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Zen & The Art & Importance of Living Tea

By May 25, 2014January 31st, 202410 Comments

Today we delve into an entirely new world. The world of tea.

I can hear you now: Tea?? Really? Why should I care about tea? I’ve been enjoying the podcast a lot lately, Rich.  But I’m not sure about this…I think you might have lost the thread this week. 

A couple years ago I would have probably said the same thing. I don’t feel that way anymore. So if you are thinking of skipping this episode because on the surface it doesn’t sound like something you are interested in, reconsider. Because — and as I always say — contempt prior to investigation imprisons one to everlasting ignorance.


Born in the United States as Aaron Daniel Fisher, Wude was drawn to the East from a very early age. After studying philosophy in college, he travelled the world and ultimately settled in Taiwan, where he has since become a Buddhist monk – steeped in the sutras and wisdom of that tradition – as well as a tea master – a vituoso of not just the living tradition of harvesting tea, but the living tradition of what tea means in a sort of meta sense – why it’s important and why we should care about it.

Tea as medicine. Tea as healing. Tea as life.

Tea Practice as Zen.

The easiest way to put it is that WuDe comes from this idea that tea is a universal living, breathing thing that unifies us all — the tree of life.

Think of tea as a metaphor. A foundational concept around which to structure a set of ancient teachings, principles, knowledge and wisdom to glean a broader truth about health, healing, community, the environment, life, life’s meaning and the unifying oneness – or undeniable interconnectedness of everything

In Taiwan WuDe founded and runs Global Tea Hut— a school and center devoted to the education and preservation of the ancient tradition of harvesting living tea and welcomes people from all over the world to come study and practice tea preparation, meditation, tea history, tea crafting, the sutras of tea and its relevance in society, and how to cultivate the Dao of Tea as a method of spiritual expansion.

I realize today’s guest and these topics may be slightly off your personal reservation. That’s cool – it was for me initially as well. All I ask is that you set aside whatever preconceived notions you may be harboring and enter this episode with an open mind. Do that, and I assure you will come out the other side with not only a new and informed view on the import of tea, but a greater understanding of Zen. An expanded perspective on consciousness. And a heightened awareness of the oneness that unites us all.

WuDe spills over with crazy mad wisdom that more than merits your attention and contemplation.

I promise this just might be the most fascinating conversation you will hear all week.

I sincerely hope you enjoy the show.  Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Peace + Plants,



*Disclosure: Books and products denoted with an asterisk are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.


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  • Chris says:

    Wow. I am only 25 minutes in and had to pull over my car to wipe tears from my eyes. Not normally an emotional guy but one of WuDe’s stories was so simple and profound it struck a chord deep within me. Thank you.

  • Pouts13 says:

    Best Podcast yet Rich. Amazing. Have listened to it three times already and shared it with so many people. Love the way you continue to surprise us with your guests. You are a true inspiration to me.
    Keep up the work.

  • Russell Smith says:

    Awesome podcast, thanks for sharing. Tea and GTH brought me here!

  • JasonRH says:

    Amazing. The diversity of guys is mind blowing.

    Can you post a link to the video you were talking about with reintroducing the wolves to Yellowstone

  • richroll66 says:

    Here it is:

  • Rich Szabo says:

    Agreed, this is the best Rich Roll podcast to date. Rich, you outdid yourself with your calm measured interview style. How will you top this?

  • viii_ball says:

    Rich, the tea you keep referring to in this Podcast is it Puerh tea?

  • Rickp says:

    Another great episode. Probably my favorite

  • Emanuel says:

    I was wondering if such a caring, deep-thinker, peace advocating person such as Wu De is vegan.

  • I have listened to the RRP from the beginning and this was the highlight for me. profound educational and life changing. thank you Rich and Julie for enriching my and my families life with your wise words.

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