Meet Kindred Spirit Morgann Francesca and read about her Life with Tea
Jes was honored to have spent some time with Kindred Spirit Morgann Francesca who thrives in finding the essence of simplicity through meditation, Tea Ceremony, service and tradition.
“There's a saying, "when the leaf seeks the person, the person seeks the leaf" and that is exactly how we found one another."
Jes: Sitting in Ceremony with you Morgann and connecting in silence really made me reflect deeply on how much can come from stillness. Can you describe your journey that led you to this art of pouring Tea in Ceremony?
Morgann: There's a saying, "when the leaf seeks the person, the person seeks the leaf" and that is exactly how we found one another. Tea has been present in my life for as long as I can remember. It was my favorite warm beverage as a kid and the passion for its presence has stayed with me ever since. Along with tea, meditation has been a significant part of my life for quite some time, so I sat immersed in awe and curiosity the day I went to my first Tea Ceremony. After a long while of building that foundation, I began to serve my friends and family still returning to the well of where it all began. I made myself available for opportunities to be of service and said yes to every invitation that Tea offered me. Those invitations eventually took the shape of a path and that path has now become the Way. Trusting this path led me to finding my teacher, moving to Taiwan to live at our then free Tea and Zen center, and has placed me back here in the world, still living a life of Tea and service.
Jes: I know how I felt while sitting in ceremony with you, profoundly grateful, peaceful, and calm to name just a few feelings, can you describe what it feels like for you when you pour tea in Ceremony?
Morgann: When serving tea, I would say that there is less of a feeling and more of a cultivation of being. A cultivation of presence, reverence and humility. When we begin the ceremony, we bow, humbly excusing ourselves so that no aspect of "who we are" can be found in the tea. Just like water, we place ourselves beneath all that is greater than us to fully honor and respect our guests, the chaxi (which serves as our altar), and most of all, the Tea. The bow is pregnant with surrender, strength and gratitude yet we also use it as an opportunity to fully empty, accessing inner peace, freedom and quietude. When serving tea comes out of this stillness and presence, it assists those who drink from those bowls to find the same state of being within themselves.
Tea Ceremony at Morgann's Ojai Tea Hut
Jes: I know for myself I derive so much pleasure from being of service to the animals I rescue and also with my involvements with various organizations that help our planet - can you explain to me why it is so important for you to lead a life of service and devotion?
Morgann: I've always made it a priority to be a volunteer and be of service, long before my life of tea. I actively volunteered at animal shelters, horse rescues and lived a life of service for many years in a meditation community. And even with this foundation, Tea has continued to show me that the only reason to seek mastery of anything, not just tea, is to be of service to our world. My teacher often says, "what we gather we must give away..." And although it may seem counterintuitive, service on the path to mastery is actually imperative because without it, mastery can never be reached. If I kept and hoarded everything I have learned, along with all the wisdom and peace I spend my time cultivating, the only person that would serve is me. Being of service is an antidote for the ego, allowing me to deeply connect with others, from my willing and open heart to theirs. And it is important for me to share this practice with others as it allows me to align with the commitment of healing the world, one bowl at a time. We are an expression of our environment and if our environment is unhealthy, then we are too. No being can thrive in an unhealthy environment, so I find purpose in supporting others in hopes that we can make the change and be the change, together. And if where we place our attention is where we place our energy, then I want to direct that energy towards people healing and waking up through the medicine of Tea by sharing this life and Dao with anyone and everyone.
Jes: Can you make recommendations for people who are interested in learning more about tea ceremonies and also how people can book a ceremony with you? Thank you so much for being one of our Kindred Spirits
Morgann: If you feel called to invite this practice into your life, there is an infinite amount of resources available to do so. Firstly, our global community and non-profit, Global Tea Hut, is a community of tea lovers in sixty countries around the world with a membership that will provide you with seasonal, clean and sustainable teas, a wealth of knowledge in the form of a quarterly magazine that covers tea processing, lore, history, production and brewing with special offers and discounts on ways to supply and support your practice. In addition to this, the archive of past issues (of the magazine) is free and available on the website (www.globalteahut.org).
You can also find a vast library of videos on youtube via the Global Tea Hut channel, however, if you would like to dive deeper into method and philosophy, we offer online courses on everything from The Way of Tea to more linear topics such as The 7 Genres of tea. My teacher has also written some beautiful books on Tea (my favorite is Tea Medicine), there's even a Life of Tea Podcast, it's endless!
If you would like to sit with me I would love to have you! You can usually find me serving tea at our space in Ojai, Ojai Tea Hut, or if I'm traveling for tea you can find out where on my instagram or website. I'm always looking forward to sharing warm bowls of tea with new friends.
Instagram: @morgann _francesca
shop the look
The designs featured are more than mere accessories; they are silent narratives handcrafted with precision, representing this practice unique aesthetic and artistic vision.
In every handmade piece, there lies a vivid celebration of the symbiotic relationship between art and fashion, narrating tales of timeless elegance, innovation, and unrivaled craftsmanship.