Who’s doing what in your city and in your neighborhood? Most Internet searches on any topic of interest, in no time flat, will invariably lead you to a Meetup group. Go ahead, type something you’re interested in and see what comes up – better yet – enter “Tea Groups” and see what you find.
Because I know your time is valuable, I’ll help you out. There are 452 tea groups around the globe with over 207, 559 members. Boom! Now, have a look to see what is in your area. Here is the San Diego TEA Meetup featuring Thomas Shu.
I was involved with the San Diego Tea Meetup, founded by Dianna Harbin in 2009, and have since started a new group in the area which I now live and just recently had our first gathering. Yes, things may start off slowly, but you keep trying. This is the new Murrieta TEA Meetup!
Starting a group is the easy part. Maintaining enthusiasm and encouraging participation can be a little more challenging. People very quickly join groups and some RSVP to attend just as quickly, but it’s the actual showing up that most members seem to find difficult to honor. Oh, they want to, I don’t doubt that, but physically attending seems to be the hard part.
With over 20 million members, in over 150 different countries, over 50,000 events happening weekly, and with over 65,000 organizers, Meetup.com is convincingly the place to be. (These numbers seem to vary widely from article to article, but the numbers are huge and forecast to grow.) They charge the organizer, a monthly fee of $14.99 for the unlimited membership, and this is very reasonable for the reach you will have. Nevertheless, do read and understand their rules – they have many. Meetup began after the 9/11 tragedy as a way to encourage face-to-face interactions with people to build and create a stronger sense of community.
Tea groups naturally spawn a sense of community – it’s just built into the beverage – it’s part of the history of tea. Group organizers do have to be patient and creative in making selections for each gathering.
I have put together a series of new books on how to meditate with tea where I give systematic instructions (suggestions) for anyone wishing to start a tea group or add tea and meditating with tea as a featured event for an existing group.
I ran the San Diego Tea Meetup group for several years by myself and learned some valuable lessons during that period that I’ve chosen to share in these books. I feel that people coming together for tea, education, and social interaction strengths communities. During and after our recent American disasters and tragedies, we witnessed people coming together and working in selfless unity.
Just as the Meetup creators immediately witnessed people reaching out to help strangers without a second thought after 9/11, they wanted to create something that had the power to do this without the tragedy. I believe they have indeed succeeded in doing so to a smaller extent – but every little bit helps. Tea is the perfect beverage of hospitality to bring people together. Please consider sharing your appreciation and knowledge of tea with others.