Part of a series on How To Expand Your Tea Education.
A few places and experiences in tea education don’t fall into the well-ordered categories, and the Global Tea Hut stands among those.
For one thing, it is hard to define. It is a combination of inter-related projects:
The Global Tea Hut is a kind of membership to a community. Supporters make monetary contributions, and tea farmers contribute tea. Members get to enjoy the tea, knowing their fellow members across the world are sharing their experience. The proceeds are used to construct Light Meets Life.
Light Meets Life is currently in development. Land has been acquired in the mountains of Miaoli County, Taiwan. Plans include a retreat center, a cave for ageing pu’er, and tea gardens. Retreatants can learn about tea growing and processing and appreciating tea. The center will be free and open to all, a place to come for meditation, healing, and learning.
Light Meets Life is also an extension of the Tea Sage Hut. The Tea Sage Hut currently includes a school and place of spiritual cultivation. The Tea Sage Hut also follows in the footsteps of BaiSao by offering “roadside tea” at places across Taiwan. Current guests and future guests of Light Meets Life may stay in dorm rooms, and are offered vegetarian meals. Guests and others may offer donations to allow future guests to partake of the shared experience.
As may be expected, these tea projects reflect some foundational understandings. Tea in this context is harmony with Nature, with others, and with self. Daoist and Zen teachings influence the approach. Chinese gongfu tea practices also shape their concept of what is the “right” way to interact with tea. This is not to say that a specific ritual must be learned and practiced, but that there is a proper way to commune with tea – be that a set of physical movements and/or mental attitudes. At the same time, the approach does not necessarily exclude other belief systems. By adding the proverbial grain of salt, their approach to tea can be translated to other belief systems that show a admiration for the natural, respect for others, and appreciation of purity.
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