The only reason to seek mastery of this tea is in service of our world. Furthermore, it is perhaps paradoxical that the road to mastery itself essentially contains service, for without it mastery can never be achieved. Having cultivated inner awareness and peace, we must seek to share it with others. In recognizing oneness in the center of ourselves, we are committed to healing this world one bowl at a time. For no being can be healthy in an unhealthy environment. We are the earth, the air, the mountain and the tea; and we are the sharing. In community, we find strength and support, example and leadership. Together, we can achieve much more than any of us alone.Eight-bowls-2-300x177

Our tradition is forged from the combined insight of the tea masters, sages, seers and cloudwalkers from ancient times unto the present. Let us donate our time, money and energy towards promoting an awakening and healing through tea, sharing this life and Way with all beings. As a practice, service helps us break away from our self-serving plans and goals, connecting with others in our heart of hearts. We must also work towards transcending the dichotomy between sacred and profane. All that we do is our ownmost life. There is nothing which is not our Dao. We should find our livelihood along our spiritual path and travel with it, rather than seeking for wealth, fame or power outside our center. We should furthermore view our work in the world as another kind of service, offering us the chance to donate some of our resources as well as the opportunity to work on ourselves through all the responsibilities and relationships we encounter in the world. Like the lotus, we cannot survive without the mud.

The next two posts in this series will publish as follows:

Bowl Seven: Connection to the Great Nature; Bowl tea May 13
Bowl Eight: Grace and Beauty; Gong fu tea May 20

Click to read Bowl OneBowl Two, Bowl Three, Bowl Four,  and Bowl Five.

“Eight Bowls of Life” was written by Wu De and first published by Global Tea Hut in February, 2013. Post image courtesy of Global Tea Hut. Loading image from T Ching archives.