What’s tea got to do with it?

Posted by on 04.06.07 | 2 Comments
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As the host of the Virtual Tea House, I’m being asked to tell a little about myself (see my bio at the end of this post) and talk more about the purpose of the website*. Over the next few days/weeks, I’ll be doing just that, and will continue to invite all of you to join this site and become part of the community.

*Hint: it’s not ’42′ as fans of ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ might assume. Douglas Adams’ fun little romp, poses that the answer to life, the universe and everything is ’42′ but no one, including the mega-computer Deep Thought, can figure out the question…

Using having tea as the connector…the site was born out of my longing for ever-deepening community. Maybe someday I’ll have a non-virtual teahouse, but for now, we meet using the ‘metaphor’ of the internet!

This is not an ‘information’ site. The site’s purpose is to develop and foster a virtual community of like-minded people who care about the deeper meaning of global community. The site will be as interesting as its participants! Respond to each other’s postings, share your stories, and talk about your experiences as you relate to the call to local and global community. Now there’s some strong tea!

So with that being said, I’m going to re-state some of the info that is on the ‘purpose’ page of this site in my next few journal entries (blogs).

The Virtual Teahouse is a gathering place for telling intimate life-stories in words and art. Stories of strength, healing, hope, wisdom and life-transitions reflect compassion, humility, forgiveness and restitution are invited here. Sharing their potency will help promote an understanding of our own– and others’–obliviousness and fears. The stories will thus be a collection of the communal wisdom that is thriving in the trenches of living in a seemingly disconnected world.

We’re all part of many communities: family, career-related, faith-based, avocational, political, etc. We’re also part of global communitas. As part of the human community, terror, hatred or violence anywhere on the planet affects all of us in ways that we’re just beginning to comprehend. Acts of understanding, humility, forgiveness and restitution affect us all as well.

Just as we have outgrown the perspective of the earth as flat, our stubborn perception that connection is related to physical location no longer serves our best interests. Dreams and intuition moving across space and time illustrate that we’re connected in ways we only vaguely perceive. As a new ‘waking dream’, the internet is being called into service as a vehicle for connecting with others who live in very different worlds.

Our hearts tell us that the malaise of our time is anxiety fueled by a sense of isolation or lack of connection. This sense of disconnection from our own hearts and from the rooted-ness of community is sapping our life force. Let’s honor our hearts’ yearning for heated-up connections to help balance the fear and anxiety we breathe in on a daily basis. Making these connections without the constraints of distance, time zones or passports–that’s what we’re talking about! Let’s make our own global warming trend!

It’s alive! This site will change and grow with each new story, idea or resource that is attracted to it. The short version: collecting and disseminating communal wisdom is the purpose of this virtual community.

But…’you gotta play to win…’

I’m challenging myself, and each of you with an invitation: please respond to other’s postings (either stories, or in the discussion forums) or respond to the journal entries (these are actually ‘blogs’ but I’ve chosen to name them journals as that seems more friendly). In the interplay between the written word and image, opinion and truth, will come an intimacy that may just warm us all. Let’s have a cup of virtual tea…and invite others…the teahouse is spacious enough to accomodate any and all who want to participate!

Some practical info: the purpose of ‘joining’ is so that you can fully participate in the dialogues. To join, simply click the ‘join’ button in the far right corner of the site. Add your name (or your screen name if you’d like), your password and a little other info about yourself. After your account is set up, you will see your name in bold in the far right corner. If you then double click on your name, it will allow you to add a bio, upload a picture (thru the ‘avatar’) and a lot of other features. Then that info (and picture) will show up each time you add a comment or post a story, etc.

You can always email me and let me know if you’re having problems, and I’ll be glad to try and help!

feedback@virtualteahouse.com or beth@virtualteahouse.com

Comments? Questions? Is this attempt at explanation confusing? Come on back…

Beth Patterson

Bend, Oregon

Host, Virtual Tea House

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