Here are some of the meaningful roles that have been filled:
We did five public events and several private ones over the course of three weeks in LA and SF. Each of them was amazing in its own way. The local tea community was incredibly supportive, showing up to help prepare the tea, make food, answer questions and help carry the message. Many of the guests expressed how they were inspired by the events and willing to donate to the cause in whatever capacity. We thought you would like to hear about some of the public events we held:
The first event was a party held at Dawn's wonderful house of tea. We put a parachute over her roof and covered the floor in Persian carpets and pillows. In the house, there was delicious tea-inspired food and boiled tea served in biodegradable paper cups. People walked around sharing boiled Puerh and discussing a brighter future. The rooftop was then a silent space for deeper tea sessions. Guests wandered up in shifts and meditated over three bowls of tea, a bell signaling a change in ceremonies. The two energies flowed into each other beautifully, from meditative and quiet to a calm celebration downstairs. It was an amazing testament to Tea's magical, adaptagenic qualities - to be both celebratory and deeply meditative. Many new friendships were forged, and without sacrificing a deeper connection to tea. The tent on the roof was like stepping into a time machine, and you felt like you were sharing tea in some ancient, tribal place where old and modern mingled so poignantly.
At the Daoist Wellness Center, we held a lecture and shared boiled tea. We discussed the ancient relationship between Daoist practices and tea, covering everything from traditional Chinese medicine to the philosophy of tea as it relates to harmony with Nature. The space was filled to capacity, and everyone left with a deeper understanding of tea and how it fits into a modern spiritual practice.
This beautiful and creative office was the perfect venue for a night of tea. Café Gratitude generously donated some delicious veggie treats. We had three tables set up, each one offering one of the three bowl teas in this tradition: leaves in a bowl, side-handle pot and boiled tea. Guests wandered from table to table experiencing the different preparation methods and energies in the three teas. Each table was silent for some time, followed by some gentle Q & A. Another amazing thing about this event was that each of the tables was served by a student, which gave the local tea community the chance to serve tea to guests and deepen their practice. We also got to see the Light Meets Life video on a huge screen, which was incredible.
We had a gallery opening at the Ethos Gallery in Los Angeles. Tons of people showed up to share in boiled tea and have a look at Wu De's art, supplemented by some local female artists who create in honor of the Goddess. Once again, Café Gratitude showed up with superdelicious and heart-warming food! The owners, Lisa and Eddie, are incredible people who are committed to using conscious art to shift this world towards light and the crowd they attract is proof enough that what they are doing is working! If you are in the LA area, the exhibit will be up all through March. Be sure to check it out. All the proceeds from sales of the art will go towards the building of our center. You can learn more about Ethos Gallery at: www.ethosartgallery.com
We held a small workshop at one of the three Samovar locations in SF, hosted by the kindhearted Jesse Jacobs who has been a long-time ambassador of tea in America. It is an amazing café with great organic teas and delicious snacks. It was so great to see the employees talk about their love of tea, enough to attend a workshop, and the service they are doing for the community in promoting tea to a world that so desperately needs it. There were some very dear people at this event, and we successfully created a heart space right in the midst of the city - once again proof of Tea's amazing healing properties.
The whole trip was a huge success, and everyone delved deeper into tea and heart. We would like to bow deeply to all those who came out to support us, and all those who served in so many amazing ways: driving, supplying tea or teaware, serving tea, donating food, serving tea or answering questions, filming or taking pictures, donating time or money. It was so inspirational to meet with such glorious confirmation that what we are doing is working, and that such tea centers are wanted and needed in this world...
Should any of you wish to contribute or have any ideas for ways to help us realize this vibrant dream, please contact us. You can donate at the Center page of our GTH website or send a check to:
Global Tea Hut West 2441 Beverley Ave. #6 Santa Monica, CA 90405 United States
Or contact us for other ways to support.