29 Aug Connor Goss – Tea Hut Australia
Meditation. Connection. Stillness.
Where do you find it?
In our fast pace age there is one thing I see and hear more often then anything else. ‘BUSY!’
The glorification of busy!
I am as guilty as the next person. Somehow I justify my ‘busy’ with ‘I am following dreams, I am passionate about what I do’ but I was challenged by the question ‘do I make time to meditate?’ Well?
Given a week to ponder my reality my awareness grew to the little space I had been making for connection to myself and the state of just being, as part of a bigger picture.
During my week of awareness, considering meditation, I was blow away at how many times the universe gently tapped me on the shoulder whispering ‘I am still here, when you are ready, I am still here.’ The word mindfulness (to be present) appeared so many times that I grew more curious about my ignorance and choices. I had been present in connection and stillness so many times, yet I still felt the compulsion to desert myself and give more than I am able to everything else.
Health is a state of being. It is OUR choices that control our health. Health can not be acquired solely by organic food and exercise. We are made up of a whole and must honour every aspect of our being in order to truly be ‘healthy’.
The holy grail of our modern age.
This is when Connor Goss from Tea Hut Australia arrived in my life and introduced me to the ceremony of tea.
Tea ceremony honours connection, stillness, community and the medicinal provisions of our earth.
I listened to Connor as he so eloquently described the practice of tea ceremony.
I first met Tea many years ago, unexpectedly stumbling upon the Global Tea Hut online and immediately subscribed to this wonderful magazine; a wealth of knowledge and wisdom surrounding Tea. A while passed before I journeyed further along the path of Tea, and then I found myself in Taiwan at the Tea Sage Hut. This is where I met my Teacher, Wu De, for the first time, receiving silent and spoken lessons from him in Cha Dao. Since my first encounter with Tea I have deepened my practice, serving regularly for others in ceremony whether among the beautiful chaos of the markets, where a moment of stillness is deeply welcomed, or immersed in Nature as the Full Moon rises behind us.
Tea ceremonies are usually held in silence where all are warmly welcomed. Each ceremony is completely unlike the one before and the one after. We sit in stillness and silence connecting with the Tea and with those in ceremony. An experience of meditative awareness envelops one as the steam rises from the earthen bowls, scattered in a half Moon.
The simplest of word weavings can convey the greatest of meanings. A deeper thread of this statement is that the wordless, those actions which arise from silence, and the space between words, convey the innumerable and inexpressible truths.
My story of how I found Tea or rather how She found me is one that can only be conveyed through a bowl of Tea or the soft silence found beneath ancient trees. The relationship I share with Tea deepens each time I sit with these sacred leaves; each time an encounter with the innumerable forces which shape who I am. Tea is the greatest of teachers. She guides one through the unnavigable forests. Teaching one how to live a life that cultivates reverence, humility, and softness. It is most importantly a path of service. A path that I shall journey upon for countless years to come; to one day sit upon unattainable mountain peaks, sipping from the weathered clay bowl with a handful of aged leaves.
What do you do?
I am a Chajin, a person of Tea; as a Way of being. In the simplest of forms, I share Tea with others, holding a space where they may find the inner streams of stillness and silence. In a ceremonial space we gather to honour Tea and connect more deeply with each other. Tea weaves a gentle space where we may surrender ourselves to the moment, and become present within our inner world and the external world we journey through. There lies great difficulty in describing what I do, as I strive to be simply a vessel for others to connect with Tea. It is a practice that requires one to embody humility, reverence and softness.
Why do you do it and what are the benefits to you, your community and environment?
I share Tea with others without hidden intention or monetary gain. I seek to promote harmony and awakening through Tea; through the cracked, earthen bowl gifted by those who have come before. Tea nurtures a gentle space where one may open up slowly, connecting deeply with others in ceremony and finding a deeper sense of inner awareness. Through promoting Tea as a medicine and spiritual practice we are in turn promoting the stewardship of Nature, promoting organic and living Tea rather than the practices borne from a disconnection to Nature. Tea when approached as a Dao fosters a deeper relationship between Self and Other, between our inner world and the Natural world beyond our immediate senses.
What does health mean to you?
The concept of health has taken many forms for me, shifting and transforming as my own experiences deepen inner awareness. Health for me has grown to become something broader than our physical health. It represents a state of balance we strive for, and perhaps for a while may attain; as with all things this attainment is impermanent. With the change of seasons, or the passage of days we find ourselves out of balance and among the unnavigable inner landscapes we inhabit. It requires discipline to maintain balance, whether of our inner world or the external threads we embody. Health is simply balance with the innumerable forces in our lives and harmony with Nature.
What inspires you?
The greatest source of inspiration can be found in the vast tapestry of Nature. There are countless tomes of wisdom and creativity to be found among the forests, mountains, and oceans of this world we inhabit. These are written in a language not of our own; one that requires stillness and gentle patience for understanding to blossom into our awareness.
Name one change you would like to be and see in this world?
To reweave the threads of forgotten wisdom from those who came before, those who inhabited this world with a deep reverence for all beings. To bring the sacred into each moment simply through a bowl of Tea.
If you could pass on just one valuable lesson to others, what would that be?
Stillness and silence are two of the greatest teachers we will sit before in our lives. They are the gatekeepers to our inner worlds; inhabiting the thresholds of awareness. Find time each day to nurture them. Allow yourself to surrender to the fertile silence that bubbles forth when one makes space.
Connor meets at the Northey Street City Farmers Markets fortnightly as the event (found on facebook) the ‘Wayfarer’s Tea at the Northey Street Markets’.
Tea Hut Australia https://www.facebook.com/teahutaustralia/
You can contact Connor at Tea Hut Australia – firstname.lastname@example.org
In association with The Global Tea Hut – http://www.globalteahut.org/