Friday, October 3, 2008

A Story About Lotus Tea

My favorite monk, who is often referred to as the most beloved Buddhist teacher in the West, is Thich Nhat Hanh. His teachings and practices appeal to people from various religious, spiritual, and political backgrounds. Nhat Hanh offers a practice of "mindfulness" that is beneficial for people of all faiths, by helping us resist and transform the speed and violence of our modern society. His life and teachings have deeply influenced millions of people, including scores of luminaries in different fields: politician Jerry Brown, civil rights champion Martin Luther King, Jr., eco-activist Joanna Macy, and Catholic mystic Thomas Merton - to name a few.

Thich Nhat Hanh (see Thich Nhat Hanh � Deer Park Monastery) once told a story in one of his books of his family's simple way of brewing their tea when he lived in Vietnam. He said that in the evening a family member would take the boat out on the river and find a blooming lotus flower. The beautiful lotus closes its petals each night, so while the flower was still open they would take some tea leaves wrapped in rice paper and place it in the lotus flower. After the flower would close its delicate petals, throughout the night the tea leaves would absorb the wonderful fragrance of the lotus. The next morning the family of Thich Nhat Hanh's would row the boat out to the lotus flower, remove the scented tea leaves, and proceed to brew the special tea right there on the little boat and enjoy the still morning quietly sipping their fragrant tea.

Such a simple practice, peaceful, mindful, and meditative, brought the family a connectedness to each other and to all of nature.



YogaforCynics said...

MLK was influenced by Thich Nhat Han? I've never heard that before, but it's really interesting, and certainly makes sense...will have to look into it some more....

Love the lotus flower story, too...the closest I can come to it is that once, for a few weeks, I was a back country caretaker at a pond in Vermont (what they call a pond in New England--a lake anywhere else), and used to row out to a little island to pick blueberries, then take them back to make blueberry pancakes on my Coleman, not the same thing, but it was wonderful at the time...

R.E.II said...

Dear Dianne,
This is my first time on here and I would like to introduce you to my blog. I guess we both share a love for reading and Doctor Zhivago ranks amongst my favourite books.
I would like to return here and hope you will find the time for a countervisit?
I sincerely hope you will accept my invitation and looking forward to seeing you on R.E.II and hoping we stay connected.

I love your story about lotus tea!


Best wishes

Paula Kirsch said...

What a great story! Love your blog! Happy Thanksgiving!

mark walter said...

As a lover of a simple and refined cup of tea, I love the story and the inviting picture of the tea cup. I have sometimes had a small pot of tea so perfect, that it was a meal in itself. I can barely imagine a family so dedicated to drinking from that elusive perfect pot.
Please accept my invitation to join the newly revised Eternal Awareness site on Ning. I would be honored if you would become a member and contributor. Participate as often or little as you wish.

New site location:
Older site:

Diane said...

I thank everyone for their beautiful comments.

Explore and Read...........

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Abilene, Texas, United States
One day life no longer made any sense. I began enquiring, "Who am I", What am I", and "What's the purpose of this life?"


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