Tea In Service of Mankind
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.
Serving Tea With A Pure Heart
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 only 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.
Ancient Chinese Proverb: Drink tea and make friends.
““Tea tempers the spirits and harmonizes the mind, dispels lassitude and relieves fatigue, awakens thought and prevents drowsiness, lightens or refreshes the body, and clears the perceptive faculties.”
The clouds above us join and separate,
The breeze in the courtyard leaves and returns.
Life is like that, so why not relax?
Who can stop us from celebrating?”
This article was originally published in February 2015 as the second in a six-part series.
We are updating and republishing the series by Wu De, founder of Global Tea Hut and a master tea educator.
- Exploring the Meaning of Tea 1; Its Fivefold Essence
- Exploring the Meaning of Tea 2; Tea Is Nature
- Exploring the Meaning of Tea 3; Tea is Medicine
- Exploring the Meaning of Tea 4; Tea is Heart and Spirit
- Exploring the Meaning of Tea 5; Tea is Friendship
- Exploring the Meaning of Tea 6; Tea is an Act of Kindness
I’d have to wonder how others would react to a free cup of tea in this part of the world. People have become very suspicious of others, even when they’re doing something out of true kindness. That said, next time we have a festival at the waterfront, I’ll think about setting up a small spot and offering people tea. I’ve tried on hikes in the woods, offering passing hikers some snacks or nibbles and typically they are refused with a thank you but no thank you. Not a very encouraging experience but perhaps with tea……..it will be different.