tea, nature, and knowing

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WaldenPond163web.JPG Walden Pond - Concord, MA

On the east coast this week, and while walking the old trails around Walden Pond of the famed naturalist, author and father of American ecology, Henry David Thoreau, I was reminded that Nature teaches us all we need to know. The wisdom that springs from Nature is not Taoism, shamanism or any other ism, and no culture or individual has greater access to it than another. It is the most democratic form of education, whether scientific, philosophical, spiritual, or creative. This ancient intelligence is gladly shared with anyone who wants to listen, and it naturally arises when one is quiet, open, and mentally naked, stripped of the trappings of illusion, technology, engines, electricity and all the other manufactured distractions that ironically prevent us from knowing ourselves, each other, and the nature of all things.

Like a walk in the woods, sipping a fine tea gives us this nurturing quality that we so crave and find in nature. Tea brings peace, quiet, and the stirrings of consciousness and awareness. Tea shares its gifts with anyone who imbibes, whether rich or poor, wise or foolish, kind or rotten. It gives us comfort and awareness whether we deserve it or not, indiscriminately.

This is why tea has traveled the world in the hands of Zen and Christian monks, been delivered to one country from another in the pockets of scholars, naturalists, and monks.  Tea inspires vivid insights, and beckons those who are seekers of wholeness and truth.Yet within that immortal awareness, and that of the passing of time, we can't help but appreciate the sensual and sentient nature of life and the importance of how we spend, share, and enjoy it.

I will say no more, but leave you to the task of finding your own teas and truths, preferably in the wild, knowing landscapes that both surround and inhabit you.
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