One of my favorite stories about tea involves a man who was sitting alone at a table in a tea house in Japan. Drinking his tea, through the steam rising from the cup, he saw three ancient Zen masters. They were out in the tea field just beyond the tea house. So he had a sort of telepathic discussion with them.
Now, I’ve never had anything quite so mystical happen to me while drinking a cup of tea, but I do feel the spirit of that man’s experience often when I sit down to enjoy a cup. That is, when I actually sit down and experience the tea rather than drinking it on the go. (Confession: drinking on the go is my normal experience of tea drinking.)
My most memorable experience of this sort was the first time I drank ancient tea. It was made from the leaves of a tea tree that was more than 500 years old. I felt this rush of energy through my body, like the essence of life itself had infused itself into every cell in my being. Interestingly, the man next to me was also drinking the same tea for the very first time, and he hated it so much he spit it out. Couldn’t even swallow it.
What made our experiences so different? Honestly, I have no idea. But my experience repeats itself when I slow down enough to allow it to enter into my consciousness, and I think there’s something in the tea leaf that allows this. A compound like EGCG or caffeine, but as yet unidentified by scientists. A compound that takes the essence of the earth and merges it with the essence of the drinker. And that’s what draws me to tea over anything else.
What better way to connect to the marrow of the Earth than through a cup of tea? Especially on those days when you’re so disconnected from nature and its healing powers. It’s so nice to know you can get that connection in just a few minutes. Because when you’re connected to nature you’re connected to yourself, and when you’re connected to yourself life is just easier.
So drink up! And for more connection to yourself, check out our Tao Te Ching e-course. I can’t promise you’ll see ancient Zen masters in your tea cup, but I can promise you’ll experience a better relationship with that voice in your head.