In March we enter the spring. It is time to start shifting to oolongs and sheng puerh. As the weather shifts in Taiwan, we start to feel called outdoors. We feel like moving after a long winter turned inwards. The rains come, and with them a burgeoning of life all throughout this lush island. This means that tea buds are sprouting, and this year's tea is on its way! Along with the weather, we always get a huge influx of guests.
This year, we have already seen the rising tide of a huge tidal wave of support. Unfortunately, it has led to some serious scheduling issues here at the center. Max has done an amazing job of creating a system to facilitate a larger influx of guests. And this is just one example of the many ways that we are building the infrastructure to contain larger and larger amounts of energy - both in terms of these Global Tea Hut envelopes and the center itself...
Last year, we wanted to reach our goal of 2,000 members, and said as much in a video at the beginning of the year. Every week at the Hut, we have Gratitude Tuesdays, where we share what we are grateful for that week during lunch. At the New Year, we did a gratitude year for the Year of the Horse, and the very first thing I was most thankful for, from deep down in my heart, was that none of that happened! The fact is that we weren't prepared for it. We would have been overwhelmed. As we reached around five hundred envelopes, we quickly realized that we were going to have to start building a different structure to contain this growing global community. We've spent the past few months doing that and we can say that we are now very confident that we are ready for this family of tea brothers and sisters to grow into and beyond our goals in the coming Year of the Sheep!
First of all, we have rented a new building for Global Tea Hut! This is very exciting. Many of you have been here during the packing of Global Tea Hut and participated in serving that process. For those of you who haven't, it is a lot of work! Besides the dozens of hours that goes into writing, editing, taking photos and designing the magazine, there is time spent choosing gifts and keeping inventory. Then, the packing itself can take anywhere from one to three days, depending on how many guests are here to help us and how hard they work! And that can be challenging when we are all living in the workshop! It means that we have to move boxes out of the way to eat meals, and wake up to a feeling of work, as opposed to the normal ease and peace that reigns over the center. But not anymore! Now we have a new building to work on Global Tea Hut, leaving the center free to be a tea center! The new space also has the capacity to produce many more envelopes to share with beautiful Tea brothers and sisters around the world, as it is empty of furniture. We are designing it to be the perfect workshop of Tea elves, comfortable and full of Tea spirit!
We also have to order the envelopes and cans in large quantities. Together with other Global Tea Hut materials, they take up the entire third floor of the center, leaving little room for teaware, etc. The good news is that the new building is three floors, so we will have an entire floor devoted to storing materials for these envelopes, as well as a bright, new tea storage facility with an altar and proper space to respect the tea we are storing for the center and members of this community!
In honor of the new facility and all the abundance it represents, we thought we'd devote a whole issue to community through Tea. You are all the heart of this amazing center we live in, not to mention the future big, bold and beautiful center we will one day create, Light Meets Life. The writing, editing, designing and packing of these envelopes are the very breath of this center. You are all in our hearts.
This issue is a tribute to all that the practice of Cha Dao can inspire in people, and the soul family that results. There are no words for the gratitude we have for this community. That, more than the need for structure and the fact that our goals weren't reached last year, is what I am truly, deeply and wholeheartedly thankful for. I bow to you all with my head to the floor...