Tea comes from leaves that are cultivated, dried, and steeped in hot water. The tea drinking experience is ritualized in two cultures that perfectly sums up the goals of this blog–the same tea with different traditions.
My mom was raised in Hong Kong after leaving mainland China with her parents and siblings during the cultural revolution. In Hong Kong, there is a melding of Chinese and British influences. In Chinese culture, tea is a regular part of each meal with loose leaves dumped in the pot, floating loosely and freely. The British colonialists, who brought their tradition of porcelain teapots and afternoon tea to Hong Kong, provided tea infusers where the tea leaves are held in a captive embrace, protected and contained.
This summer I am embarking on a mindful journey of these two influences to help inform my research on mindfulness.
While I sit in quiet meditation in both Christian retreats and classes, I’ll be connecting in my faith identity; I predict that I will feel safe and free, infused with God’s Holy Spirit, in the faith I love. I also predict that the Buddhist classes will feel familiar yet challenging to me. My paternal grandparents exposed me to the beauty of the Amitofuo and I will learn its essential meaning to Buddhists, especially of the Mahayana tradition. Though I do not identify nor plan to espouse this religious tradition, I find the journey worthwhile.
Reading about traditions at the intersection of faith and spirituality, history and culture is limiting and confining. Experiencing the influences firsthand provides a knowledge and knowing that will be instinctual, and I hope, will be beneficial for others interested in mindfulness.
Journey along with me this summer as I mindfully write about my thoughts and experiences. Sip your tea and read and stay with me awhile…