Friday Tea-time . . . the zen destressing art and our teas | Pu-erh

Friday Tea-time again and this week for our de-stressing time-out, we’re paying attention to the miraculous Pu-erh China Tea . . . from the traditional Camellia Sinensis Plant family.

 

Pu-erh tea, made from the green tea plant Camellia Sinensis, is distinctive because of its production process: this involves aging to further develop flavor and aroma. Because of this aging process, in China, Pu-erh tea is known as black tea and commonly sold in tea cakes, bricks, and rolls.

Pu-erh Tea Types and Characteristics

There are two types of Pu-erh tea: Sheng (raw) and Shou (ripe). Sheng tea is similar in flavor to what we know of as Green tea and is typically pressed. Shou Pu-erh is aged: Pu-erh and can be aged for the astonishingly long time of 50 years [hence the high cost of some brands]. Most aged Pu-erh begins to develop the best flavors after five to seven years. So, we have much reverence for our Pu-erh and we’re blessed when we find the good stuff!

Pu-erh tea is most commonly cultivated in the Yunnan province of China, with most tea plantations being located in the high mountains. One of the highest quality Pu-erh teas comes from the Menghai Tea Factory and is known as DaYi. This tea company is said to have created the aging process for Pu-erh teas and they supply some of the best ripe Pu-erhs.

Green Tea refresher: pun intended! | Green tea is derived from the tea plant known as Camellia Sinensis Plant family. The tea leaves are harvested, withered, and dried immediately to prevent oxidation. As a result, these tea leaves retain their natural green color and are packed with healthy plant nutrients. There’s a distinction between Chinese and Japanese Green Teas: Chinese green teas are typically roasted to prevent oxidation, which results in tea that tastes toasty.

In Japan, the Green Tea leaves are steamed during the drying process. This creates a Green Tea that is vegetal and herbaceous. This Japanese tea is a staple of tea culture throughout the country. It is integral to the tea ceremony and used in formal celebrations and hosting foreign dignitaries.

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Let’s remember our history: Zen Master Eisai who established Zen in Japan in the 12th century, was responsible for bringing the tea ceremony with him from China to Japan, in yet another blending of art, culture and Zen – he brought tea seeds back with him from a journey to China where he had been searching for a Master, and planted the first tea garden on monastery grounds which eventually lead to the Tea Way: tea drinking as a Zen Art.

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Health Benefits

Green Tea is considered one of the healthiest teas in the world thanks to its high concentration of antioxidants. Green tea contains the highest amounts of EGCG among the true teas. EGCG is epigallocatechin and is a powerful antioxidant that has been linked to cancer prevention and better overall health. And let’s not forget that Green Tea drinking on a daily basis helps to “melt” health endangering belly fat!

Green Tea also contains L-theanine, an amino acid found naturally in only tea plants and one type of mushroom. L-theanine slows the release of caffeine, offering a smoother and longer-lasting energy boost. Drinking Green Tea can make you feel more alert and focused, without the drop offs in energy associated with a cup of coffee: this is why I love it for its brain-boosting properties

Enjoy! suZen

[Green Leaf Photo by Yigithan Bal from Pexels ]

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You can make donations to support the teachings! Namaste
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zen of Destiny . . . nothing is broken

I had 3 sub-titles for this Blog : “Don’t Hold Back on Destiny . . . my zen is always with me” and “zen of Destiny . . . and accepting it exactly as it is”.

I decided on “nothing is broken”: so, zen of Destiny . . . nothing is broken.

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This is why I say that: just right now in our lifetimes, at this point on our Planet, in our human evolution we’re exactly where we’re supposed to be doing exactly what we’re supposed to be doing: it might seem like chaos, and a shocking outrage of nature we’re living through . . . but: the ancients knew it was coming, it was prophesied and they prepared some of us [teachers and masters] to deal with it and lead a way forward.

It’s not at all easy to focus on a Sudoku puzzle when the sound of a drill is screeching though the adjacent wall. And it’s not that easy to dance gracefully if you’re carrying a ton of bricks. Having a thoughtful conversation after a bottle of wine isn’t easy either, even if it loosen’s some people’s tongues. Some things are just downright impossible. Sometimes, we find ourselves in circumstances which are not conducive to progress.

We need to look at what’s holding us back. What feels like a problem can be easy to fix. If, and that’s a big IF . . . we know we’re here to appreciate exactly what we’ve got. And, we don’t make any assumptions about timing or have expectations of our environment. With zen we live well in the day, we live well with and appreciate nature and each other: especially we accept that anything and anybody can be our teacher.

Good teachers teach with both love and discipline, with both resources and responsibility.

As a teacher I know, because my teacher taught me how, to teach you to solve your own problems every day so you reach a level of self-mastery and emotional maturity, and along with like minded individuals, be able to say ” . . . this is our destiny”.

