Future Dates For Tea Alchemy:
Tea Alchemy will be held in Montecito, California on the 23rd of May. Future dates for Tea Alchemy in the Santa Barbara area will go toward the building of a stupa in Santa Barbara as well.
This is an invitation to all travelers of the world to converge on an unusual tea tent for a few hours before parting company for destinations unknown.
The "tentpost" will be set on the 23rd of August at 6:30pm at 2050 Bryant Street San Francisco in the
"CELLspace," which is wheelchair accessible. Please bring your own cushion, as most of the seating will be on the floor.
Here is a map of how to get there.
The tea has been kindly donated by Tea Master David Hoffman, founder of Silk Road Teas; rare varieties of liquid gold are sure to appear on his account.
We are grateful to serve tea to everyone, and because tea preparation always depends on the guests, this tea will be made by everyone who arrives. It will be prepared in a peculiar fashion, and will take some time.
First, pure mountain stream water will be frozen into ice sculptures. These sculptures will appear as the five female buddhas, each a manifestation of her wisdom element: space, air, water, fire and earth.
Bhakha Rinpoche, the Tea Master, will invite these buddhas to come to this gathering and the ice scuptures will become the embodiment of the the buddhas. When the statues melt, the water will be poured into a large container of water and boiled. As the sculptures lose their shape and become steam, the central dakini of the mandala appears as Tara, the Savioress and Goddess of Unending Life. Yamuna Wali, will offer to the five wisdom elements sacred dance of Northern India, known as "Classical Storytelling" or Katak. As the central dakini of the mandala, she will then finish preparing the tea.
Before she serves the tea, she will pour some into a large offering cup. This cup will be filled with the highest wishes of all the guests as well as with the perfection of service and community.
At this point everyone with a cup will be served again and again. An array of accomplished musicians will play, and all are invited to hold nothing back and actually become tea-drunk and relax in this rare company.
This teahouse does not exist for the sake of profit. We have come together in order to raise funds for Bhakha Rinpoche's New Mexico Stupa (more information about the vision of his project can be found here). Before the tent pulls up and leaves, I will speak briefly about this development project, and everyone will be invited to donate whatever amount they can.
Finally, we will combine our highest wishes and intentions as a gift to every living being and every guest will be given a small vial of the offering tea and a copy of the mantra of Tara, written by the accomplished calligrapher Bhakha Rinpoche, as a gift of parting.