My Story & Philosophy
"Tea is a Natural Essence that nourishes the Soul and the Body."
I was introduced to Japanese culture through Kendo in high-school. Wanting to learn as much about Japanese culture as I could, I engaged in many different disciplines during my one year student exchange in Osaka. I learned Karate, Jodo, Noh theater, iGo, and Tea Ceremony.
But it was Tea Ceremony that intrigued me most. Tea Ceremony is a microcosm of Japanese Culture. It includes almost every aspect of Japanese arts, crafts, and traditional daily life. If I was going to get an understanding for Japanese Culture, I was certain that Tea Ceremony would give me the best insight. After eight years of practice I received Instructorship in the Way of Tea as taught by the (warrior-style) Enshū school, as the youngest foreigner ever to have achieved this rank within the school.
"Tea, the way it was 100 years ago; meanwhile embodying 800 years of traditional taste."
To my surprise, however, I learned little about the centerpiece of the ritual, tea, itself! I learned plenty about culture, but for an understanding of how tea is made and where it comes from, I took a job at a traditional Japanese tea store in Uji and studied for the Nihoncha Instructor Certification program. I passed the test and became the first Belgian to receive the Nihoncha Instructor Certification.
"The way things were in the past;" Tradition and Antiquity have always intrigued me. It is from this perspective that I went looking for the authentic, original flavor of tea. Soon I came to understand that most conventional tea is inorganic and heavily fertilized, and that this approach is only a recent development, since the 1950's. "What is the original flavor of tea then?" This question led me to organic and natural teas, nourished and nurtured by nature itself. Tea, the way it was 100 years ago; meanwhile embodying 800 years of traditional taste.
Through savoring these teas, we can rediscover the truths and wisdom that our ancestors lived in harmony with. We are allowed to slow down, experience life as it is and take time to observe the here and now. Through this we grow our appreciation and respect for mother nature and the earth beneath our feet.
Natural Tradition™️ is a way to rediscover our connection to mother nature through traditional practices and wisdom that we have largely lost connection with by getting caught in the present day rapidity and shallowness of life.
By slowing down and taking time to observe life as it is here and now, we regain access to ancient truths and wisdom and become able to see life as if we are seeing it through the eyes of our ancestors.
Doing this will reestablish respect and love for nature, the soil we stand on, and for life and existence as a whole.
"Natural Tradition is the gateway to deep and profound happiness."
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