About 6 years ago in my sophomore year at DRBU my classical Chinese professor introduced me to Bill Porter, a.k.a. Red Pine. Bill is a prolific classical Chinese translator and author of many popular books relating to Buddhism and traveling in Asia. Ever since that first tea gathering I have gone back as he and time allow.
I am someone who finds value in experiences and learns more through unspoken osmosis than classroom type dictation. With Red Pine there are not many words to express how a simple tea gathering can be so full of elation and profundity. Our exchanges are some of my most valued memories.
I recently started a non-profit organization with three other people called the Jade Pine Foundation, dedicated to the preservation and acculturation of classical traditions from Asia. Red Pine is one of our advisers who directs and inspires the movements forward in providing the public with access to educational and experiential opportunities. I feel enormously grateful in my life to be able to have drawn near to such experienced and wise teachers. It is my aim to share that wisdom in its various forms. Tea is one of many arts, including translation, kungfu, taiji, qigong, herbalism, and others, that the Jade Pine Foundation can share with the public.
For example, Red Pine taught me recently that in translating classical Chinese poetry one must tap into the poem beyond words. Also that the words are not the poem itself, but merely evidence that a poem exists. As a deaf man learning a dance by observation of another...Read more in this interview with Red Pine
Here is a link to my translation of the famous "Seven Cups" poem and a comment by Red Pine.
One of the core reasons I serve tea to the public is to build a bridge between ancient and modern, east and west. Bridges that connect us to a more peaceful and rich world of ever evolving happiness.
Stay tuned for more updates on other lessons from Jade Pine advisers and events I host with Cannata Imports.
Kenneth Cannata: Happy tea-searcher. Also known by some as their friendly neighborhood "TeaBoss".