20 Aug The tea wayfarer – Dani’s story
In the Global Tea Hut magazine of June 2021, the story of Dani and his relationship with tea was published. This is a specialized magazine on Tea edited by our Zen and Tea Teacher, Wu De.
We share the article:
“I feel very honored to have the privilege of introducing myself and sharing with all of you a journey that began in the summer of 2014. At that time, my partner Katya
and I were navigating the first steps in our project, Casa Cuadrau—a yoga, art and Nature retreat center in a majestic corner of the Spanish Pyrenees. Katya and I met in India in 2012 at a yoga and meditation teacher training in South India. We had both been on our own pilgrimages of personal growth for a few years at that point, and we found our jour- neys were very similar.
That same summer, in 2012, Katya and I opened the doors of our home to the public for the first time to of- fer yoga retreats, meditation and meditative hiking. We did it with great enthusiasm and affection even though many obstacles appeared along the way. We tried to view these as opportunities or challenges to learn from and continue growing.
Two years later, on a somewhat cloudy day at the end of the summer, our friend Antonio Moreno appeared at the Casa. Back then, in addition to the retreats, we offered veg- etarian food to tourists who passed by on their visit to the nearby Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park. That day, Antonio and his family ate with us and, at the end of the meal, Antonio asked me about the possibility of organiz- ing a retreat with his tea teacher. “Tea?” I asked in surprise. At that time, I had no idea about Cha Dao, but from the first moment, the proposal felt very interesting, and Anto- nio inspired me with confidence. He explained a bit about Zen and that the retreat would basically include meditation alongside a practice of tea ceremony. I grew more and more interested is he expanded upon the idea. That day, I showed Antonio the house and we talked about the possibilities, the surroundings, in terms of walks through the forest, the near- by rivers and springs, etc.
As for tea, I had always liked it. Despite being complete- ly ignorant on the topic, I was strangely curious about the ceremony. The way the monks treat tea really has always in- trigued me: the care and delicacy with which they serve it and the attention they pay to having a simple cup of tea.
All my life I have felt a deep devotion to Mother Na- ture, especially towards the mountains. All the important moments of my life have been linked in one way or another to Her. My parents met on a trek in the mountains. I grew up discovering mountains by foot, skis and bicycle. My life made sense climbing a cliff, diving into a mountain river, sitting high up in a tree, exploring the insides of a cave or sliding on my skis between the trees of a snowy forest. I often find myself dancing in a forest, absorbed in the contemplation of the dance of the trees swaying in the breeze, savoring the smell of the fallen leaves after a spring rain, or hugging a beech tree and simply feeling its presence connecting my heart with the Great Spirit that lives in the forest and in everything on this wonderful planet Earth.
During my first tea ceremony of the first retreat we host- ed at Casa Cudrau, I felt as if all of my previous experiences in Nature suddenly came to life within me. At that moment, my spirit connected with that of the plant and I suddenly felt rooted and yet free at the same time. I felt that I could be firm and flexible at the same time. I understood why the trees of the forest dance and what they want to tell us with their dances. That day, Tea spoke to me. She told me that the miracle of life and of Mother Nature—that same miracle that I glimpsed in my adventures in the mountains—was in that same bowl and in everything that surrounded me at that moment. She showed me, through the hands of our dear teacher Wu De, how we can make from something sim- ple and ordinary something absolutely extraordinary. Since then, this is been a central part of our lives and practice here. The rest is history, as they say.”