It is always nice to read about our events
from the perspective of those who attended
them, rather than from behind the scenes.
Sabine has collected a nice montage of what
she calls "tributes", since they express a
newfound gratitude and joy.
I discovered the Tea Sage Hut in
November of 2013. I had been
looking on the Internet for a bed
and breakfast in Taiwan, adding "tea"
to the search. I was lucky to drink tea
with Wu De, Kai Ya, Shane, Lindsey and Nick. These strangers soon
became my Tea family. My two short
days there radically changed my perspective. At the time, we discussed
Wu De coming to Nice in the south
of France. And here we are one year
later living this experience! Wu De
arrived in Nice with the delightful
Antonio Moreno of the Čaj Chai Tea
House in Barcelona.
France is the home of gastronomy and we have a reputation for
having fine palates. Nice is an attractive tourist city, very close to
where we are more used to drinking
coffee than tea. People come to Nice
for its wonderful climate, its beaches
and the beauty of the hinterland.
Mountains and snow are just a onehour drive away. The beauty of our
environment has us used to receiving
abundance without any effort. In
the midst of this superficial activity,
where tea is an unknown culture,
I have paved the way, from workshops at the Museum of Asian Arts
to gatherings around tea and creative
writing in the old part of town. I live
somewhere balanced between promoting
and selling tea and my deep
passion for the Leaf. I am always in
search of expressions to convey the
wealth and depth of this culture and
was therefore gratefully awaiting
We De's visit to help me come even
closer to this plant, to share the taste
of this medicine. All was perfect,
since his dates coincided with the
launch of his book "Tea Medicine".
"Tea helps clear away the
interference between us and
what is essential, helping
us to connect with what is
within or quite simply to let
go of the reflex that pushes
us to look at our screens the
moment we get up."
The lovely Anne-Marie, a living encyclopedia on tea, came from
Belgium to help us organize the
events. And there followed two days
of encounters at different venues:
an estate agency with a yoga room
upstairs, a friendly co-working office,
at my home for a vegetarian teenager, on the most beautiful beach in
Nice early one morning...
Hardly anyone knew what a tea
master was, other than a vague idea
of a ceremony in a Kimono. Every
tribute written at the end of this article and every photograph taken of
the events shows a huge surprise, an
intense encounter that often began
in silence. Humor, entertaining anecdotes and Wu De's deep knowledge
of Tea punctuated our exchanges.
He passes on the wisdom of Tea by
being and incarnating it in his daily
life. His hugs are communicative and
loving. Without asking for anything
for himself he touched us, each one
of us in a different way - one of us
by the tea, the other by a numbered
puerh cake, or his original drawings,
Global Tea Hut bracelets, Zen, or
the sharing of the experience of the
Global Tea Hut community, all the
stories he told...
He challenged us to drink three
bowls of tea every morning first thing
before becoming absorbed in our
daily activities. Some have told me
how much this has already changed
their lives, as it has mine. It helps
clear away the interference between
us and what is essential, helping us
to connect with what is within or
quite simply to let go of the reflex
that pushes us to look at our screens
the moment we get up.
Meeting Wu De has helped reinforce my purpose, to continue on my
path, to worry less about how I can
earn a living and to intensify my tea
practice. I am looking for continuity and regularity in my exchanges
and for this I had to remove myself
from the stress of "doing business".
Following Wu De's visit I am pursuing his ambition to create more
free tea sessions in different places
around town. The Global Tea Hut
experience has been a great help to
me. I feel a part of this wonderful
embracing community. A film director, Raphael Zamochnikoff offered
to film the Nice gatherings with Wu
De. His art will be helpful in order
to continue demonstrating the benefits of Tea for humanity. All of this
revolves around being in harmony
with oneself, others and Nature.
Thank you, Wu De, for dedicating your life and soul to this cause.
I feel stronger now to bring my own
contribution to this human adventure and the feeling of solitude on
my tea path has completely left me.
The tea ceremonies themselves
were translated into French and
then these tributes into English by
very impressed by the simplicity of
Wu De's stories. They were really
easy to understand, and everything
seemed so obvious. There was one
unexpected aspect. I was wondering what it meant to be a tea master, and he
answered that for me.
The group energy came into being
very easily, concentration, sharing,
etc. What will stay with me are the
hugs, the new feeling of community.
This struck me. A magical power of
authority, a kindness that was not
seeking power - lots of quiet, we
took our time - Wu De is present
and his contact is warm. Monastic
calm can be daunting; it's a silence
that asks for nothing. The medium
of Tea creates a link between people.