Don’t Hold Back on Destiny . . . my zen is always with me

Some people seem to be drawn to problematic situations. If there’s a difficult path to take, they’ll choose that and take it; they have an almost eery and uncanny ability to get themselves into sticky situations. Yet rather than this being a problem, it’s a skill. Just think how dull their lives would be if they could somehow manage to change their deep-rooted psychological tendency to seek out interesting challenges. We’re being challenged now for a reason.

I’m writing this Blog for you as we approach the Dark of the Moon [at September New Moon]: don’t get overwhelmed, and don’t avoid a situation just because it looks difficult. Making small changes in your own life and opening both your mind and your heart works for all of us. This shift holds great potential.

Humanity has survived impending doom, climate change and cultural chaos before – we are incredibly resilient because we adapt: we evolve. One of the things that happens is, when we move forward into a new age [we’re moving into the Astrological Age of Aquarius] the teachers distill the wisdom of the old age for the benefit of the coming generations: so we go into the new with the support of wisdom and knowledge ready for new experiences.

It takes strength, and yes, discipline: we take responsibility for living well as a living being on a living Planet in a living Universe. It doesn’t have to be miserable, we can thrive!

Here are some words from Lao Tzu [Tao Te Ching – or Dao De Ching] to inspire you :
“I know this to be true because I have looked within myself”

 

Novelist Gabriel García Márquez wrote: “All human beings have three lives: public, private, and secret”. I want to add that during different phases of our lives, as we know from Astrology, one or the other of these three lives might take precedence; and it might need more care than usual. According to what I know of the times we’re living through, our lives in the coming weeks and months will offer abundant vitality and many blessings in the third area: our secret lives.We can most definitely, and are totally supposed to, thrive.

zen of Destiny . . . and accepting it exactly as it is

My prescription for best results: give devoted attention to your hidden depths. As one of my spiritual astrologers told me: “Be a brave explorer of your mysterious riddles.”

We are on the edge of mystery, we’re dancing to the riddles and tunes of an ever changing Universe: live well with, and appreciate, nature exactly as it is for us right now – nothing is broken for us. When we’re the ones already taking care of living well on a daily basis, our zen is always with us.

Enjoy! suZen

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You can make donations to support the teachings! Namaste
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Tuesday Teachings – thrive | Journaling #1

Today, welcome indeed and we’re talking about a major first step on a life path. Journaling is a powerful life skill to learn . . . Tuesday Teachings here on the zen.vegan.thrive blog are for you and your empowerment through skills and mastery.

So, Journaling with our Monthly Cycles . . . step #1 this week

I’m teaching you practices from the Ancient Eastern Wisdom Paths – with Zen and Spiritual Yoga. And it’s a daily flow of working with our Moon cycles and Lunar rhythms. So, as many of you might know I’m teaching to flow with our monthly 28 day lunar cycles.

In Vedic Astrology this is called “living with our Nakshatras” or, the lunar Mansions of the Goddess where we find our joy [or not] and our ability to be less stressed-out or stretched-out through pressure of time. Learning to live with flow.

Starting a daily journal at New Moon is powerful – you can start making notes of your feelings, emotions and drives without any knowledge at all of astrology or the bigger Cosmic cycles, just trust and be yourself then maybe in the next monthly cycle you can add deeper insight?

More in part #2 of this blog next week. Good luck on your journey!

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We came here to be happy

We came here to be happy, and for many of us today we simply need to slow down, live with Cosmic rhythms and cycles of Nature: which means our return to innocence.

The big changes that are happening in our world right now can seem overwhelming, but we can empower ourself by making small changes within – practice is powerful.

In the video below I’m talking about Journaling and reading from Vicki Noble’s book “Shakti Woman” with her advice and guidance.

You can follow the practices on the 7 day weekly practices pages on my The Kindest Revolution website [check the pull down menu]: and Journal for 28 days of our Lunar Cycle, supported by my teachings and practices.

Then if you’d like more of a group experience, we can share our stories of our Journeys: I’ll put up the link on a playlist for you to upload any videos you make from your writing, thoughts, creativity. Let me know in the comments below?

 

 

Namaste, enjoy!

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You can donate to support the teachings!! Namaste

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Monday Motivations | creativity a-la zen.vegan.thrive

I like creating “spaces” for my own creativity to grow and inspiring and being inspired by other creative people who thrive on the unexpectedness of both what we call the “creative discomfort” of inspiration and the deeply intuitive ways we have to manifest.

 

So, welcome to Monday Motivations!

Today – my first offering: it means a lot to me and has been a foundation for my own zen practice for a long time | my Podcast on a teaching by Zen Master Osho – Truth.

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Sunday Spirituality | . if zen . Voice of Suzen zen poetry

For many of us in the Western World, Sunday is still a day to slow down, take time out and reset. Awareness on Spirituality brings the Sacred into the day . . . and a focus on beauty and our own truth restores and replenishes us: Self, Soul and Spirit. My Sunday poetry is my own Sacred practice . . . enjoy!

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. if zen . . . . . .

 

If . . . . what . . .?

