There have been so many beautiful moments in this year, shared with all of you. In the last month, we reached one hundred members, from countries all around the world! And as the energy has increased, and our tea begun to change the world, we've begun to think more about just how the kettle is warmed in this metaphorical Hut, how the leaves are scattered in each bowl and how the water pours. Through the steam of one hundred bowls, we have learned how amazing this experience is, and the effect it is having on the community assembled here.
More of you are writing to us about the newsletter, the tea and the gifts. We've heard astounding stories of this tea shared with loved ones out in Nature, inspiration and understanding through this newsletter, and even the occasional email announcing the unexpected, yet very welcome visit you're planning to Taiwan. We've also received word of your laughter and joy in our sense of humor, poems expressing tea wisdom and light, and thoughtful stories and articles written by members, new and old.
This month we looked back at these newsletters and saw how they have expanded from a few articles to more than ten, and seen how the format has also improved - primarily due to the help of one of our members (a bowl and a "Cheers!" to Matthew). And actually, the heavier newsletters aren't a result of more work on our part, but rather more and more submissions from all of you - a trend we hope to see increase with every issue.
All of this points to a growing community of likeminded tea lovers. Last issue we talked about the planetary shift happening in human consciousness, and how the new groups forming are helping catalyze this change. And there is no need for the members to find their identity in the group, or for membership to be exclusive. We see tea as an essential plant medicine in the healing of our Earth, through establishing a greater harmony between Nature and Human. More and more people are realizing that there can be no personal health in an unhealthy environment. We are the spirit of this world, and its sicknesses are also our own. Medicine and healing must, therefore, be redefined in terms of what brings harmony with this Earth and life on it. A healthy mind, body and spirit are not just a part of such health, but also result from it.
We encourage you to participate in the community we are creating together, and celebrate all that you have already done, even if it be just in giving financial energy to our cause, thereby supporting all our publications, workshops, meditation sessions, as well as our free center/school here in Taiwan. All the visitors' smiles of satisfaction, having just drunk fine tea and been well fed, are also yours to enjoy.
Last month, we gave you the opportunity to share the GTH experience with someone you care about. We would love to hear about it! We did that so you would know just how awesome it is to do this each month, and how great it feels to look at each of your names and imagine your smile when this package arrives. We wonder who you share each month's tea with and what they think of it. We imagine lots of circles growing within this Hut, each an instrument playing a bit more Earth music in the true spirit of tea: leaves and water shared freely between souls.
The oh-so-welcome growth of this gathering has also inspired us to take a look at what the future holds for Global Tea Hut, forcing us to make some difficult decisions. We had been putting off the decision about just how large we would allow this to get until later, but it has become increasingly apparent that it cannot be postponed any longer. We have, therefore, decided that we will be putting a cap of roughly two hundred-ish people in Global Tea Hut.
The reasons for this are very important, and we hope you understand them as we do, though we are open to discussion concerning this issue since it affects us all. The most important motivation for limiting membership is to preserve the quality of the experience, which we all appreciate so much - you in the receiving and us in the giving. Putting GTH together by hand each month is as much the highlight of our lunar cycle as receiving the package and drinking the tea is for you. We take great joy in hand-writing the tea envelopes, packaging all the tea with loving-kindness and even saying a small prayer of love at the post office as we send them off. We don't ever want this to become mechanized or impersonal in any way whatsoever. Furthermore, we have a very real concern about the quality of the teas we would be able to share with you if our numbers became too great. Remember that all these teas are donated by farmers and vendors who want to support us and share their hard work with the world. We don't ever want to have to choose between quantity and quality. We hope to continue to offer you the teas that we ourselves find inspiring, and are drinking along with you.
For these reasons, we will be stopping membership at around two hundred. Perhaps we'll have a waiting list beyond that, or figure out some other solution should we find ourselves with more beautiful souls than this Hut can contain. We hope you, our dear brothers and sisters, understand these issues. If you have any suggestions or ideas, please feel free to let us know. In the meantime, have another bowl. This is a special month, with one of our all-time favorite teas. May you find endless joy in yours, at least as much as we have found in serving it to you...