I was introduced to tea through my dear sister Tian Wu. A mutual friend excitedly led me to Tian's home, where I sat with the Leaf for the first time. I didn't know exactly what was in store, but soon my bowl was filled with tears. I couldn't stop crying. The tea enveloped me, and I felt as if I had been taken under Her spell. I felt like I had just drunk the most ethereal and sweetest, yet earthy and rooted essence of life.
A few months later, Tian served a large group of us as we sat for the very first Spirit Weavers gathering in November 2013. Now that we're heading into our fourth year, the tea ceremonies have become a huge part of the gatherings. It has been incredible to watch and witness the Leaf speak to each woman in her own way. We gather together as women, and Tea wants to be right along there with us! When I think of the gatherings, Tian's early morning sits are among my favorite memories.
Initially, I was relieved that the Tea hadn't wrapped Her leaves around me too tightly. I was filled with so much already. How could I make room for another practice in my life? And most of all, I truly enjoyed just sitting and receiving medicine through Tian. Then, one day, Tea spoke to me in a different way, and I was afraid to listen because I knew exactly what She was up to. Later that same week, a package arrived in the mail from a friend filled with a handful of different teas. From that day on, Tea wouldn't stop flowing into my life, so I took Her in, and each day my beloved and I sit and share tea together. With a five-year-old daughter, finding some quiet and alone time is a task. Tea was a beautiful opportunity to make time and space to sit and just be. We like to drink in silence for a few bowls, and then tune in deeper about our day, our thoughts and our hearts. This time is a gift that we treasure, and the tea always awakens exactly what we are seeking to find.
Last summer here on Kauai, the sticky humidity during our tea sessions turned into an even deeper cleanse with each new day. I was releasing so much and the tea... well, She just kept on listening. Soon I begin serving tea to my island sisters each Tuesday morning. As island folks, we tend to do things on "island time," so tea was the perfect gift for us all, and She slowly made Her way into each of our lives.
Without other guides here on the island, we surrendered to what was available: the Leaf, the true Teacher Herself! The island has its own flow, and like the water of the spring, women drift in and out, keeping the sits always alive and ever-changing. My sister Ali brings fresh spring water from near her home deep in Manoa Valley. Sometimes my daughter and I make the pilgrimage ourselves.
Just after I arrived back from the Tea Sage Hut in Taiwan, I had the pleasure of meeting Tian in the Center. My appreciation for Wu De grows each time I have the opportunity to sit with him, from California to Kauai to Taiwan. The Tea Sage Hut is a perfect example of what we can manifest when we listen closely to our heart's calling in a community where wisdom is always being spoken and Tea is always the guest of honor.
If you ever find yourself on the magical island of Kauai, come and share tea with our community here. A bowl of Her Majesty will always be waiting for you!