Cha Dao: The Way of Tea
Tucked in the mountainside of Topanga, CA stood a “mansion” of wooden built house, reminiscent of the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse. If you have not seen it, I would recommended this 1960 movie. Below is a section of the property were the session is conducted.
With an uphill maze-like path leading to our workshop, and walking into the unknown and presence of strangers, I was warmly greeted by founder, author and teacher Wu De of Global Tea Hut; and for the past 20 years has practiced Cha Dao, with continuous aim of promoting the experience of tea.
This captured moment differed from prior tea tastings I’ve experienced. The session included moments of silence, embracing your current environment, and discussions of tea medicine. Wu De described tea as “passive, motherly, that which will not force itself upon you”. It took a moment for me to block out all the “outside” noise in my head as I’m not a practitioner of meditation, simply I enjoy tea, but as we all know it goes beyond that.
With over a dozen participants, it was an intimate session that included this serene and secluded setting. First tea were 3-4 lengthy well twisted tea leaves (from an 1800 year old tree, picked every 5 years), gently placed on our tea bowls and infused with water. Continuous motion of teaching and tea serving. Second tea, a mix Puerh infused on a large clay side-handled tea pot…sweet!
Gladly, we were instructed on the mechanics of serving tea properly, along with the positioning of teaware and holding our teacups. Yes, I was guilty of this, in front of Wu De. I highly recommended this for everyone interested in tea. Although it’s an introduction, with any aspects of our lives…career/relationships, we always begin with the basics.
Key takeaway, and I’m quoting Wu De not to the exact: “Be present at this moment in time with your life, not the horizontal which represents our pasts and future, but the vertical…the now”.
Hope you enjoyed.