Respect is nice, kind, and something you give to strangers and you’re supposed to give to your elders. It’s formal and it’s externally motivated by society and others.
Reverence is deep, spiritual, and comes from inside. It’s hard to force reverence. It’s also harder to find it. But when you look deeper, and listen harder, reverence is there. And it’s so much broader than respect.
Think about water. Water deserves reverence. This planet is over 70% water. The human body is over 70% water. Water is everywhere and yet we never even think about it. Water is life and water deserves reverence.
Looking for reverence in the little obvious areas of life, makes for some potent realizations. We brew thousands of pots of tea at Samovar every single week, and it’s easy to lose sight of the potent little things. Like water and tea. It’s so easy to make and drink tea mindlessly, to take it for granted, and to “just do it.” But once in a while we really do stop, look, and listen. Then reverence blooms.
Tea is grown and cared for thousands of miles away from San Francisco. It’s a product of the earth, the sun, the rain and the wind. Tea is raw nature, born of the earth. And what allows tea to flourish is the same as what allows us humans to flourish: earth, sun and rain. If we take a moment to appreciate this fact, and to acknowledge that good tea is possible only with good water and good earth, that’s really powerful. Tea hydrates us, and uplifts us, and supports our livelihood. Good tea is a product of caring farmers and fertile earth. So basic and obvious, and so very, very powerful. Tea nourishes us inside and it puts a roof over our head.
So take a moment and listen. Notice. Feel a reverence for tea. For your your breath. For your family. For your life.