Sitting for tea today, I cannot escape an awareness of the day's crisp air entering through the tea room window, nor the chaotic whipping of the chimes by a decidedly frenetic and unsettled wind storm bursting upon outstretched tree limbs. Outside, leaves bend and furl in the whipped air. Inside, furled leaves open within steaming water.
The outer mood fills the tea room, the coming Autumn, this subtle way the world changes, shifts and fills in, or empties...like the tea cup before me as I drink. The candle on the table is still while the world outside is active with motion. Still and active, I hold both in my mind as I sip TTC's 2013 Long Feng Xia wulong: it's golden liquor, the buttery, fruit, flower, herb scent of the steeped leaves poured for 8 rounds from my 150ml stone xishi pot into Petr Novak glazed cups. Many thoughts come, blowing through with the gusts. Friends, tasks, sensations, awarenesses, images....all pass through.
But what remains with this pour is the gratitude for this moment, for this excellent tea, for this practice that deepens presence and calls forth awareness.