13 Sep The tea wayfarer – Katya’s story
In the Global Tea Hut magazine of September 2021, the story of Katya and her 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 began a relationship with tea in a gentle and slow way, but it was no less profound for it. Tea has offered me a wide path to cultivate gratitude and generosity, simplicity and presence, deep listening to myself and to everyone. I could go on and on gushing how much She teaches and offers to me.
My name is Katya, and together with my partner, Daniel, we run Casa Cuadrau, an eco-retreat center for yoga, medita- tion and hiking retreats in the Spanish Pyrenees. I have been practicing yoga and meditation for many years. I have always been interested in philosophy and those practices that bring me closer to my true essence and make me feel integrated.
I had never heard of the Cha Dao, nor of tea ceremonies until life brought tea to our doorstep, without even search- ing for it. In 2015, Antonio Moreno arrived at our vegetarian restaurant. In 2016, we received Wu De and people from Glob- al Tea Hut and everything changed .
At the first Zen and Tea retreat in the fall, our daughter was only eleven months old and I was taking care of her most of the time, breastfeeding her on demand. While Dani was in charge of guiding the meditative walks, he was also taking time to at- tend the meditations and tea classes. The first nights he came back to our apartment very excited and really touched. Some- thing was happening inside him. I was very curious to know what was going on in the meditation room during so many hours of silence. I felt a very calm and introspective atmosphere in the house. Dani asked me to come to a tea ceremony and a tea class by Wu De. And it was there that my tea journey began. It was beautiful to sit down and rest, to simply see the movement of the bowls, the delicacy of the hand gestures, the flow of the water, the dancing of the steam and, finally, to feel the penetrating aroma and flavor of my first bowl of tea.
At that retreat, I had one more opportunity to attend a tea ceremony, but this time in Nature: next to the river in the Añis- clo Canyon. The experience of melting into the surroundings was wonderful. I sipped my tea attentively, while listening to the music of the river.
The following year, I was also unable to attend the Zen and Tea retreat. Finally, in 2018, I was able to sneak into some more tea ceremonies, classes and meditations. And in January 2019, I had the opportunity to take a Tea Course at Tea Sage Hut in Taiwan. It was a great gift that came to me after three years of motherhood, lots of work running the retreat center and with little time for my personal practice. Being there was magic. The tea, classes, the discourses, the practice and the people were a balm for me. I felt so nourished and inspired day by day.
Since Wu De’s first visit, our life has sweetly approached this ancient practice. After the second year of the Zen & Tea retreat, Dani felt the initiative to offer tea ceremonies during our retreats. I really liked to help him, but I felt totally incapable and insecure to serve tea by myself. I had too much respect for the ceremony. In 2019, my father passed away and that was a turn- ing point in my life. It was as if something in me also died and at the same time was reborn. I had a newfound strength and desire to live without fear, to offer and serve the world. Tea and meditation gained strength in my practice, and I really wanted to give more, offer more of myself and overcome all those fears of “feeling I am not ready to do something.” From then on, I also began to offer tea ceremonies to friends and later to the participants of our retreats.
For me, each ceremony is a special opportunity to connect with something greater, to clear my mind, let go of my ego and let myself be guided by the energy of Tea and Nature. It is a time to honor all guests and honor all who have passed on this wisdom and teachings throughout time. It is a chance to offer my gratitude and metta with each bowl. For me, tea is a sacred plant, a source of connection to myself and a bond with my surroundings. I am deeply grateful to life for having brought Wu De to our door (literally), and so many other friends that I have met on the way to tea.
I look forward to being the host again at Casa Cuadrau for one more Zen and Tea Retreat with Wu De and all who wish to come and share many bowls of tea, many gentle silences and meditative walks.”