Tea on Sunday

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This morning has been busy with trying to catch up on everything from the week, especially cleaning. Now that it’s all accomplished, I can sit down with my cuppa and meditate on yesterday’s experience…

I’m enjoying a cup of Formosa Black tea, a very unique tea developed by the Taiwan Tea Research Extension Station. They crossed a Taiwanese tea bush with an Assam (India)/Burmese tea bush to create this particular tea.

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The leaf is very dark and twisted into long thin strands. Now that all of the plumeria and hibiscus plants have made their way out onto the backyard deck, it uncovered this beautiful little tile table perfect for showing off the black leaf and steeped dark amber colored tea.

I steeped the leaves for 5 minutes in 212 degree F (boiled) water.

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After steeping, the leaves plumped up and unfurled into quite the pile of wet leaf. This is only half the leaves!

With my first sip, I detected the slight maltiness of the Assam along with some astringency. That’s where the similarity ended. There were also Oolong flavor notes (sweet, woody) with an interesting hint of chocolate. Despite the astringency, I drank this tea plain and, as it cooled, it smoothed out.

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I love this little table. It’s so colorful.

Yesterday his Holiness gave 2 talks, one on the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism and the second on the Path to Peace and Happiness. Throughout his talks, he emphasized that we are all human beings together, all 6 billion of us on this planet. We all have the same goal – to be happy. And we all have the same capacity for kindness and compassion. We learn from our mother how to be warm-hearted. He used that term a lot. To have a warm and open heart recognizes the connection we have with all living beings. I could go on and on with all that he said but I am still absorbing the experience. As I listened to him talk, I felt something shift inside of myself. The message is so simple yet so very profound. Wow. I cried when he walked out and I cried when he left.

There are quite a few books out there written by his Holiness. I highly recommend any of them. I am currently reading “The Art of Happiness”.

Here are some links to learn more.

The Office of H.H. the Dalai Lama

Books in English authored by H.H. the Dalai Lama

From The Government of Tibet in Exile

His Biography

“Whether they be a president, a king, the royal family or a beggar, all human beings are the same.”

“Let us strive for religious harmony, mutual admiration and mutual respect.”

~H.H. the Dalai Lama


From the Studio

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Most of the day a fine mist has been hovering in the air giving a moist dewy look to our spring world. The colors look so saturated under a blanket of gray sky.

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Last weekend was very warm with temps soaring into the 90s.  Very unseasonable for springtime in New England where we’re lucky if it makes it to 65 degrees on a late April day. So, I dug out a tank top and a pair of shorts for mulch adventures in the garden.

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So much is budding and blooming in our woodland garden!

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On Saturday I went out and looked at a couple more properties. I often sit and wonder: where will I be moving to next? Moving energy seems to still be very strong in my life. This will be my third move in the last 5 1/2 years. With this new move, I’m hoping to settle down for longer than a year, the amount of time I’ve been where I’m living currently.

I want to grow roots and have a chance to bloom myself.

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I finished Ella’s baby socks this week. For some strange reason, the eyelet pattern seems to be whirling in a different direction on each sock. Is that supposed to happen, I wonder. I might just make a third sock and see what happens. See which sock it ends up matching. They’re also a bit bigger than I thought they would be. They’re toddler socks and she’ll grow right into them.

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Since last weekend was so filled to the brim with house hunting and gardening, I didn’t get time to work on any new journal pages. Instead, I started a new free-form bracelet inspired by the blossoming world around me. Fresh spring greens, silvery bark browns, delicate petal pinks, ethereal blossom whites, fresh buttery yellows.

The explosion of spring colors has also inspired me to start dreaming about painting the walls in my new home. I’ve  been virtually painting walls on 2 websites, Benjamin Moore and Valspar. It so appeals to the Color Kitten in me! I’ve also learned that you can purchase 8 oz. samples of a color you’re interested in so you can try it out on the wall or a small object first.

Oh, the possibilities! A whole new decorating world full of color is opening up!

For my kitchen, I’m being inspired by the yellow orange color of a T-shirt I purchased while on a trip to Hawaii.

I’m looking at colors with names  like “Honeybell” and “Sunrise Beach”. mmmmm…

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Tomorrow a friend and I will attend a public talk given by H.H. the Dalai Lama at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA. This has always been a dream of mine, to see him, to hear him speak, to be in the presence of such an amazing spiritual man. I feel my heart swell and open like a spring flower as I sit here and write about it.   Awe. Wonder. Embracing the peace that he is.

A few weeks ago the Boston Globe ran a great story about the building of the chair His Holiness will be seated upon during his talks. It sounds like an incredible work of craftmanship and I can’t wait to see its beauty and the love that was put into its creation.

My call for a spiritual revolution is thus not a call for a religious revolution. Nor is it a reference to a way of life that is somehow other-worldly, still less to something magical or mysterious. Rather, it is a call for a radical re-orientation away from our habitual preoccupation with self towards concern for the wider community of beings with whom we are connected, and for conduct which recognizes others’ interests alongside our own.

~H.H. the Dalai Lama