No. 2 - On being in the world

There is a certain beauty in the first light of day. I love how it changes day to day, how each time it is different, how it will never appear the exact same way ever again. I find this is reflected in the philosophy of the Japanese tea ceremony in the aspect of Ichigo Ichie or "one time, one meeting." It's the recognition that every encounter or experience is singular and cannot be replicated exactly ever again. So as the day gets started in its own unique way, I recognize and cherish this moment of connection with you in this world.


I am incredibly grateful for a dedicated space in my home that embodies tranquility - a bathroom that was initially roughed in during construction but has remained unfurnished (not what you expected eh?). This tiny room comfortably houses my small altar adorned with items that evoke a sense of peace, a slender bookcase, and my yoga mat. Directly in front of my practice area, a reproduction of an abstract painting in soft, muted tones rests against the wall. The artwork reminds me of a serene mist over a lake or the peaceful ocean at sunrise, or perhaps the gentle ripples created by softly running your fingers through water.

Today, while seated in my little sanctuary, listening to Eckhart Tolle's enlightening lecture on "Stopping the Madness," something finally clicked for me. I recalled a statement from a past teacher: "Be in the world, but not of the world."

I share this in case it might resonate with you. We seem to find ourselves, from time to time, in the midst of some madness. We do exist within the world. We are surrounded by the world's events and occurrences but we need not become entangled in them. Of course completely withdrawing or renouncing material life isn't feasible. We must engage with our responsibilities and relationships; hopefully we can be called to embrace the world's beauty. Yet, consider shifting your viewpoint from one of attachment, where everyday happenings stick to you like burrs or sticky notes, to viewing these occurrences as the mist or water in my painting—flowing around you seamlessly, barely touching your inner peace.


Being in the world and not of the world takes a wee bit of discipline and a lot of practice to navigate its complexities with grace and intention. Mostly, it takes perseverance because I can pretty much guarantee that I will be of the world a few more (bajillion) times in this life.

"Success is the product of daily habits - not once-in-a-lifetime transformations."
- James Clear, Atomic Habits


You knew tea was bound to make a reappearance in this discussion, right? As always, it serves as my gateway to well-being. Whether acting as the cornerstone for my habit stacking (seriously, if you haven't checked out "Atomic Habits," I highly recommend it—or place a hold at the library) or as the fuel that propels me forward, it consistently reminds me that well-being is a dynamic journey, enriched by new insights, practices, and perspectives. In essence, tea offers me a path to well-being in the world.

And the calming effect of tea is no coincidence. In addition to caffeine, green tea also features an amino acid known as L-theanine, which has been shown to protect and enhance the functioning of the mind.  When combined with other herbs that promote mental clarity, such as rosemary, it becomes a potential formula for a transformative shift in how we perceive the world around us.

One more thing...

"When you long to loose the anchor
And dance the night away
Loosen built up tension
Let it carry you away 

And dissolve into the foam
Of things near of things gone
To remind our restless souls
Of the beauty of being here at all"

- Let it Carry You Away, José González

Until next time,

Steep Calm.

No. 2 - On being in the world
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