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October 2017

Tea Wayfarer

Article Title
AuthorGlobal Tea Hut
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Tea Wayfarer

by Global Tea Hut

Each month, we introduce one of the Global Tea Hut members to you, in order to help you get to know more people in this growing international community. It's also to pay homage to the many manifestations that all this wonderful spirit and Tea are becoming as the Tea is drunk and becomes human. The energy of Tea fuels some great work in this world, and we are so honored to share glimpses of such beautiful people and their Tea. This month, we would like to introduce Samson Swanick.

I live in Bali and drink tea. But, I also do a lot of other things: I run custom educational adventures to reconnect kids to Nature; I have a past life regression/hypnotherapy practice; I do sustainability consulting, build aquaponic systems; I run a permaculture farm, brew kombucha, teach meditation, have sound healings; and as a musician, perform songs I wrote about self-empowerment/spirituality in the genres of singer/songwriter and hip-hop... But my favorite thing to do (besides making puns and laughing at my own jokes) is to serve and drink tea!

My journey towards the discovery of Tea was a long, adventurous route. However, looking back, by following the breadcrumbs, I was really collecting puzzle pieces for a masterpiece - one that would change my life forever. Being born in the southwestern desert of the USA, I always dreamt of visiting the vast emerald green hills of Ireland. It was in this most magical of places that I got my first taste of the Leaf. I was invited to attend afternoon tea.

For years after that glorious experience, in the afternoons, I would carefully arrange and enjoy the liquid healing pleasure of each cup. I had always greatly appreciated how Tea could help me become more mindful and help me to truly appreciate the moment, the surrounding Nature and my contentment to just be. This was something I really appreciated, because even before I met Tea, I had a mediation practice and had studied with many different teachers. All their various techniques seemed to foster the feelings that Tea gave me naturally.

I had been living in a hut in Bali, spending my days eating fruit and mediating. A friend of mine, a Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor, Dave Melladew, invited me over for a tea ceremony. On his balcony overlooking the rice fields, from his sidehandle pot, he poured an elixir of pure alchemy, and I awoke into a field of infinite silence, tranquility and peace. It was beautiful in every sense and in every way. I still remember that first bowl. Then, a couple of months later, fate, luck or destiny would bring me to another magical encounter, face-to-face with a bowl of tea poured by the hands and heart of Wu De. Wu De had traveled to Bali and was holding a Tea ceremony at Dave's place, and I was invited.

We started meditating and drinking Tea, and my reality started to blur and come undone. It was as if a soft, angelic embrace had floated me far away in time and space. I had met Tea, and She, with Her infinite compassion, had brought me into Her world. She showed me where the tea I was drinking had come from; She showed me the surrounding trees and shared that these were the friends that kept those tea trees company. I felt the Nature flowing through the tea and into me, reminding me of who I really am. I felt Her unconditional love and learning in each sip. My life was forever changed. Like so many of you, Tea came upon me suddenly and whisked me away.

I opened my eyes and immediately asked what most people ask, "What kind of tea was that?!" Wu De responded like he normally does to that question. I said, "Okay, just tell me when and where and I'll be there." Later on, a three-week visit to the Tea Sage Hut turned into a two-month pilgrimage to Taiwan, Wuyi and Yixing with an incredible group of tea brothers and sisters, whom all hold a deep place in my heart. It was an epic trip: We saw and learned so much!

As my life journey continues to unfold, I could not feel more honored, humbled and grateful to have a goddess holding my hand along the way. And, I have the deepest privilege to serve and share this divine healing with others. It is with deep reverence that I serve tea - She is medicine, my love and my path. In my pain, She soothes; in my confusion, She illuminates; in my soul, She awakens and shows me the way - the Way of Tea.

If you're ever in Bali, stop by my hut in Ubud! I'll tell you a few dumb jokes and pour you a bowl of tea. Then, in holy gratitude, we can commune together with this most divine and healing goddess - all amongst the vibrant jungle of paradise on the Island of the Gods.