If essence of zen

Is breath

If SpIrIt of Zen

Is breath of Heaven

If sIlence

Is the way

we fInd the way

to be

wIth

our eternal beIng nature

If traInIng

the body and mInd

to sIt stIll

Is the way we do thIs,

beIng grounded

here, now

If words

are

not the way

to sort out

our Internal wars

and

struggles

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Because

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the unIverse

.

has

.

Its own language

.

.

.

If beIng stIll

In sIlence

at the centre

of exIstence,

breathIng

In lIfe patterns

Is the way

to

Inner freedom

If the way

we do thIs

Is wIth practIce

If thIs

Is the “answer” . . .

.

.

.

What

was the questIon?

suZen

 

.   .   .   .   .   .   .

 

Donate
This link takes you to The Kindest Revolution website!
There are various ways to donate

 

.   .   .   .   .   .   .

Enjoy! Namaste

Friday Tea-time . . . zen and the art of the tea-way to destress and thrive

Zen is not a religion, it is not merely a philosophy. It is a unique way of living simply, with meditation, values and virtues. Zen has been called “the religion without a god” which respects the divinity within all . . .

these are our values and virtues

harmony,

tranquility,

purity and

reverence

the tea way

Elements of the Tea Way are to accept, appreciate and revere what naturally occurs, exactly as it is – in an atmosphere of harmony, tranquillity, purity and reverence: we are all equal when we take time out for tea, with the concerns of the world temporarily distant.

this is the story

Zen Master Eisai who established Zen in Japan in the 12th century, was responsible for bringing the tea ceremony with him from China to Japan, in yet another blending of art, culture and Zen – he brought tea seeds back with him and planted the first tea garden on monastery grounds which eventually lead to the Tea Way: tea drinking as a Zen Art.

my own words on equality, musing over tea

These were my own thoughts on equality and divinity while musing over tea, in my own words, that the light dancing in the dark brought to me this week: in contemplation of respecting what a struggle times of shifting change can be for some of humanity:

 

Our lives are so fleeting, floating motes

dust on the light of the Universe’s dark canvas

that is the night of the soul

and still, we dance in the mystery

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this is a short video

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Susan

Music is ZenZen, licensed from Silenciomusic.co.uk

zen is not a cop out . . . it’s a Way to thrive

Zenity is my term for “sanity by zen” . . .

And there’s not much more sane than you realising that you are actually your own buddha. Your mind can open up to what is true in your life just for you.

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Zen, or living daily with contemplation and meditation, is constantly changing. It has a Spirit of its own that has been travelling for 2,500 years, let’s say two and a half thousand years. But we know of zen teachings 4,000 years ago.

As a way to a peaceful and joyful life, it has not only survived but thrived – and for a very simple reason. Accepting life simply and exactly as it is, here and now.

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Sometimes, we don’t know what we want until we get it. On the other hand, there are times when we don’t know what we don’t want until we’ve got it. Believe you me, I know that to be true. So, in order to be okay – and not be disappointed all the time – we make the best of whatever we have.

And I’ll be a bit “Yorkshire” here – drawing back on my upbringing in the North of England – this can feel like a “cop-out”: as if we’re just making do with a situation that really is unsatisfactory. But this is not just a Way, as in an Art, or a strategy . . . in zen we say, our arts are our ways, so it’s not a strategy to cope. No, it’s not.

This is how we thrive. It’s a Way . . .

 

Zen, or living daily with contemplation and meditation, is constantly changing.

 

Your happiness lies in being able to appreciate all the very different aspects of your life and yourself: the whole of who you are: and being in harmony with all those different aspects – a person of Unity.

Namaste, or gassho [whichever word suits you, it means the same]

I honour the Spirit of the Universe that dwells within you,

SuZen

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This might help . . . my podcast on “zen is not a cop-out”

For you to realise you are your own buddha is all you need to know.

Friday Tea-time . . . thrive of the zen tea way | Galangal

Galangal and Lime Flowers Tea

 

I came upon this totally by chance – the local health food shop was giving away “close to sell-by-date” herbs . . . don’t ask, that’s a discussion for another day . . . intuitively I picked out these two herbs: Galangal is Indian Blue Ginger (one of the ingredients in Thai Red curry paste) this was the dried root.

When I got home I made a tea by infusing half a teaspoon of Galangal with 2 teaspoons of Lime Flowers – it was delicious and seemed to be hitting a “spot” for me.

Researching this combination later that evening, I found that this is a traditional Indian combination which acts as a tonic – or as a relaxant if that is what is needed. Yoga and Ayurveda act like that, the more you need it, the more it gives.

What I also discovered was that it has been used for centuries for skin toning and refreshing. My skin had been feeling dry for a few days previous to this. I carried on drinking the tea for a few more days, my skin brightened considerably – and it was another of those mini-Eureka moments: one more time I had intuitively chosen what I needed, and one more time it was freely available (and also I nearly tripped myself up, walking into the box of give-away herbs).

Enjoy!

 

My suggestion: you can start your art of tea drinking to de-stress on a Friday tea-time with your new chosen tea for the week. Relax and appreciate what nature has given us all!

Susan

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