Here you will see how we spent one day in Tea Sage Hut in Miaoli, Taiwan. It was 1 of August, 2015.
You will experience the cleanliness of the Tea Sage Hut, join us for Japanese Tea Ceremony, a spontaneous trip to the beach and a movie night. Typical Saturday in the hut. Or maybe completely not typical, every day is unique, right? Let’s start!
We get up at 6:45. This is board in the guest room. That night we were with 3 guests: me (Tanya), Jasper, and Kenneth
This is how the guest room looks like. There are 4 beds. First thing I did was taking a shower. Even the shower in Tea Sage Hut is a very inspiring place.
7:10 We decided to drink tea before the morning meditation. For me it was very special!
We drank bowl tea, it was special for me because it was the only time when I actually served the tea in the Tea Sage Hut (off course in a kitchen where guests usually make tea). We were 3 of us: me, Jasper and Kenneth.
8:00 is morning meditation. In Tea Sage Hut there is daily schedule. One hour meditation in the morning and one hour meditation in the evening every day.
9:10. After meditation – breakfast.
This is also something special about Tea Sage Hut – very tasty meals twice a day. Every day someone (one person) of the students, who live there, doesn’t meditate in the morning and instead – cooks breakfast for all of us. I got the idea that guys (Shen, Max, Sam and John) have a competition- who cooks the tastiest breakfast. That’s why each day the food was even tastier than the day before. It was really crazy!!!
After breakfast – cleaning. There is a saying “80% of Cha Dao is cleaning”. Cha Dao is the way of Tea, it’s not just cleaning actually. I was amazed by how clean the tea center is. Very fast I understood why it is. For example the kitchen, they clean it literally completely after each meal! Including vacuum cleaning the carpet and mopping the floor.
Here is the instruction for cleaning. My favorite of course the last line “Give each other a hug!”
There are quite some rules in the tea center. Here they are:
Weekly schedule. Guess which day is today? Today is 1 of August and it’s Saturday. On Saturday according to the schedule is Japanese Tea Ceremony. I was lucky and I experienced Japanese Tea Ceremony in the center two times during my visit to Taiwan this summer.
Time is 10:09 and we are waiting, while Shen and Sam are preparing the space for Tea Ceremony. We had extra guests that day. Canadian guy Curtis and a Taiwanese friend, who has his own tea shop in Miaoli.
While we are waiting, I am making pictures of the Tea center. Here is an Altar near the front door – Guanyin, Goddess of compassion, mercy and kindness. (That is who she really is! I just read wikipedia and figured out now, haha).
I go outside to breathe some hot fresh air! In Taiwan the weather was hot (+33 Celcius) when we were there. Here is a bonsai. A true appreciation of broken teaware. Isn’t it cool?
Sacred tea space!!! Max is walking around to prepare his Chaxi. Somehow we were with too many to drink Japanese tea ceremony all together. So, Max prepared Tea in the kitchen for Kenneth and John. The rest, five of us, were attending the Japanese Tea Ceremony prepared by Shen and Sam.
Tea space in the tea center.
10:45 and it is almost ready. Here you see the front door from inside and the donation box.
10:59 Tadadam! We are going to drink tea! Jasper is entering the meditation room. The big water basin is in front of the entrance, where you can clean yourself before entering.
When you enter, you see this beautiful space with fishes in the corner in a fish pond. Few steps to become more mindful. To sharpen awareness of the present moment.
Japanese Tea ceremony made by Shen with help of Sam! The ceremony usually has strict rules, but in our case Shen asked only one thing – try to sit in one posture for the whole ceremony, if possible. I managed, but it was difficult).
This Chaxi had a deep meaning. It was related to World War 2 and Japan. They have one day a year where they remember the people, who died in the sea during WW2 and send paper ships with candles in them to the sea.
At the same time Max was preparing tea in the kitchen.
13:27 is lunch time! This time it was food from the local noodle restaurant. Very tasty as always in Tea Sage Hut. (You see how everyone excited about food).
After lunch – cleaning.
Our Tradition. All tea people who had initiation. Ilyas is also there :))).
14:50. Max just had a crazy idea to go to the closest beach from Miaoli. The result – we went to spontaneous sea trip. Taking swimsuits, sitting on the scooters and going to the train station. Scooters are the main transport within the city in Taiwan.
Miaoli from the bikes.
Miaoli train station and we are having snacks, while waiting for the train
Train to Qiding
16:06. We arrived, I’m in the mirror:)
It was funny how we got from the train station to the ocean. I think Max just used google maps. So we just went straight to the see, and on the way we had to cross the highway in a not appropriate place, and then go through the sandy forest without path. Small adventurers!
The first thing we did – we went to swim off course! Since the temperature of the air in Taiwan in summer is +33 in a day time and +29 in the night time, the water in the ocean is really warm. So you actually doesn’t feel the temperature difference between the air and water. But it’s cool to swim in the ocean. Really cool!
We hang out in the beach for some time. Being lazy and hot :).
I was too bored to be so lazy, and I went for ‘treasure hunting’. John and Jasper joined at some point. So I got this amazing piece of wood, which I now use in Netherlands during my tea sessions to place tea bowls on.
Kenneth got this funny mask for Shen, but in the end we left it broken on the beach.
Me and Jasper.
18:12 – Time to go back.
Last glance at the beautiful beach.
Best selfie of the day.
On the way back we got really beautiful sunset and we crossed the highway on the appropriate place this time
Train on the way back. We are crazy foreigners.
19:05 and we are back to Miaoli. Kenneth posing with Taiwanese girl 😉
Getting bikes. Going back to the tea center.
Shopping for fruit snacks. Movie night in the schedule.
The movie room is in Shen’s bedroom. We were watching movie from 21:04 – 23:00. With a lot of popcorn and fruits with peanut butter.
After movie we go back to our guest room. 23:40 – time to sleep.
Thanks for sharing this day with me.
I hope you got an idea – how it is to spend one day in the Tea Sage Hut.