My partner and I have been participating in Oprah’s ground breaking e-class, A New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle. There are a reported 2 million participants from around the world. Eckhart has been described as a “contemporary spiritual teacher” who borrows concepts from the realm of psychology to define a new way of being. By giving up our attachment to our “ego” or our “ego-based state of consciousness,” we can actually be happy and peaceful. Let me assure you, that is easier said than done. None the less, I believe it has tremendous potential, as do the other 2 million readers/watchers/participants.

Eckhart encourages a connection to nature as a way to gain awareness of the present. Oh, the present is not an easy place to be. We are a culture who lives for the future. We escape our over burdened life by dreaming about the future: be it after this meeting I must attend; after work today; this week-end; our next vacation; our next job – which promises to be better than this job; our next relationship; next year, when I retire; when I lose weight; when I graduate,;when I have more money . . . any time but NOW.

Getting back to nature – that seems to help me a lot. I used to take my morning hike with my ipod. I was looking to be distracted from the unpleasantness of the physical exertion that walking uphill imparts. I even downloaded Eckhart to accompany me on this very hike. Now I know better. I need to “be” in nature. I need to hear the birds. I need to see the flowers and critters that scurry away when they hear me coming. Getting out of my head and into the moment is the goal. I live in the majestic Pacific Northwest. More specifically the Columbia River Gorge. When I walk outside my front door, I see Mt Hood in all her glory. The present is glorious.

But how does one continue to remain connected to nature and the present moment? I believe TEA can be that catalyst. When I come back from my hike, it is my routine to make myself a cup of tea. In earlier times, I’d reach for some water to rehydrate myself. Today I know that tea can accomplish that and more. As I wait for it to brew, I look out my window at Mt. Hood and a peacefulness comes over me. Granted, most people don’t have the pleasure of such an inspiring view, but gazing at a simple flower or watching leaves unfurl in a glass tea pot . . . either of these has the potential to bring nature and our presence in the moment. Each sip of tea can connect us to this moment in time. If we can learn to stay out of our heads and into the present, we will bring peace and happiness into our lives. I invite you to enjoy this simple ritual of tea and this moment in the now.

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