The Journey of A Thousand Sips Begins with A Single Cup
"But this is only dried leaves. Why do you boil water, Stranger? When all I want the celestial beverage!"
This quote from Idris Shah's 'Story of Tea,' perfectly encapsulated the paradox that is tea, something so deeply of the earth yet somehow untouched by the gravity of life. It's subtle resilience to the ways of the world, the ineffability of its spirit, are an eternal reminder of how even the simplest grace can grow in the most inhospitable climates.
What is it about a few leaves in water that leaves the heart so humbled and inspired to give back to the world and one another a thousandfold?
* * *
Rabbit's Moon's own tea journey began over ten years ago when I first drank a cup of tea in the gong fu style. It was a sudden epiphany, as if something missing my whole life had suddenly been found and realized. The love affair with tea was instant and life-affirming, but it was in sharing tea and seeing how easily it brought similar, quiet epiphanies to others that ultimately clarified this path of service to tea.
All the ritual, the care and commitment to service had awoken something dormant deep inside. I spent six years working in tea houses and tea shops developing an ability to understand how to listen to the subtle energy present in each tea. Learning this other way to listen was the first step on my journey with tea.
Upon my first trip to China,
standing at the foot of the ancient tea forest in Yunnan brought my second awakening. Never before on this earth had I felt so at home than than among those gentle elder tea trees. It was as if we shared the same blood. Every year I returned exponentially deepened my appreciation and gratitude for the great power of the tea plant to humble our hearts. I was in turn moved by the radical art of simplicity and intuition practiced daily by so many of the farmers I met along the way. As I developed closer relationships with the farmers of each region I began documenting their stories and the stories of their teas.
Rabbit's Moon Tea Arts is born of the desire to share these stories over tea to inspire the same art of mindful living that has so transformed my own way of seeing.
For today, we live on the margins of life, running from one place to the next, hardly a moment to rest.
Where is the sovereignty of our perception amidst so much clamor for it?
Tea produced and sourced with care offers us a window of opportunity to look into our own soul through the lens of presence. It offers us a breath of the timeless in the heart of the maelstrom of modern living, to reflect on what it is we truly value in living purposefully, rich and deeply fulfilling lives like so many of the farmers who impart their wisdom with the touch of their loving intent.
In four years of diligently building bridges every spring with a network of small scale tea farmers across China, I have spent that time passionately exploring the many dimensions of tea's potential for transformation. Rabbit's Moon Tea Arts extensive catalog of farm direct tea communicates the full spectrum essence of this potential. Tea has been shared for thousands of years as a tool of self-cultivation and deepening communal relationship. For it is only through the impeccability and mindfulness found in the cultivation of the leaf by the farmers, that I have found the spirit of tea to be the most clearly communicated.
The more we taste peace, the more we are compelled to sit quietly among the way of things and listen.
Gratitude for every cup,
Steve at Rabbit's Moon Tea Arts
A new sprout takes root
Rabbit's Moon Tea Arts has a website! After years of slowly steeping, finally analog no more. Stay tuned for more weekly posts in the blog format on poetry, prose on other tea musings. Thank you all for your years of patience, trust and support. Rabbitsmoontea.com is born.