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Mountains, Clouds, Tea

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It comes as a natural impulse of many tea drinkers to reject labels, and to place value on experience -- unaffected by words. Many of us resist, or outright avoid, being told what to expect from a given tea, before we have the chance to feel it out for ourselves. It is for this same reason, that among many tea friends, the phrase "I'll give you my tasting notes" is tantamount to go fly a kite


Some people need to hear about the origins of a tea, its current market value, its provenance -- including the name of the person who picked it. However, all of this and more can be realized by being fully present in the ritual of tea — in each moment. It is a level of attentiveness which does not necessarily demand silence, though this can be helpful as we are learning to adjust the microscope of the heart-mind.



fine tea, best tea in the world, pu-ehr tea, tea experts, tea expertise
'when you are looking for fine tea, fine tea is also looking for you'


Many have to hear all of the bio-data about a product before they can submit to the enjoyment of it. The mind, trickster that it is often makes fools of such tea aficionados. For while they may be well developed economically or socially, the quality of inner-civilization and supreme self reliance (confidence) is in short supply.


The statement of my teacher, Master He, that 'when you are looking for fine tea, fine tea is also looking for you' is most valid. Many a wealthy collector is drinking fugazi tea, having been told it is old and rare. This is a little inside joke of the tea industry expert. It is unfortunate, but ultimately the by product of arrogance, a quality which the tea itself retreats from quietly -- or more accurately is but a specter at such banquets.


To taste tea -- from a trusted source -- not knowing at first its age, price or pedigree, and to respond to it honestly and naturally, based upon inner experience. This is the beginning of the practice of tea as a way (of life).


Erick Smithe

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Good tea purifies the body heart and soul, it connects us with the greater forces in the universe - bridging the divide between heaven and earth.


It is not merely a healthy and delicious beverage, but is in fact a gift from God.


We drink tea, not to simply quench our thirst, to lubricate conversation, or to satisfy our senses - nor to we pursue it simply to show how sophisticated we are.


Tea and the Tao - a book to learn about ancient wisdom brought by tea and pu-ehr tea

"Tea and the Tao" translated by Erick Smithe & James Von Holt


We drink tea, because tea helps us to very quickly relax - to sink into stillness - to become purified - raised up - and retake the path back to the spiritual home country.


Tea is in itself a kind of energy.


The “Tao of Tea” that we speak of, makes use of the energy present in tea to assist us in reconnecting with the power station of the Universe and thus awaken our slumbering soul.


We unite ourselves with this almighty essence - a force which thoughts cannot contain - a power that is exceeds all limits of the mind.


These words, on the surface may appear very strange, but after reading ‘Tea and the Tao’ they will seem much more reasonable.


This text is an extract of my co-written and co-translated with James Von Holt book called "Tea and the Tao".


Send me a message if you want to read more of it.


Erick Smithe


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Tea -- the ritual, practice and ingesting of it -- alters both our perception of and our relationship to Time.


Drawing paralells to fighting Taichi, and other internal forms of martial art, we practice slowly so that we might then in turn move at the speed of the mind.


Tea ritual which is often maligned by the confused and uninitiated as being slow, boring, or effete, has the power to move both heaven and earth -- bending reality to suit the whim of those who truly know their way around a teapot.


The amount of time, patience and practice required to attain such levels of great skill or gongfu, is dependent entirely on the individual. It could happen overnight, over the course of years, or even

several incarnations. As with most things worth learning, the main barrier to entry is the knowledge such power is available in the first place.


The Dao De Jing (a Chinese classic text which is also a foundational work of Taoism written around 400 BC and credited to the sage Laozi) implies it, the Upanishads proclaim it boldly. There is certainly time and place for both quiet and bombastic approaches.



The Dao De Jing (a Chinese classic text which is also a foundational work of Taoism written around 400 BC and credited to the sage Laozi) implies it, the Upanishads proclaim it boldly. There is certainly time and place for both quiet and bombastic approaches.
Original Dao De Jing

The stated goal of the ancient arts, which here I extend to all worthy candidates -- art, music, poetry, gardening -- is to transcend the limits of not only the body, but of Time and Space. Far fetched perhaps to those still living a refusal to the call of the Heroic journey, commonplace for those brave enough to wreath themselves in life rich & effulgent tapestry.


To move forward quietly, humbly, nobly -- as if unseen -- this is often suggested as the safest rout up the mountain. The summit of which having once been reached, we may then walk upon the air, and soar with the ancient gods of thunder and wind at our backs.


Good tea beckons us to embrace our birthright of magnificence.


Written after drinking three small cups of Man Song.


Check our Shop here to see what tea resonates the most with your silent quest.

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