Our Meetup Group met for a Tea Ceremony at Council Crest. We started with walking meditation. At a traditional ceremony, guests would remove their weapons and a fan would replace it. This is why you will see a fan set at each person's place-setting. We entered the sacred space for our ceremony with a symbolic removal of our daggers and replaced them with something nurturing and peaceful, symbolic of the fan a guest is traditionally given. For one participant, he removed the dagger of "fear of falling" and replaced it with the fan of "feeling grounded, safe, and stable." Each person had a unique intention.
We continued practicing in the cold air for a little over an hour. Smile meditation, songs, sitting meditation, mindful speech, and various teachings kept us in a sacred space, although the wind had my teeth chattering by the end. Even though we were chilled, everyone helped to gather our supplies and take things back to the car. I felt happy to have community to share this with.
Meeting people in practice like this is the greatest gift to me. Not only do I hope to benefit the community and the individuals that show up, I engage myself in the very things that are my medicine. Whenever I practice mindfulness while eating and drinking, I feel more connected to everything around me, and to my very life experience. Aliveness and meaning awaken!