“Silence is a source of great strength.” Lao Tzu
This month, I am following my dear friends, The World According to Dina, Leaping Tracks and Silkannthreades into silence. For most of us, this is entering unfamiliar territory. We have become accustomed to sound, whether it be the soothing lilt of music, the white noise of traffic, urgent text message notifications, or the inevitable clamour of an alarm clock. At the same time, our affinity with silence has lessened to the point that we are uneasy in what seems to be a “void.” Consider how we rush to fill a conversation when there is a lapse into silence.
Silence is a complete absence of sound, something which very few of us will ever experience. City dwellers will always have the company of noise. Nature offers the echoes of ocean waves crashing along a shoreline, wind rattling the trees, rain pelting the ground, voices of animals and the songs of birds. And the universe – even interstellar space is filled with noise.
I am discovering that silence can be reached when we allow the noise to drift away, when we relinquish the message conveyed by the incoming signal. In so doing, we open ourselves to new possibilities and outcomes.
In the end, silence is a personal journey, an inner conversation, an open invitation to explore and celebrate.
“I’ve begun to realize that you can listen to silence and learn from it. It has a quality and a dimension all its own.” Chaim Potok
Finding Silence within a City Garden from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.
“Great acts are made up of small deeds.”
We were all born for greatness, even though only a few individuals will be recognized by name in history. That does not lessen our contribution, nor does it signify that our participation did not change the course of world events. Our dreams are ever renewed when we act with compassion and optimism. And when our voices merge with others, every thing is possible. John Lennon once said, “A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is a reality.”
“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped.”
Robert F. Kennedy
Frugality forms an affectionate companionship with gentleness and humility. One leads to the other and then to the other before returning again to the beginning. Lao Tzu (Laozi), a philosopher of ancient China best known as the author of the Tao Te Ching and, in tradition, the founder of philosophical Taoism, offers these words of wisdom.
“I have three precious things which I hold fast and prize. The first is gentleness; the second is frugality; the third is humility, which keeps me from putting myself before others. Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal; avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader among men.”
The Chinese have many legends on the mysterious origins of tea. It is said that the Emperor Shen Nung discovered the fragrant leaf in the third millennium B.C. Others say it was Buddha who introduced tea to China. Lao Tzu was offered tea when he traveled through Szechwan in the sixth century B.C.; Confucius is said to have taken tea. These narratives are shrouded in the mists of time, yet we know for certainty that tea, in all its glory, originated in China.
As I drink my afternoon tea and feel the warmth return to me after a brisk walk, I decided that this week would be about tea. With autumn upon us, most of us have our teapots and kettles ready to go. What better time to talk about a history that is full of danger, conflict and espionage. Join me as we explore the many and varied people who have made tea famous.
“I am not at all interested in immortality, only in the taste of tea.”
“Tea tempers the spirits and harmonizes the mind, dispels lassitude and relieves fatigue, awakens thought and prevents drowsiness, lightens or refreshes the body, and clears the perceptive faculties.”