We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human one. Everywhere you go you can’t help meeting people who are more spiritually aware of concepts like equanimity, mindfulness, compassion, Being, presence, meditation, surrender, forgiveness and so on. More and more conscious communities are arising and lending themselves to causes greater than pursuit of personal profit, in service of all beings. Spiritual work is, after all, ultimately about transcendence and service to others. Being committed to a spiritual or Dhammic life means the choices you make every day are as much as possible in alignment with a life of service. And one choice that everyone faces today is surrounding the food we eat, and also the tea we drink.
Here at the Hut, we drink and share organic tea and more often living tea, which many of you have come to know as tea that is grown in harmony with Nature; tea that is seed-propagated with ample space to grow; tea that is tended to by caring human hands; real tea, with an energy that speaks to your heart. Living tea is the ideal. She has so much to offer. An old tree’s roots tap deep and its crown sweeps the sky. That connection to the Earth and the Heavens relays a message in every brew, every bowl. Genetic variance sits in each seed and a local ecology unfurls in each leaf. Such tea not only heals us now in the present, but also will be here long after we are gone to heal future lovers of tea. But as we’ve said before, the major problem with this type of tea is that it simply can’t be made available to everyone due to its growing conditions and time requirements. In lieu of having living tea always available, as we are so lucky to have at the Tea Sage Hut, choosing organic plantation tea is a great alternative to align your tea-self with Nature.
Without going into any great detail on the economics of organics, I would simply like to talk about tea and what it means for you, and us here in Taiwan, when we buy organic. Let organic not be constricted to any particular set of values, certifications or trademark standards. What does organic mean to you on an intuitive level? I like to think about the food and agriculture practices during times when people were really in tune with their environment and the cosmos; when people lived off their own land and respected Her as part of their family; when soil was clean enough to eat raw; when organic food was just called . . . “food.” While certification is something you will need to consider on your own if you choose to buy organic tea. I’ll leave it up to you to investigate. One can’t be too lax or too serious when making that decision, and there are a lot of different organic standards out there. I say that because there are many other factors affecting your tea aside from what the label says, like your frame of mind, the intention behind your actions and the environment you live in.
“Affecting Change” was written by Shane Marrs, and first published by Global Tea Hut in August, 2013.
Global Tea Hut has generously granted permission to T Ching to publish past articles from their publication each week. These will appear on Wednesdays.
MAIN image courtesy of T Ching archives. Image 1: