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.     



A Teatime Prayer by Sheila Stephens, Luis Jaime & thefourseasonstearoom.com

A Teatime Prayer

A Teatime Prayer

Dear God, please
lead me into Comfort’s Ways.
Let me bring you the cup
of who I am,
which you find special
Help me open to your Grace
as I sit awhile,
comfortable enough to say,
“I put my feet up now,
and set my worries down –
into your hands today.”

Let me remember,
in these moments of
much-needed ease,
the many ways you’ve tended me,
and filled my cup
with the splendid blessings
you so constantly
send my way.

Help me merge with you,
as I steep my tea
and center myself –
to receive your Love-filled Light.
And when that sip of warmth
spreads through me,
let it heal all the places in my spirit
that were in need.

As I feel that healing Light,
as I surrender to you
my worry and my pain –
cleanse my heart
and comfort my emotions,
so I may regain my sacred balance –
in the centerpoint
and steadfast warmth
of your fine Love.

And as this gentle teatime
renews the all of me,
let me lift my teacup,
and my prayers,
into the wings of your
higher Vibration,
so I may let your radiant energy
imbue my every thought
with Vision, with Wisdom,
and with the Guidance
of your luminous Insight.

I promise, dear God, to honor
the rich servings of blessings
and inspirations
you so generously
bring to me – by using them
in my life today.
And I promise
to come back to you often –
so you may see me smiling
when I hear the clink of fine china,
or nodding
when I see a teacup on a shelf –
knowing that this day
and this prayer
are not mine alone,
but shared with You.

Thank you, God,
for this teatime,
and for the gift of Love
you ever bring my way.
I go forth now,
with you in my Heart,
as I let you fill
and change my day
with the warmth and radiance
of your Grace.

~~ by Sheila Stephens.

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Water Fasting Impacts by Taz Bhatia, M.D & mindbodygreen.com

Water Fasting Has Become Super Trendy, But Is It Powerfully Healing — Or Really Dangerous?

Taz Bhatia, M.D.
Photo by Light Field Studios
Taz Bhatia, M.D., is part of the mbg Collective, a curated group of our most trusted wellness advisers. Since 2009, we’ve had the brightest, most passionate mission-driven leaders in wellness share their intimate stories and world-class advice. Now we’re giving you unparalleled access to the people who, alongside mbg, are putting the “WE” back in wellness. Consider them your personal guides, there to support you and sustain you on your journey.

Fasting seems to be the latest health trend, with intermittent fasting, alternate-day fasting, and water fasts becoming more familiar terms in the wellness landscape.

Water fasts have been around for centuries and have been done in a number of different ways and for varying lengths of time, usually five to 40 days. In a water fast, you are limited to drinking only water and no food for the duration of the fast. Many fasts and detoxes have taken a spin off the traditional water fast. Remember the classic lemon, cayenne pepper, maple syrup fast or even the cabbage soup cleanse? Both are offshoots of the original water fast, where liquids are the main source of sustenance. Many of these fasts have had positive results, with reduction in blood pressure, improvement in insulin levels, and even weight management.

What water fasts accomplish.

The success of water fasts may lie in their ability to induce autophagy, a mechanism by which the body reprograms itself, clearing out old cells or damaged cells and replacing them with new ones—a reboot, so to speak. There is also research that suggests that fasting can improve digestive health, allowing good bacteria to flourish, resulting in an overall improvement in metabolism, weight, and many other cardiometabolic conditions.

Studies show that water fasting will help you to lose weight (around 14 pounds in five days of water fasting), lower blood pressure (drops an average of 20 points after five days of water fasting), and reduce oxidative stress (a good thing, because too much oxidative stress ages you more quickly). Oxidative stress is a condition where too much oxygen can wreak havoc in your cells. It’s complicated, and that last sentence is wildly simplified, but the bottom line is that oxidative stress is an indication that you are out of balance on a cellular level. This condition can cause excessive fatigue, brain fog, muscle and joint pain, wrinkles and gray hair, poor eyesight, headaches and sensitivity to noise, and a decreased immune system.

That’s the good news.

Light Field Studios

Negative impacts of water fasting.

The bad news is that water fasting for multiple days is highly challenging, and it can be dangerous. I don’t recommend a water fast for more than 48 hours unless it is medically supervised. Research also demonstrates the negative effects of a water fast on your kidneys and a decrease in CoQ10, an enzyme naturally produced in your cells and tissues. CoQ10 acts like an antioxidant, providing energy to our cells, preventing muscle weakness and even cardiac dysfunction.

Prolonged water fasts can also result in fainting, brain fog, and fatigue. Water fasts are not recommended for anyone with kidney disease or who are pregnant or nursing or on multiple medications.

There are spas where you can go to do water fasting under the supervision of doctors—in these places you often receive daily massages, chiropractic care, and spa baths—but you are still just drinking water for days on end (five to 40 days is the amount offered). I’ve never tried it, and I admit that it’s intriguing, but as a functional practitioner, I still think it is extreme and unnecessary. There are so many different tools to heal the body, each of which always has to be used appropriately. A one- to two-day water fast comes with minimal risk, but trying to go for more than two days with just water will likely make you irritable and increase your risk of side effects.

Now, back to the good news—you can fast without feeling overly deprived.

How to water fast.

If you still want to try water fasting on your own (and you don’t have any of the conditions mentioned above), I suggest no more than 24 to 48 hours followed by a day of green drinks and a protein smoothie. Make sure that during the 48 hours of water fasting you don’t overexert yourself since it can cause dizziness, nausea, and headaches. You can do a shorter fast and still get many benefits from doing a smart detox day with a gut-resetting tonic, a powerful green drink, and a protein smoothie. Intermittent fasting has been shown to provide all the benefits of a water fast, with none of the hunger and physical torture you have to go through.

As you navigate the world of fasting and its implications for your health, understand that fasting is essentially a form of detoxification, an opportunity to reset and reboot the body. A short water fast, intermittent fasting, a detox—there are so many options to choose from, but safety and the long-term results should always be the first goals.

Is intermittent fasting a fad or the future of functional medicine? Three leading doctors discuss.

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