As part of my studies, we had to write a final essay up for discussion on the opportunity for a tea presentation to overcome intolerance. I would like to share with you the result of this essay. The specific question was:
“In a world where the intolerance of the cultural values and practices of others leads to discrimination and mass murder, a creative and culturally sensitive tea presentation is an opportunity to promote the art and taste of tea, as well as nurture a peaceful environment of respect and appreciation of many cultures.”
We all come from different backgrounds. We live in different countries around the world. We went through different childhoods, different cultural experiences, which all have left their mark on the windshield on how we perceive the world.
The windshield of some people is so tainted and closed that it leads them to see people how they want them to see, with intolerance and discrimination. It leads them to engage in damaging acts and even worse, convince other people to follow their destructive path. Continue reading →
This tea ceremony has been enjoyed by my wife Kristen and I. The kids are sleeping peacefully. The ceremony is dedicated to peace and harmony.
It starts off by creating an atmosphere of calm and peace. The sun has gone down and I am lighting a green tea incense and a tea candle held by a Buddha. The wonderful smell of the tea incense fills the air and the candle light reveals the stage: a large bamboo tray.
The actors are already here: my new Yixing tea pot, a smelling cup and a few drinking cups to serve the tea. As with all of my tea ceremonies, they are happy to be out of their Chinese silk boxes and participate in this ceremony.
I often get asked the question: Why do you like tea so much? I can best sum it up by looking at my tea past, present and future.
When I was a little kid we often would take the train from Berlin, East Germany to St. Petersburg, Russia, – a two day journey. On this trip it had been my job to get the tea for the family and I remember this procedure vividly: a strong black tea in a glass mug in a heavy iron casing with a long piece of sugar. I had to make a few trips, for a little kid in a fast moving train not an easy task. But it left something in me, a sort of family tradition. Continue reading →