News • December 15, 2015 Dec 15, 15 • Taylor Drye
“Remember there's no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.”
We have all seen them, pious Tibetan monks sitting and chanting, while spinning hand held prayer wheels with messages on them like “Oṃ maṇi padme hūṃ” སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས. They sit in tranquility purposefully spinning messages of love out into the universe. It is easy to awe at that kind of dedication, what selfless activity, to keep that wheel spinning in hopes that its good vibes and sacred prayers will continue to flow endlessly out into the world.
I have come to realize that the teapot can be your version of a prayer wheel. Like the Tibetan prayer wheel it can carry the kind of messages one might wish to give to the world, potent seed ideas that you would love to see take root and blossom.
For me, the teapot first is a symbol for all the great experiences I have had through tea, it’s as if it were a vessel from which all those beautiful moments have been poured. After years and years of drinking and sharing tea with friends I have come to look at the act of tea as one of the most sane, rational and loving things a bunch of humans could get together and do! Every time I sit down to tea something magical happens. It seems like all I have to do is show up and turn on the kettle, and throw a few leaves in my teapot. Whether I’m meeting new people, connecting with an old friend or simply taking a moment to really enjoy my own solitary company, tea time seems to always have a sacred and celebratory energy surrounding it. The teapot is at the heart of this ritual and is my tool for both creating and sharing those positive vibes. You could even say the teapot is the way I spin (or in this case pour) my values into the fabric of reality.
Where the teapot is a symbol of the wheel itself, the tea symbolizes the mantra. Within each tea is a message. It carries with it the story of land, the hills and the weather. Embedded in every tea is the, story and philosophy of the farmer and all the people who produced it. On a deeper level each tea has a feeling to it, a state of being, a quality of mind. Like one old tea master told me, “A tea grown with love, and brewed with love, taste of love.” Like the “Oṃ maṇi padme hūṃ” སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས mantra, there are layers of meaning available, implicit and explicit. Sometimes we do the chanting sometimes the tea does.
Like the Tibetan prayer wheel, the teapot can be a symbol for enlightened and compassion activity. Just as the whirling of those beautiful Tibetan Wheels is seen a continual act of kindness and generosity, so to can the ritual of pouring tea can be. Whether you’re pouring tea for guest of just yourself, let each pour from your pot be a spin of the wheel and each tea you serve be a prayer, a blessing in the form of a leaf. The more sincere you are better it feels! Eventually, like the monks of the Himalayas, you’ll find you want to keep that pot pouring so that the good vibes and sacred prayers, will continue to ripple out into the world. I hope this simple analogy will enrichen your tea experience and help you get more out of your daily rituals whatever they may be.
Tashi delek བཀྲ་ཤིས་བདེ་ལེགས
“Blessings and good luck!"