Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Truly Spiritual Human Experience While Drinking a Cup of Tea

By Gayle Etcheverry

You can make great changes in your world by doing simple, small acts of kindness. Mother Teresa once said, "God does not command that we do great things, only little things with great love." Guisepi, from FreeTeaPary.org is a perfect example of Mother Teresa's words - and he's doing so, one cup of tea at a time.

Offering free tea came naturally to Guisepi. Back in 2005, he began sharing cups of tea and snacks to those who would pass him on the street. With his truck parallel parked, it was easy for people to congregate and have discussions while sharing tea with complete strangers. Before he knew it, people from different educational and financial backgrounds, races, nationalities and ages were having a peaceful time together.

People who attended his impromptu tea parties explained to Guisepi how honored they were to experience something so pure and unique. Guests would leave the truck party filled with a feeling of love and unity like never before. Feeling inspired to go into the world and make a difference in their communities for the better. Guisepi says that serving tea is affordable, easy to do and is a gift that brings him unlimited joy. It is the gift that keeps on giving.

Today, tea is served out of his Tea Bus that he calls, Special Edna, which is a short, yellow school bus. Its perfect size allows him to parallel park on major streets and has better fuel economy than if he owned a larger bus. "Special Edna" is his home and he graciously shares his traveling abode with anyone who cares to have a cup of tea with him.

Guisepi says that hosting free tea parties is not a new idea. In Fact, it is a custom that dates back thousands of years. Even after all this time, people still take part in this genuine, kindred interaction of drinking tea together.

Along his travels, Guisepi has inspired many people to hold their own style of tea parties. One such man decided he would make a life dream come true and serve free stew to people in San Francisco. Guisepi believes that people can serve tea, coffee, stew, or even sweets. The kind of offering doesn't matter. The magic happens between the human interactions.

If at all possible, you really must go to a free tea party. Should you live too far to attend one of Guisepi's parties you could easily host your own. It is definitely a remarkable event that will stay with you forever.

Luckily, I was able to attend one of his free tea parties in his magic bus in Los Angeles. Over the course of a few hours I met people from far away lands, of different backgrounds all the while enjoying a cup of chai tea. This was one of the most remarkable moments I've ever experienced - To sit in a group with people only moments before were so foreign to me, and then became instant friends.

Guisepi is a wonderful example of someone who is making a difference in the lives of humanity, by serving peace one cup at a time.

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