Robert Louis Stevenson once said, ‘So long as we love, we serve”. 

We believe that contained within the art of tea tastings we find balance.  Within this art we slow our breath and embrace this present moment.  It holds the coming together of the past and the future of time itself.  Time and space become one.  We learn of relationship.  We develop connection through the fullness of our own singularity.  We learn about the relationship of ourselves to the many facets of life.  Contained in the practice of meditation and prayer we learn of our inner world.   While we taste the warming beverage of tea we blend the opposites of life.  We balance these opposites through the focus of our senses.  We utilize our breath to connect to the aromas expressed in the tea.   We spearhead our attention in the harmonies of the color, aromas, and then the flavors of tea.  We discover the intent of those that planted, nurtured, and harvested the tea.  We taste the mastery of the blender through their vision.   We explore the synergy of herbs, teas and the outcomes.  We maximize the potential of relationship, that to our inner core, our soul, and then to others.

While we slow our attention to the magic held within the flavors of our tea we also slow our scope of thought.  We reduce the scope of life to a small slice of time.  The regrets of the past and the fears of the future silently funnel into the beauty of this present moment.  The subsequent slowing of our breath slows the pace of our mind.  Day and night, light and darkness cease to be separate.  The yin and yang of life find contentment in the beautiful integration of the tea’s aromas, flavors and colors.  The umami of life itself unfolds through the many flavors of the tea.  We now create new perspectives. The material and spiritual find balance.  The separation of the head and the heart are no more. Heaven and earth become one.  Our process of breath through the inhalation and the exhalation are one complete unifying process. The space between breaths takes upon a life of its own.  The zero point on a number line lives and is now packed with meaning and purpose. We find value and fullness in the dimension held within this emptiness.  Love, as a seedling breaks through the top soil of a yearning heart.

We understand the whole through its parts; its opposites and contradictions.  We now embrace all the divisiveness life has to offer.  We comprehend. Through this comprehension we find peace.  We discover contentment.  We become aware how light contains the fullness of its color spectrum.  We learn how through its absence springs darkness.  Through the absence of sound, we discover the potential of silence. Thus, in the absence of light we find darkness hovering with possibilities.  We begin to feel the dawn of compassion. We observe it unfold its form and wonder through its beautifully inspiring structure.

We call this method of tea consumption, the American Tea Ceremony.  The wonders of the American Spirit and its many contradictions find its fullness through it opposites and contradictions.  The varied aspects of sound and the multitudes of blending light are but a reflection and reverberation of America itself.  Through this artform of a tea ceremony we honor these divisions.  We embrace them and find joy and harmony within them for this is America.  It is similar to the complexities we discover within ourselves.  We open the heart to display this same rainbow of diversity and precision. Through its apparent contradictions there is a magic and a splendor of beautiful precision.

In the slow pace of tea consumption, we hear for the first time.  We cease to be deaf.  We listen to the sounds of the universe within.  We observe for the first time.  The light within takes shape.  We begin to hear and listen to the fulcrum of life within the center of our conscious awareness.  We find the purity of the observer.  We now are aware of the inner meaning and purpose of our existence. The opposites contained within the whole find balance.  We bring harmony to our outer world because we have now discovered it within our inner world.  Our lives are now a reflection of what shines forth from our inner spirit.  We balance the opposites of meditation and prayer as well the balancing poles of health and well-being.   The mystery of tasting tea now becomes alive with possibilities.  Our journey now makes sense.  Our discoveries now have value and meaning. Through the singularity of our inner connections, we now enjoy the completeness of relationship.

In prayer we speak to God.  In meditation we listen for His response.  In tea we embrace the wonder and beauty of that dialogue.

Robert Louis Stevenson once said, ‘So long as we love, we serve”. 

In our attempt to serve you, we would like to encourage tea consumption.  As we have come to understand its many benefits to both health and well-being, we hope to assist you in the process of finding balance through tea.  For this reason, we will be conducting tea tastings throughout the United States so that we may attempt to build relationships from within and without.     



Steve Jobs Did This ….. by Melanie Curtin & inc.com


Steve Jobs Did This 1 Weird Thing to Come Up With Big Ideas (and You Can Too)!

Incorporate it into your routine, and it could be a game changer.


Steve Jobs.
CREDIT: Getty Images

The words intuition and business rarely go hand in hand. Or do they?

If you look at the most successful human beings–I’m talking mega-successful, like Einstein and Oprah Winfrey and Steve Jobs–they almost all have talked about intuition. Sometimes they’ve referred to it as “gut feelings” or “instinct,” but whatever the name, it’s a large part of what guided their steps, preceded their breakthroughs, and gave them access to their best ideas.


Yet Western culture tends to denigrate intuition as being soft or somehow less than logic. As Einstein put it, “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”

In other words, our culture heavily emphasizes rationality and totally neglects intuition. No traditional school teaches how to access intuition. No one (yet) teaches kids to meditate before they study; how to slow down, breathe, and relax their body before coming up with an idea for their science project; or how to do a mindful movement practice before writing their college admissions essay. Children are taught to use their rational mind only, even when it’s painful.

Yet someone like Steve Jobs was no stranger to using his intuition. In fact, he had a specific strategy for it: walking barefoot.

Yes, Apple’s fearless leader was well known for taking brainstorming meetings while walking around barefoot.

Interestingly, science now backs up use of the practice. According to a Stanford study creatively titled “Give Your Idea Some Legs,” walking can boost creative thinking by up to 60 percent. As the researchers put it, “Walking opens up the free flow of ideas.”


Opening up that free flow can help your career. In fact, according to Rick Snyder, author of Decisive Intuition: Use Your Gut Instincts to Make Smart Business Decisions, using your intuition is one of the most efficient ways for you to manage your business.

