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Looking Deeply Into Tea


Meditations by Shelley Richardson          Photographs by Bruce Richardson

Tea Garden

In this world

it is easy to travel

to new places and fascinating landscapes.

What matters is

that we lift the veil from our eyes,

open ourselves to a new voyage of perception,

and arrive in paradise



I looked at the ancient tea bowl

behind glass in the museum.

Its beauty and simplicity beckoned to me.

My gaze brought it into my heart.

It became my soul for that moment.

I turned it on its side

and felt a pouring out.

I turned it back

and felt a filling up.

Great Mother

In the picking of tea,

I think about the manifestation of the Mother.

She is everything.

She comes without fail.

She is the Wise One.

Her Power flows as she picks

the delicate bud.

She wears a golden halo around her head

and carries the basket of tea

as if it were sweet compassion,

ready to pour out into the world.

Bruce and Shelley Richardson have been at the forefront of America’s tea renaissance since 1990. These former classical musicians have infused their creative passion into a life filled with tea, art, photography, writing and teaching. They have authored or co-authored 15 books on tea and are frequent guest speakers at tea events around the world. Their wholesale tea company, Elmwood Inn Fine Teas, is based in Danville, Kentucky. For 17 years, they have hosted a three-day Tea 101 Master Class where over 450 aspiring students of tea have come for inspiration and instruction.


Thoughts and Prayers

By Shelley Richardson
Photography by Bruce Richardson

Shelley Richardson has combined her sensitive writing skills with the beautiful photography of Bruce Richardson to produce a moving and powerful tribute to the tea workers and tea gardens of Sri Lanka and India.

The 35 color photographs show you the faces of people who labor each day to produce our cup of tea. You will never drink a cup of tea again without thinking of them.

Available from Benjamin Press