The Magic of Tea

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The magic of tea.

T is a letter of the alphabet. It is a junction, an intersection, a cross and a crossing. Two ley lines intersect and create a node where energy contracts and funnels into a vortex of introspection, across the event horizon and then… lost forever?

Moments are like this–intersections of dynamic energy that create a point of relative stillness, a space that is an opening for arriving home to here-now-ever-now-here. The magic of tea.

In the beginning there is emptiness. An empty pot, an empty kettle, an empty cup. The vessel is prime yin, the mother’s womb, the castle in the clouds. It is pure potentiality.

Then there was water and tea leaves. The tea leaves are in the pot. They are the raw material, the clay from which Adam was fashioned, the crude matter that must be awakened to its divine potential. This is the unrealized self, which has not yet released the fragrance of its divinity. The water is the life-force, the tao, that swirling, uncontrollable energy that takes the shape of whatever vessel it inhabits. The water is in the kettle, which is the mind and the heart.

To awaken the blessing deep within the tea leaves, we must heat the water. How hot the water needs to be depends on the quality of the tea leaves. With the tea we drink today, we must go all the way. The water needs to boil. This is purest magic, then the water is in a bardo state, between liquid and gas. Between the material and the immaterial. This is our gateway to nirvana.

The kettle is the mind, so we begin with awareness. We shift the attention away from the ego-personality and focus instead on the life-force. We observe intently its dynamic nature. We see that it is impermanent and impersonal. Water goes on changing. It follows the course of gravity. It takes the shape of its container. It does not have preferences or judgments. It simply goes where it goes. And as we fix our awareness on the water, it begins to get warmer. It approaches its immaterial nature.

The kettle is the heart, so we move into love. We surrender to the life-force. We move into gratitude, peace, and giving. Water gives itself to all beings, and all beings are composed of water. Water connects all life. Water is essential, and we learn to honor what is essential above all else.

We reach the depth of surrender, where life itself begins to evaporate. Now the water is boiling, and we pour it into our pot. The tea does not burn… another tea could have burned, but this tea appreciates boiling water. The tea begins its transmutation, as it releases its essence into the water.

The first steeping is a gift back to the source. The second steeping goes into the cup–it is for the world. We will let it cool for a moment so that it becomes palatable. And now, the work is over. Now there is nothing left to do but enjoy the fruit of our efforts. And share, share with all the world.

The magic of tea.

Being blossoms, ecstatic radiance, finding stability in universal love. Moving on the currents of grace, majesty is realized in awakening forgiveness. The all-seeing master IS! Exquisite.

An exquisite cup of tea does not wait for tomorrow. It is here-now-ever-now-here. Ceremony uses time to demonstrate the timeless. Tea is the magic of the mundane. The spiritual practice of enjoying nothing-doing.

Ahhh…

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