“We make better decisions when we integrate intuition with critical thinking,” says Snyder. “Intuition is our deeper intelligence that is able to read the room or the marketplace, make decisions from a wiser resource, and extract data faster than the conscious mind can analyze.”

In other words, using your intuition is often more efficient than doing things with the brute force of logic. “When you allow time to slow down in order for your intuition to find you, you arrive at a decision more quickly,” says Snyder.

He’s not the only one to say so. Nolan Bushnell (founder of Atari and Chuck E. Cheese’s), says, “Listening to my gut has guided the most key business decisions in my life.”

Stop and consider that for a moment: The founder of two multibillion-dollar businesses says that listening to his gut has guided his most key business decisions.

Are you struggling with something in your business right now? Do you need help thinking something through?

According to Snyder, “By relaxing your mind and accessing your deeper consciousness, the answer is already there waiting for you.”


The answer is already there waiting for you. You don’t have to push or strain or strive to reach it. You don’t have to research a bunch of different options. The answer to your problem already exists in your deeper wisdom. The trick is slowing down, getting quiet, and allowing it to come forth.

If you want to practice, Snyder says the first step is to get clear on how your intuition communicates. “Do you get audio messages? A feeling in a part of your body when you have a gut sense about something?” he asks. “Tapping into your intuition is about becoming more self-aware.”

Once you have the awareness, regularly put yourself in situations where you slow down, breathe, and allow it to come to the surface.

Listen to a beautiful piece of music you know relaxes your body and mind. Take a long, hot shower, and enjoy it. Meditate. If you like art, spend 15 minutes drawing or doing watercolors. Juggle (Einstein was a big juggler).

“When you create enough space to be receptive, you allow your deeper intelligence to find you,” Snyder offers.

So create the space.

It’s also worth pointing out that intuitive flashes are rarely actual flashes–they’re often more subtle. According to Oprah, “It’s really more of a feeling than a voice–a whispery sensation that pulsates just beneath the surface of your being. All animals have it. We’re the only creatures that deny and ignore it.”

Don’t ignore it. Don’t ignore it, even if the board is pressuring you to. “Maybe you need to take the company in a different direction or launch a product,” Snyder says, “but your inner compass says it’s premature.”


Don’t let outside pressures prevent you from listening to your intuition. It’s there for a reason.

According to Oprah, “Learning to trust your instincts, using your intuitive sense of what’s best for you, is paramount for any lasting success. I’ve trusted the still, small voice of intuition my entire life. And the only time I’ve made mistakes is when I didn’t listen.”

Think of your intuition like a wise, beloved friend. Spend time with it regularly. Listen to the advice it dispenses.

Go on walks with it regularly.


The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.
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What is Natural Theology? by sullivan-county.com

What is Natural Theology?

Natural theology is a branch of theology based on reason and ordinary experience, explaining the gods rationally, as part of the physical world. Thus it is distinguished from revealed theology (or revealed religion) which is based on scripture and religious experiences of various kinds…The theologians of natural theology are the philosophers, asking for the nature of the gods, and the theologians of mythical theology are the poets, crafting mythology. The terminology entered Stoic tradition and is used by Augustine of Hippo. 

Natural theology, thus, is that part of the philosophy of religion dealing with describing the nature of the gods, or, in monotheism, arguing for or against attributes or non-attributes of God, and especially the existence of God, purely philosophically, that is, without recourse to any special or supposedly supernatural revelation. (Wiki)

“Natural Theology” is the favorite term in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries designating the knowledge of God drawn from nature in distinction from the knowledge of God contained in revelation. 

This division of theology into natural and revealed had its roots in the scholastic distinction between the two truths, one derived from nature by the use of the Aristotelian logic, subject to the authority of the Church, the other, truth above reason, revealed by God but formulated and taught solely by authority of the Church. 

The deists relied exclusively on natural theology, on the ground that the being and attributes of God could be exhaustively ascertained from the constitution and course of the world, thus superseding the necessity of supernatural revelation. David Hume, by his theory of knowledge, proved that even this knowledge was too precarious for rational certitude.

On the other hand, Bishop Butler (Analogy of Religion, London, 1736) maintained that natural and revealed religion were so far one that the truths of natural theology provided a basis for the characteristic truths of the Christian faith, such as miracles, the incarnation, and redemption. 

Later, the wisdom, power, and even the goodness of God were held to be demonstrable by the processes of natural theology (Samuel Clarke, A Demonstration of the Being and Attributes of God, London, 1-105; William Paley, Natural Theology, ib. 1802).

The function and name of natural theology continued in vogue until the latter portion of the 19th century. This habit of thought has, however, been strongly opposed by Ritschl and his school. Relying on Kant’s distinction between the pure and the practical reason, they seek the source of the knowledge of God not through the theoretic judgments of science or philosophy, but only through value-judgments to which revelation is addressed. Nature being impersonal can neither receive nor communicate the personal redemptive disclosure of God which man needs for reconciliation with him; this is to be sought ultimately only in Christ and the Christian community.

Ref. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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Sacrifice, Selflessness, and Humility by Mike Singletary

“Coaching is really something that I was born for,” he explains. “What I do at home, it’s the same thing I do here.  There is nothing that changes. Absolutely nothing. The way I talk to my kids is the way I talk to these players. I tell my players, ‘Don’t tell me what you can’t do. Just tell me what you won’t do,” because anybody that has ability can do great things. It’s just a matter of going through the sacrifice and the selflessness in order to humble yourself and come to that place of being all that you need to be.’”

Mike Singletary – Father/Coach/Pro Football Hall of Fame/Christian

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