There is no mastery in self-service. In this tradition we don’t learn to make tea but to serve tea. True mastery must be in the service of mankind. As we progress, we come to understand that we serve the evolution of consciousness itself, and that the growth and awakening is an impersonal process—the natural movement of the light into life. In offering tea, we offer our spirit in true kinship. All movement into the sacred realm is an effort to bring back boons that will support our community.
When you serve tea to another with a pure heart, there is an opportunity to give a time and space of healing. In such an opening, people are often transformed. Nothing could be more important. In a troubled time, and facing an uncertain future, it is only the evolution of human consciousness that will save our species. This Earth doesn’t have environmental problems, nor does it have climate problems; it has human problems. And the human problems are not solvable politically or economically, for they are problems of the heart. If there is to be a medicine, it must also be for the heart.
Tea connects very different people. We set up roadside tea blankets and serve tea to passersby, offering them some presence and loving-kindness in a bowl. It is surprising how dramatic an effect kicking off their shoes and sitting on the ground for a bowl or two can have on someone’s day. To truly understand something you must get involved—comprehension comes through participation. To understand tea, set up at the park or market, road or temple and serve tea as an act of kindness. In such a moment, guest and host vanish and we find the oneness that we’re all grounded in: the light that shines from within.
This is Part 5, the final post in a series written by Wu De of Global Tea Hut, The Fivefold Essence Of Tea. originally published by Global Tea Hut in January of 2013. Loading image from T Ching archives, post images courtesy of Global Tea Hut.