Tea Ceremony

Tea + Mindfulness = Meditation

Ganga and Tara are tea emissaries who share the tea ceremony around the world. For thousands of years there has been a deep connection between tea and spirituality. The tea ceremony originated in China where Zen monks used it as a way to enhance meditation by increasing clarity of mind. During the tea ceremony one leaves aside the concerns of the world and focusses on being fully present in the here and now. When drinking tea is combined with mindfulness it becomes meditation.

“When the mind, having freed itself from the trammels of past and future, is fully concentrated on the Here and Now, a whole range of pleasures involving ears, eyes, nose, palate, and mood can be enjoyed by two or more people who have come together to make and drink fine tea.”
~ John Blofeld

Cha Dao – The Way of Tea

Tea is the most consumed liquid in the world next to water. Tea can be consumed in many ways, from the most casual to ceremonial.  On a hot summer day, you might buy a can of iced tea at a convenience store and chug it down to quench your thirst. That would be the most casual approach to tea. The deeper spiritual dimension of tea can be experienced in the tea ceremony. The Chinese and then the Japanese developed the drinking of tea into a highly refined art form – the Tea Ceremony. In ancient China and Japan, there was a saying, “Zen and Tea – One Flavor.”  Zen Masters were Tea Masters and Tea Masters were Zen Masters. When one drinks tea with mindfulness, it becomes meditation. Try starting the day with drinking a cup of your favorite tea in silence. The best teacher is Silence. It’s really a way of life that you study your entire life. The basic principles of the tea ceremony are harmony, purity, tranquility and most of all respect.

"Who would the deny that when I am sipping tea in my tearoom I am swallowing the whole universe with it and that this very moment of my lifting the bowl to my lips is eternity itself transcending time and space?"
~ D.T. Suzuki

The inner secret of the tea ceremony that is rarely, if ever, spoken about is that the tea ceremony is a transmission of love. The Zen Master is literally pouring his or her love into the bowl for you to drink. Bodhichitta (loving kindness) is the essence of Buddhism and the tea ceremony is a direct transmission of Bodhichitta.

“You must be completely awake in the present to enjoy the tea. Only in the awareness of the present, can your hands feel the pleasant warmth of the cup. Only in the present, can you savor the aroma, taste the sweetness, appreciate the delicacy. If you are ruminating about the past, or worrying about the future, you will completely miss the experience of enjoying the cup of tea. You will look down at the cup, and the tea will be gone. Life is like that.If you are not fully present, you will look around and it will be gone.You will have missed the feel, the aroma, the delicacy and beauty of life.It will seem to be speeding past you. The past is finished. Learn from it and let it go. The future is not even here yet. Plan for it, but do not waste your time worrying about it. Worrying is worthless. When you stop ruminating about what has already happened, when you stop worrying about what might never happen, then you will be in the present moment. Then you will begin to experience joy in life.”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

We offer individual and group training in the The Way of Tea.

1) Sacred Tea Sessions

Experience tea as meditation and learn the deeper spiritual dimension of tea, as well as the history of tea and spirituality. Sample types of high quality tea and enjoy uplifting conversation.  

$30 (2 hours) - limited to 7 people.

2) Sacred Tea Ceremony Training

Learn how to perform the Chinese Tea Ceremony at home for yourself and friends. Learn about types of tea, teaware and methods of brewing. Hands-on experience brewing tea and sharing with friends. $108 (5 hours, noon to 5pm) limited to 5 people. Vegan snacks served during the training, followed by dinner at the Red Dot Vegetarian Restaurant (not included).

3) Weekend Sacred Tea Retreat

Spend the weekend relaxing and being inspired in the mountains at an altitude of 5,000 feet. Drink fine tea and enjoy delicious vegan meals. Meditation. Nature hikes.  Stay in a local Bed & Breakfast or hotel. $250 (5pm Friday night to 3pm Sunday afternoon) limited to 10 people.


Ganga and Tara sharing tea in Maui

During our 2012 World Tour we slept at the beach in Maui and enjoyed fine tea in the morning.