As I turned 30 in June of last year, the question of how my tea practice will articulate and mature in 10, 20 years from now became more prominent. Further tending and deepening this anchoring point is an organic, dynamic act that – as the moons come and fade away – shines through a stronger significance, entering a phase of slow acceptance and letting go that will eventually be expressed around untraveled paths and traditions. From the wilderness of these future new explorations and musings emerges a sentiment of quiet, yet amorphous excitement, bounds to be unhurriedly cultivated and blossom in a field of contemplation, gratitude, and compassion, while still being guided by practical education and research.
To capture, engage with, and dwell in the eternal plurality of the teachings of tea is a gift that encapsulates the essence of Life and Self like no other. One can only be left with a deep appreciation for its universal languages, and the art and craft of the people that keep them diligently and honorably alive through a reservoir of eclectic approaches, nuances, and wisdoms.
Drinking from the informal and formal nature of Taiwanese and Chinese gōng fu chá 工夫茶 cultures and heritages gave – and is still giving – me a multifaceted understanding whose the intricacies of its layers are infused in the nourishing, grounding, and expressive tea practice that I cultivate today. The ritualized sittings with my own self and other fellow human beings that spring to life through the sacred and safe spaces that I craft are gradually inviting me to open new doors, where other and more ceremonialized tea traditions selflessly color and polish the mind of its practitioners and their lives.
To feed this humble curiosity and interest of mine that has been calling for the past few years stand as a logical, potentially final, next step. And when the time will be deemed ripe – somewhere, sometime in the swirling impermanence of life – embracing the practice through that new lens will naturally ring true. But although going beyond and tasting another flavor of the unknown resonates with me, doing so might only lead to the realization that there is ultimately nowhere to go, with the truth already dwelling here. In a place where body, mind, and space collapse. Where tea is not even about tea anymore.
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