Tastings

 

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.     

                                                                                                                                                    


 

The Love and Forgiveness of Mother Teresa by Cat Meurn & beyondintractability.org

Love and Forgiveness in Governance: Exemplars: Mother Teresa

by Cat Meurn

Mother Teresa is perhaps best known for her work in India, where for over 50 years she aided the poor, sick, orphaned, and dying. Typically when we think of Mother Teresa, images of ultimate sacrifice, care, love and devotion come to mind. We are not alone in this, as Mother Teresa has received more than 120 awards and honors including the Padma Shri award from the President of India, the Bharat Ratna (Jewel of India), India’s highest civilian award, the Nobel Peace Prize (where the prize money was donated to the poor, per her request), the Pope John XXIII Peace Prize, and the highest US civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.[1] She was even voted as the “Most Admired Person of the Century” by a recent Gallop poll.[2]

But these awards and honors, although prestigious and well earned, are not why she has been chosen as an exemplar of love and forgiveness in governance. Mother Teresa’s life began in Macedonia under the name of Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu. She felt the “call of God” around the age of 12, and moved to Ireland to join the Sisters of Loretto at the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Only six weeks later, she traveled to India and taught for the next 17 years at the order’s school in Calcutta.[3] In 1948 she received permission to leave the convent school and devoted herself to working among the poorest of the poor.[4]

Over the years Mother Teresa started her own order, “The Missionaries of Charity”, which focused on providing love and care for those in need. She opened Nirmal Hriday (“Place for the Pure of Heart”), a hospice where the terminally ill could stay and be cared for, as well as numerous centers which served the blind, elderly, and disabled. Under Mother Teresa’s guidance, the Missionaries of Charity also built a leper colony, called Shanti Nagar (“Town of Peace”), near Asansol, India.[5] She sent many of her sisters abroad, opening houses and foundations in numerous countries. As of now, between the various organizations she started, her order includes hundreds of centers in more than 90 countries with some 4,000 nuns and hundreds of thousands of workers.[6]

Although her work has garnered some criticism in her later years, it is hard to argue against the notion that Mother Teresa was driven by the belief that God wanted her to spread his love, particularly to those who needed it most. Mother Teresa is a true exemplar of love and forgiveness, not only because she exemplified these elements herself, but also because she promoted them amongst her followers. Amongst her numerous quotes, she is recorded as stating, “If we really want to love we must learn how to forgive.” In addition, even though she reportedly experienced long-term loneliness, darkness and spiritual pain, she never deviated from her life’s mission.[7] Between how she lived her life and the more than thousands of lives she touched in some way or another, she has certainly made our list of exemplars of love and forgiveness in governance.

 

[1] Mother Teresa of Calcutta Center, “Important Dates in the Life of Mother Teresa.”

[2] Newport, “Mother Teresa Voted by American People as Most Admired Person on the Century.”

[3] “Blessed Mother Teresa (Roman Catholic Nun) — Britannica Online Encyclopedia.”

[4] Nobelprize.org, “Mother Teresa – Biography.”

[5] “Blessed Mother Teresa (Roman Catholic Nun) — Britannica Online Encyclopedia.”

[6] Ibid.

[7] Biema, “Mother Teresa’s Crisis of Faith.”

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