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Global Tea Hut's "Light Meets Life" Retreat Center

$105,741 of $1.0M goal

Raised by 385 people in 2 months

LIGHT MEETS LIFE - A Truly Free Tea & Meditation Center

Imagine arriving at a retreat center to find you feel instantly at home. The smiles of all your new friends from around the world welcome you. Imagine the first bowl of tea, and how it warms and refreshes you after a long journey. You start letting go of the vicissitudes of daily life and the quiet rhythm of this amazing place takes over. Along with insights and wisdom, you find a stillness in yourself you didn’t even know was there.

You stay here for ten days — meditating; eating nourishing, healthy food; connecting with wonderful humans from around the world; wandering the gardens; learning and practicing tea brewing; and drinking lots and lots of the finest organic teas on earth.

And it’s all free. When you leave, you pass by the donation box and quietly leave an offering from your full heart and send a good thought to the future people that will be nourished here, as you have.

Welcome to Light Meets Life.

We are ready to make this long-standing vision a reality, and we need your help! Please share to your networks and donate generously to this home for tea, meditation, community, and you. We cannot wait to host you in our new Center.
 
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Respite from the Chaos | A Living Legacy — Preserving Tea Culture

Modern life is overwhelming and unsustainable — for us as individuals and for our planet. There are few places of true respite from the chaos, and together with your help, we are creating one that uses one of the simplest and oldest methods of accessing the calm within:

Tea.

But the true roots of tea culture — tea as a path to cultivation, tea as a Way: Cha Dao — have largely been foundering under the weight and distraction of modernity. At Global Tea Hut , we’ve been carefully holding this thread for the last decade, through our tea and Tao magazine and our Center, where we’ve served and changed the lives of thousands of people from sixty countries, 100% donation-based.


The Present & The Future

For ten years, we have hosted numerous life-changing tea and meditation courses at our current center Tea Sage Hut in Miaoli, Taiwan.  After serving thousands of bowls of tea in our home here, we now find its time to move out.  Our landlord is nearing the end of his life and would like to die in his childhood home.  How can we possibly say anything but yes to that?

Our current center has also grown too small. With space for only four guests at a time, our free 10-day courses fill up within days of announcing them, with a waitlist of 20-30 people at all times.   


We have a bigger vision. And we want you to be a part of it.

It’s time for us to grow and create the tea center we’ve been dreaming of, one that can:
○     Host 20-40 retreatants per course & 10+ residents all year long for free, donation-based retreats.
○     Continue to offer 10-Day Intro to Cha Dao (Way of Tea) courses, while adding Zen & Tea retreats, tea brewing workshops, and local tea gatherings.
○     Expand into new offerings, including:
        ·   Taichi/Qigong
        ·   Traditional Chinese Medicine
        ·   Flower arranging
        ·   Incense ceremony
        ·   Environmental seminars
        ·   Deeper, more in-depth tea studies
○    Host a yearly symposium for farmers and producers of clean, organic tea.
○    Preserve tea culture for centuries, benefiting tea lovers throughout our lifetimes and long, long after we’re gone.
○     Always have charcoal burning in the hearth to keep a kettle steaming, ready for you, wherever you may be.

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Why “Light Meets Life”?
Light Meets Life” expresses all that we hope to create: a place where the sacred light meets every aspect of life, from daily work to meditation, from seed to tree and from leaf to bowl. Also, we love the word "light" since it implies both purity and divinity as well as levity and humor—a place of laughter and joy.

Our Goals
·      Establish a non-profit organization or cultural association in Taiwan (in process).
·      Purchase property and renovate as needed to suit our needs as a free, donation-based retreat center.
·      Begin offering free courses in 2020.
·      Eventually, build sister centers all over the world!

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Location Options
Which location we move into will very much depend on the success of this fundraising campaign, and also on our additional, more traditional fundraising efforts.

First Choice: Botanical Gardens
A magical, stunning feat of architecture-in-Nature located in Sanyi, Taiwan.  The structures are completely handcrafted without machines, incorporating ancient millstones, ship masts, and temple carvings. The gardens have been nurtured and cultivated for twenty-five years, flourishing in tangles of vines, thousands of blossoms, bamboo groves, and magnificent wildness. It invites a life of tea and meditation, of living in communion with Nature; a space healing and nurturing for all who visit.  It has been meticulously crafted and lovingly cared for and as such, it is very expensive.  The value of this property is in the millions, more money than what we anticipate crowd-funding here.  We are in the process of seeking additional funding and benefactors.

Second Choice: Traditional Taiwanese Guest House
Built in a traditional three-wall structure with an open courtyard and located in Nan Zhuang, Taiwan.  This space is much more simple, humble, and affordable, housing a meditation hall, several bedrooms for guests, and a large kitchen.  The house would need to be completely renovated and the grounds cultivated.  With $1 million raised, we could open Light Meets Life here.

Other Options
We have other locations and options to check out as we make this transition. If we don't reach our goal here, we could use the funds we do raise to rent and renovate a new space, although we would, of course, like to own our next center.  We could also use the funds raised here to make a down payment and apply for a mortgage on a property.  We are confident that our center will find the exact-right space! And no matter what happens, we will create a beautiful tea temple for all of you.   Don't worry, we can keep all the funds raised here whether we meet our goal or not!

Your Donations Will Cover:
·      Finding, buying, and renovating a location within the budget of what we fundraise here and through private donations.
·      Costs related to starting a non-profit organization or cultural association in Taiwan.
(Please note that 2.9% of your donation is automatically applied to GoFundMe transaction fees.)


We hope that Light Meets Life will long outlive us all, and that future generations of tea lovers will also have a free school to use as they see fit, benefiting their exploration of tea on all levels from educational and linear to spiritual and ceremonial. Please give what you can and use all your social media power to amplify our fundraiser to the world.  Together we will light the charcoal in the hearth of the main hall and hang our kettle there.


#lightmeetslife #globalteahut

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We've reached $100K! Thank YOU!
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Take a glimpse at another possibility for the home of Light Meets Life!
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A glimpse into what our future courses can be. Thank you so much for helping us continue and expand our free tea school!
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We can do this together as a tea family. It may seem big, it may seem daunting, but our combined efforts are great! Let's dream big. We are on the march towards the greatest Tea Center ever. Thank you so much for your continued contributions and comments.
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$105,741 of $1.0M goal

Raised by 385 people in 2 months
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