Aaron is a force of nature. Somewhere between setting up Global Tea Hut (very worth joining), his artistic endeavors (very worth having), and publishing The Leaf (about to restart!), he has found time to write and edit for Art of Tea Magazine, give presentations in Russia and the good ol’ USA, and teach a constant stream of live-in students at his tea center in MiaoLi, Taiwan.
Pat and I joined that stream of intersecting paths, living 3 days of tea, meditation, and Dao; it was a wonderful time! Though Aaron’s path, that of an Ascetic, and my own path, that of a Scholar, differ in focus, method, and practice, I have the utmost respect for Aaron and his way. You have to live it to understand it.
The center is free to stay at and totally supported by donations; Aaron makes it very clear that anyone can stay a day or a year and they will be fed and taught. Every day starts and ends with meditation; any practice is fine, there is no dogma. The rest of the day is usually taken up drinking tea; they don’t rush – 10+ brews is the norm, and we usually drank just 3 teas in a day. These sessions are punctuated by Aarons lessons, which pivot around the responses of the group; nothing is planed in advance.
What the Institute teaches and researches is very different from the path of ChaDao that Aaron lives, and anyone interested in experiencing that living tradition of tea should seek him out.