T.S. Eliot's "Four Quartets" features a stunning depiction of a "still point at the center of the turning world," encompassed by an eternal dance. My name is Bernie Fraser, and I have dedicated my life to this spiritual journey or "Dance" in search of that still point. Pursuing my Master of Divinity, I have explored many religions and spiritualities, and as a Catholic Priest, I have walked with others on their own journeys, from building homes for the impoverished to counseling those grieving the loss of their partners. Along my own path, I delved into the ancient spiritual practice of writing Icons, which gave me an appreciation for Eastern spirituality and meditation. I have engaged in numerous other "Dances" in pursuit of spiritual enlightenment, including the study of tea, becoming a tea sommelier, and discovering the deep spiritual connection between tea and meditation, as well as ritual. Tea has been linked with this "Dance" for spiritual enlightenment, whether in the hills of Tibet or in the Japanese "Way of Tea" ceremony, for centuries.
In our instant-gratification culture, where everything is only a click or a text away, we often overlook the journey and the process. As a child, during family vacations, my parents and eight siblings would pile into our van and head to a small motel on the shore of Lake Huron, where we entertained ourselves without cell phones, iPads, or DVDs. We created our games, and we all shared this journey together. Drinking tea is an opportunity to connect with ourselves and others, not just a means to consume caffeine or antioxidants. Whether it's quietly sitting at home, at a tea house with friends, or sharing a warm cup with family, my brothers and I hope that our teas will be a small part of your unique journey.