Tea Ceremony with Wu De ~ Sutras in Leaves

An Ancient Morning Ritual

June 10, 2015 | 6 Comments

My relationship with the art of tea has evolved from me being a slightly suspicious sceptic, to someone who now has a profound love and respect for this practice. I now can see that the issues that come up for me in this ritual, reflect back exactly what is needed to be seen in my life. My lovely sister Baelyn introduced me to this world a few years back, and now this ritual has been woven into my morning routine. Yes I must get up a bit earlier, however having those moments of quiet mindfulness, really set the quality of my day.

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Baelyn’s teacher Wu De recently traveled from Taiwan to visit and I was so grateful to be served tea by the master himself. The experience was transformative, healing, and simply beautiful. Again I was reminded about how taking moments to be still and present adds more depth to my life.

We were able to film the ceremony thanks to the amazing Mel Blanchard, and below you can hear the profound wisdom Wu De imparts in the webisode.

During the ceremony I truly felt a shift happening. I wasn’t the same person who sat down to start. “This practice is at least 20,000 years old, more ancient than the pyramids. This goes deep into our indigenous souls and and connects us to it.  The tea sutras are leaves, non verbal ones, and teach us about Zen. These sutras were written by nature. This planet that we are enjoying is here because of the seeding, growing, flowering of plants. The seeding, growing, flowering is the wisdom of this planet and that is what we experience when we drink tea. The plants give us their life force and how do we pay it back?  We pay it back with ritual, with being awake, with consciousness, ceremony, gratitude and ritual.”

After drinking several bowls of the pure leaves I felt exactly as he stated: “calm and awake”. It is truly a profound state where you hear all the lovely sounds of nature that were mute before, where you see all the vibrant colors but now in technicolor vision, where your heart expands and allows for even more love, more than you ever imagined was possible ~





  1. Rusheen says:

    This was so moving. It has inspired me to begin a tea ritual.

  2. Melissa says:

    dearest shiva, thank you for this. what a stunning, beautiful ceremony and ritual! much love, melissa

  3. Ganganath says:

    We loved this video. Everything about it was beautiful; the setting, the words and the Spirit of Tea that was conveyed so simply yet profoundly deep.

  4. Lu Ann says:

    Truly inspirational. I love this so much. Thank you very much for sharing this wonderful experience.

  5. davidji says:

    thank you shiva – what a blessing you are! mindful sipping is a powerful & transformational meditation. thank you for sharing your heart so elegantly with the world. peace. -davidji

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