Even after a glorious and well-attended screening of The Meaning of Tea, by Scott Chamberlin Hoyt, at Kulov’s 2011 Tea Lovers Festival, one can still ask, “What is the meaning of tea?”  Will we ever have one definitive answer?  I think not, as befits the mystery and majesty of tea.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/49749040@N04/4563690038/In fact, the answer to this question is all around us.  Look at our many tea friends who get into the business of tea and how they have woven their own unique thread into their shops, websites, and blogs, all of which add to the intricate tapestry of tea and its elusive meaning.  Each distinctive thread marks its purposeful place in the ever-growing world of tea and tea aficionados.  Each and every exquisite thread contributes to the meaning of tea.

It is hard to explain what happens to folks when they sip this ancient beverage.  Something about this elixir takes hold and the quest begins – one that transports people to the other side of the world, to tea gardens on remote mountain tops, mom-and-pop tea shops in the middle of nowhere, huge multi-million-dollar corporate offices, tea auctions, tea factories, tea tastings, and tea expos.  For many, the quest is endless.

What is it about tea that appears to capture one’s soul?  Perhaps it is the soul capturing the tea – providing it with something it has been seeking?  To the many who are overcome by tea, the answers to these questions are rather insignificant.  They appear to be driven by an unseen force, one bound to take its course, and one that leads them deep into the world of tea, where only their soul knows the true meaning of tea.

Each sip of a new tea brings with it a new meaning of tea – so the question is never fully answered because there is always a new tea to be explored.  Once this beverage gets a hold of you, it cannot be ignored.  It begs for you to reach deeper into its world and deeper into the depths of one’s own soul – for they truly do seem to know each other.

For those on tea plantations, tea is their life and their livelihood.  For those in the many aspects of the business of tea, tea holds other meanings – there is the quest to find and import the rarest, the finest, the newest, and the oldest among teas.  You see how that pursuit could never end.  For the tea enthusiast, it becomes a study, an exploration, an intrigue.  And for the plain old tea lovers, loving tea means just keep the pot full!

We will never be able to confine or define the meaning of tea.  Mr. Hoyt did a wonderful job in presenting this to us with his film, and this, of course, simply adds to the splendor of this sensational beverage. Cheers! 

Hones-Tea

I vow to live, seek and speak the truth;
the highest form of who I AM.
In truth God is all there is.
With this, I align myself
to my authentic self, my genuine self
and I AM free from fraud and falsity.
With honesty there is sincerity, fidelity and infallibility.
My heart and eyes open to see the good in me and in all others.
Impeccable, unimpaired and uninhibited,
truth flows from me like a fountain of wisdom and enlightenment.
Others are drawn to the waters of honesty and verity
and sip to remember and verify who they truly are.
In the light of truth I grow in good and in God,
and realize this is honestly who I AM.
I thank God for the words of truth
that leave my lips and touch the hearts of others.
Conformity no longer serves me and integrity guides me.
It leads me and directs in all my ways –
for all of my days.
Amen

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