In June 1962, my German parents named me Sabine Schalk. When I was very young I felt attracted to Asian philosophy and yoga. Since then, I studied several arts like Shiatsu, Reiki, Qi Gong, different kinds of massage, life-coaching, sound therapy and Asian art itself. I lived in a yoga community for ten years where I served as a yoga teacher and therapist.
Since 1994, I have lived in Spain, near Malaga. Every morning when I wake up, I thank the beautiful landscape around me, including my beloved 2068m-high mountain and the lake before it. My husband Gleb and I share our house and garden with our students, where we run a "Tao Center", which is our yoga teacher school.
Several times in my life I got in touch with Cha Do, the Japanese Way of Tea, and since 2011, I have developed a profound daily practice. My teacher of Cha Do lives 600km away from my home, so you can understand why I don't have as many classes as I would like. I always ask Master Rikyu's spirit to guide and teach me when I do my practice at home. And he often asks me to do a movement again and again, until it is done well and gets into my cells.
Being on the Way of Tea, the question often arises, "How did your love story with Tea begin?" I remember when I was sixteen years young, many tea shops in Germany opened and my mother, a friend and I were invited weekly to try another tea. Later, around twenty-three years young, I went to India, and the deepest experience I had in seven weeks of traveling around was in a very simple tea hut. I was sitting on the earth. There was a fire burning and a humble Indian man made a wonderful chai for us... "What is in this Tea?" I asked, wondering: "Is it the same that can be found in a kiss? Is it Love?"
Last year I discovered Caj Chai tea shop in Barcelona. Do you remember Antonio Moreno? He was a tea wayfarer one month as well. He's created an atmosphere of Tea that I really love!! Some months later, I met Wu De in the same tea shop in Barcelona... And now I am sitting here in Miaoli sharing my story with you...
Let me tell you about the tea we had with Wu De this morning! He used a side-handle teapot and served puerh tea. Being in silence we were guided, cup by cup, into a deeper connection with the spirit of Tea. I love so much when the steam of the tea comes up, creating a mystical atmosphere. Suddenly I was aware that the steam was not only water transformed, but also transformed Tea! So Tea was in the air - or was it Love? The steam went higher and higher, blending in with the clouds, coming back to us and Nature...
Here at the center, everybody is putting his or her heart into living as a Chajin (philosophy and spirituality expressed in daily life). The meditation in the morning and in the evening is a great gift that brings us nearer to our true nature and oneness. I love the time we spend in silence and deeper conversation as well.
So now we have shared this time together and you have listened to my story. I'd like to serve you a "cup of tea". Would you like some? Please relax, breath deeply and calmly and enjoy this present moment with me....