What is a Tea Ceremony?
Our connection to boiled water and a few leaves is an ancient one.
Our ancestors picked leaves and berries, dug roots, and over open fire boiled water in handmade vessels. There was a cultivated, sacred, and intimate relationship with the natural world and the generous and bountiful medicine here on earth, a deep spiritual connection with the unseen world, and understanding of the importance of feeding these connections.
In more modern times, sharing a pot of tea has become perhaps the most common expression of love, warmth, and hospitality upon entering a home. We hold a warm bowl or mug close to our hearts and we feel somewhere deeply that we are loved.
The 'Way of Tea' is a Way of Peace.
The culture of Tea and the many branches and forms it has found over time is a testament to just how intertwined we are with the Leaf. Tea Ceremonies have been practiced in Southeast Asia for centuries as offering, sacred art form, a celebration of beauty and of the simple, a way to nurture relationships with nature and humankind, and in the business and political sphere as a space of mutual respect, honor, creative insight, meaningful conversation, and peaceful negotiation.
Tea Ceremonies are conversations with nature, a way to experience nature outside and nature inside. A way to slow down enough to appreciate all the work and effort that has allowed us to sit with these Leaves. A way to develop meaningful relationships with all of life's cycles. Tea Ceremonies reorient, readjust, and right our relationship with the natural world – our human family and our non-human family, reminding us we are part of a large interconnected web of life. In a Tea Ceremony all elements are present – Fire, Earth, Air, Water, Wood, Metal, Spirit or 'Aether'. As we sit with a bowl of tea we are immediately drawn into a deeply grounded practice of presence and too the remembrance of an unspoken and vast unfathomable magic.
These days, how often do we sit together in spaces of quiet in meaningful ritual? It is a time free of cell phones, social media, emails, goals, and the latest news. It is a pause in our day to let go of the work behind us and the work ahead of us, a reset button that returns us to a more peaceful, tranquil, and present state. As the speed of life increases and face-to-face heart-to-heart time decreases–coming together to slow down and engage in personal and communal ritual is absolutely essential.
While we focus on Tea Ceremonies from traditions originating in Southeast Asia, we also study, practice, and offer a wide range of Tea Ceremonies from different traditions around the world including Folk Tea, Herbal Medicine / Plant Medicine Ceremonies, Chai Tea Ceremonies, and more.
What are the Benefits of a Tea Ceremony?
Personal ritual is essential for helping the body process and assimilate life experience as well as mark significant life passages. For individuals, Tea Ceremony is an opportunity to directly commune with the healing properties of nature, as we drink in the wisdom of ancient living tea – a plant medicine that has been used for centuries to benefit the body as a whole.
Drinking Tea in this way is heart opening. It helps individuals slow down and return to a place of stillness and rest and to reconnect to the natural cycles and rhythms of life. Tea in ceremony helps to reduce anxiety, stimulates creativity, boosts the body's natural ability to heal, aids in digestion, has been proven to have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and anti-viral effects – along with many other health benefits.
Communal ritual is essential for a healthy culture. Communal Tea Ceremonies build relationships and strengthen bonds between individuals, clarify a unified vision, help to resolve blocks, inspire a new way of working, living, simply being together, and more. Community rituals invite us to show up for one another, share and pool resources, and together become greater than any one individual. We come together as a community when things need to be addressed, healed, honored, and celebrated – to reaffirm and enliven our connection to the natural world and all that is beyond our immediate understanding. We meet in communal ritual to grow together.
What Takes Place During A Tea Ceremony?
Our Tea Ceremony is experiential rather than a discourse on tea, so we begin with just a few words so that individuals are informed about what to expect of the Ceremony ahead. Once the Ceremony begins we proceed in quiet together. After there is time for reflection and a chance to get to know one another.
What kinds of Tea Ceremonies Do You offer?
Community Tea is a by donation offering that nurtures the heart and soul of our community by inviting people from all walks of life, with diverse backgrounds and beliefs, to sit together and share tea in quiet ritual. In this space of communal ritual though we may arrive as strangers we naturally open our hearts to one another - listening, caring, and honoring one another. These inclusive ceremonies are offered monthly for different groups and marginalized communities. We often serve Community Tea in the tradition of Global Tea Hut. Visit their website to learn more and support their Light Meets Life free Tea Center.
Private Tea Ceremonies for Individuals create space for you to bring an intention to the tea table. Whether your intention is to gain clarity at a crossroad, to carve out time and space for sacred ritual and practice, to deepen spiritual connection in a safe and open container, to mark a life transition, to receive guidance for a healing journey, or to simply catch your breath recenter and refocus on what matters, a Private Tea Ceremony offers a deep personal retreat to receive what is needed.
Private Tea Ceremonies for Groups invite you to gather your beloved family and friends for meaningful communal ritual. These Group Tea ceremonies are beautiful ways to mark significant events like marriage, blessing way / birth, loss. They are powerful ways to honor the loved ones in your life for an important event or for no particular reason other than love. Group Tea Ceremonies help individuals within groups find pathways back when connections have been lost or broken. Group Tea Ceremonies are also Community calls - allowing a group to form together around a focused intention.
Small Business/Corporate Tea Ceremonies are investments in the wellness and health of your organization. By bringing beauty, mindfulness, and peace into the workplace you are making a decision to be a leader of conscious industry. To learn more visit here.
What Kinds of Tea Do You Serve?
As a tea teachers says, our favorite tea to serve is 'tea served with love'. After that we choose only to serve tea that is grown with great care and respect for our dear earth and those picking and processing tea. We take great time to carefully source tea that is chemical free and also source wild growing and eco-arboreal teas (meaning grown between a village and more wild nature). Much of the Tea we source is from China and Taiwan - this includes Puerh Tea (Young and Shou), Black Tea (Liu Bao and Liu An), Wuyi Yan Cha (Wuyi Cliff Teas), Red Tea, Wulong, GABA, White Tea, Yellow Tea, and Green Tea. We will offer Tea from Japan and Korea shortly. The tea we offer is considered 'Living Tea' (see this article (page 17) on Living Tea at Global Tea Hut Magazine for more on this.)
"Lauren's tea ceremony is as luminous as the morning light glistening along the rims of her bowls. Her invitation to be present with the elements is as gentle and potent as the ritual itself. Recalling the ceremony, I sense again the steam rising, I hear the water pouring and then dripping, I taste particular leaves. I could not have predicted the profound nature of this experience. I will not forget the way in which the ordinary elements: water, fire, stone, leaves—were revealed as sacred by Lauren's call to attention. There could not be a more graceful guide for this mysterious and heartening realm." - Nan Seymour, River Writing
"There are no words for the care and the thoughtfulness that go into Lauren's ceremonies. They are a quiet beacon of hope in a world that can be *so* loud. I am consistently blown away by her welcome nature, her wisdom, and her gentle way of bringing out the best in others." - Em Adams, Community Tea Ceremony Guest
"These are beautiful, meditative ceremonies led by a true artist and wonderful soul. Lauren shares her expansive knowledge of traditional tea with such pervasive calm and wisdom. The space provided for ritual quiet and community has been a soothing balm for a wearied heart. My only wish is that I could attend even more." - Sabriel Parker, Honest John Bitters
"Lauren adds a magical touch to everything she does. Cultivating a practice of silence and presence in a sacred space with others is a much needed addition to our community. I recommend giving Kinnabari a visit and finding out what it's all about for yourself!" - Lara Chho, Petal and Clay
More Coming Soon.
If you run an art gallery, yoga studio, wellness / retreat center, or other space and would like to discuss a collaboration for an event please contact us.