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January 2013

En-Lighten Up

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AuthorGlobal Tea Hut
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En-Lighten Up

by Global Tea Hut

When you begin down an Eastern path, and Cha Dao mostly heads East, you quickly realize the important role language can play in our thinking, and consequently our insights. For the most part, we come to love the ancient spiritual words in languages like Sanskrit and Chinese - for their subtlety and breadth. There is one English word we've come to like better than its Eastern equivalents, however: "Enlightenment". When most people think of "Enlightenment" they see in the word the "light" and are reminded of the light in us, which we all travel towards. But "light" in English has another meaning: not heavy! Being enlightened means, literally, lightening up! Don't take yourself serious, or anything else for that matter. There is an old Indian saying: "beware the spiritual/religious man that takes himself seriously!" And many of you know how we here do so love laughter and humor. We thought that these newsletters might be getting a bit heavy and that we would en-lighten them up.

Last Spring we sent you a small piece of porcelain teaware. Do you remember? Well, at the time, we forgot to include a description of what it was exactly: as those of you who've looked on the forums know, it was in fact a teapot lid rest for brewing gongfu tea. As the months went by, all kinds of wacky and wonky testimonials started to roll in to our center accompanied by great guffaws and hijinks! People had used the little lid rest as a cup, a scoop, a shaving cream dispenser and, in the case of Colin Hudon a fingertip cover for extending his middle finger...

Below is one funny account of receiving the mysterious "white thingamabob" from our Spanish brothers. We hope you find the whole thing as funny as we did. We are going to put up a thread on the forums to share the other funny uses this gizmo was put to, so let us know if you thought about using it as a thimble or as part of a Kaiya incinerator (Unfortunately, the porcelain wasn't conductive so we had to revert to copper to keep the death ray functioning)...

Initially, I was perplexed about the gift that came with our GTH newsletter, but after rejecting various possibilities as to its purpose, I ultimately decided it could only be a cup... and soon learned it was a very special cup indeed! Its slightly rounded bottom makes it perfect for cultivating awareness! And since I had also chosen an irregular stone as part of my Cha Xi, it took even further skill to fill the cup gracefully. Each time I picked it up to drink and set it back down was an exercise in presence as I tried to stop it from warbling and spilling... Time after time I judged my aptitude as a reflection of my meditative state and oneness with the tea and its expression in my physical being. I was so grateful for this wonderfully simple yet challenging GTH gift! It wasn't until after I explained this to our GTH group that one of them told me she had read on the forum that it actually was a lid rest... To think I had put it to such great use!