We use an ordinary pretext as a
social tool. Wu De shares his beliefs,
a respectful silence surrounds us. A
It was an intense
presence. I especially loved the man/
Tea in silence before listening to the
master and learning from his knowledge. Such an intense silence. This
corresponds to my true nature and
to my taste for Asian arts. I found
Wu De sincere and brilliant. Wu
De encouraged us to listen. I was
delighted that he chose to come to
the "Satellites" (a communal office space).
There was a transversal quality to it. Never mind the place; it's
what happened inside that counts.
The place is secondary compared to
the people who are present. There
were three consequences of sharing
this tea: As Wu De said, we connect
to our environment, ourselves and
others. I agree 100-million%.
sometimes silent, a voyage of discovery; these are the words that come
to mind. Actually, I found the experience very interesting for several
reasons: first the master himself; it
is always impressive to meet such a
person. Then the ceremony in itself,
during which the silence around us
creates a silence within (meditation actually); and then third, Wu
De's teachings, which were simple
yet true. As for the Tea, Spirit flows
through its powerful flavor, so light
and so deep at the same time.
It's hard to find words
to describe the experience of meeting Wu De, since much of what he
teaches is about the value of not
speaking, not doing, just being.
The first time I attended one of his
sessions, we drank several bowls of
tea in silence before he started to
speak, and I found myself wondering whether he had anything to say
at all. Then he began talking about
health and it all made perfect sense.
I learned many things with Wu De,
but what will stay with me the most
is the habit of drinking three bowls
of tea in the morning before doing
anything else. By the time I have finished drinking my tea, it no longer
seems urgent to check the messages
on my phone or open my laptop,
and I am able to concentrate better
on each task throughout the day.
With him I learned that Tea, despite
its caffeine content, can be a means
to access a state of inner calm, and
I now use it throughout the day to
create moments of peace. After one
session with Wu De, my 12-year-old
son is doing the same! I was excited
to receive my first issue of Global Tea
Hut last week and have been savoring the articles just as I do my morning
"What really struck me was
the image of the ancient
centennial trees whose
roots are connected to the
past and connected to each
other - a discovery for me."
A beautiful, significant encounter!
A particulary rich
and moving moment. Wu De is a
model of calm and spirituality. The
ceremony begins plunged in complete silence, savoring the first bowls
of tea. Wu De serves us tea in all simplicity and humility. The first part
the ceremony leads to meditation,
the second to dialogue and exchange.
A beautiful experience. Thank you.
and drinking tea with Wu De turns
minutes into the most precious of
moments. Moments to learn and
reflect on how to navigate these
times, to delve deep into ourselves
for a better understanding of our
true nature and how we are being
called to change from within. His
deep understanding of Zen philosophy, his warm and engaging personality,
his delightful sense of humor
all contributed to an unforgettable
experience. Thank you Wu De and
Sabine for bringing love, light and
joy into our lives.
Catherine Montana Thu:
stayed most with me was the feeling
of an intimate connection created
in this small gathering of people
who didn't know each other a few
moments earlier. I arrived a little late,
and could feel that there had been a
real meeting, beyond words. The
atmosphere in the room was dense
when I entered. What really struck
me was the image of the ancient
centennial trees whose roots are connected to the past and connected
to each other - a discovery for me.
There was a real impression of stability, echoed by the master himself, in
all his being.
Restful and energizing - a good booster for those of
us who are constantly on the go, a
beautiful moment in his company.
I would recommend this and do it
always remember those wonderful
days in Nice. Since I met my tea sister
Sabine last year in Taiwan, she and
her big heart haven't stopped sharing
tea moments, laughs, and a never
ending vessel of chocolate spread!
In the black days when my German
friend suddenly died - a drummer
in a cover band whose heart stopped
beating - intuition between tea
friends has worked and even though
Sabine didn't know exactly what was
going on, she sent me a whole box
of my favorite French jams from
La Chambre des Confitures. Then,
she invited Wu De to Nice so we
could learn what Tea really is.
A lot of French people found
real tea happiness, and I did as well.
I came to understand more deeply
what I had read before in Wu De's
books. I understand and feel now
what it means to live in the HERE
Nice was connection to others,
in silence or not. It was so nice to
meet people like Antonio, Raphaël
and Jean. It was also connection to
Nature through the tea leaves, fire,
earth and water Wu De put in the
tea we drank together and in the
blue sky, sea, and air of the Côte
Azur. And the connection to myself,
a 50+-year-old red-haired tea lover,
started. I'm proud to continue my
tea path and be a GTH member!!!
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