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The Zen of WuDe — Meditations on Buddhist Philosophy, Gratitude & The Art of Being

By June 7, 2015January 26th, 202415 Comments

“If you don’t have the ability to celebrate what you have now, nothing you get—and I mean nothing; nothing material, nothing experiential, no amount information, no amount of experience, no amount of material possessions—is going to teach you how to celebrate.”


Today my friend WuDe returns to the show to drop some mad Zen Buddhist wisdom.

In case you missed it, I strongly encourage you to dial up our first conversation. RRP #87: Art & The Importance of Living Tea is a fascinating deep dive into the world, history, and ancient teachings of tea as a means to glean broader truths about health, healing, community, the environment, and oneness – the universal interconnectedness of everything.

During that initial conversation, we barely scratched the surface with respect to the extensive knowledge and wisdom brimming from WuDe’s soul. So when he returned for recent visit to Los Angeles, I jumped on the chance to have him back on the show. A rare opportunity to more fully mine the philosophy and the traditions of Zen Buddhism to help us better navigate our modern lives.

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 traveled the world and ultimately settled in Taiwan, where he has since become a Buddhist monk. A tea master. And the founder of Global Tea Hut— a school and center that harvests tea, educates all comers on the traditions surrounding tea, and welcomes people from all over the world to study the Dao of Tea as a method of spiritual cultivation.

I said it in reference to our first conversation. I’ll say it again.

This just might be the most fascinating and soul expanding conversation you will hear all week.

I sincerely hope you enjoy the conversation.

Peace + Plants,


Listen & Subscribe on  iTunes | Soundcloud | Stitcher | TuneIn

Production, music & sound design by Tyler Piatt. Additional production by Chris Swan. Graphic art by Shawn Patterson.

P.S. – I appreciate all the questions you have been e-mailing me for upcoming Ask Me Anything editions of the podcast. However, it’s extremely cumbersome to go through all the mail to find good questions. So I am trying something new. From this point forward, submit your questions HERE and upvote the existing questions you would like addressed. This will streamline and simplify the process on my end. Translation – more Q&A podcasts!

P.P.S. – My friend Colin Hudon is the founder of  Living Tea,  which offers some of the finest, most amazing aged living teas and teaware in the world at amazingly affordable prices. Colin just returned from visiting WuDe in Taiwan with the motherlode of amazing aged tea and teaware, which he is currently uploading to the Living Tea website over the next few weeks. So if great tea is your thing (if it’s not it should be), do yourself a favor and check it out. As a further aside, Colin is actively looking for commercial space for Living Tea in the Santa Monica or Venice, CA area. So if you’re in the neighborhood and have ideas, I’m sure Colin would love to hear from you. Links below or just e-mail Colin at [email protected].


Connect With WuDe & Global Tea Hut: Website | Facebook

Background, Context & Reference:

Notable People Discussed:

Past Episodes Relevant to Today’s Conversation:

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  • Gary Bernstein says:

    Another fantastic conversation with WuDe. Just listening to him made me want to slow down and appreciate what I was doing (and I did) and ‘work toward progressing not perfection’ in that endeavor and others. He also inspired me to take out some great tea I had and enjoy the experience of preparing it and consuming it. Thank you, Rich, for your weekly podcasts. More often than not, they are awesome!

  • uhhleese says:

    Thank you for adding another installment of WuDe! He is such an incredible soul & your conversation with him was just as soul expanding as you promised.

  • Tommy F says:

    So great that you’ve brewed-up another cup of WuDe for a deeper sip into mindfulness. This wonderful podcast felt more like a mindful meditation than simply a conversation. Just love how WuDe emphasizes that it’s our own interpretation of what mindfulness means to us that matters, not what any other enlightened being, religion or institution would hold for us to achieve.

    After the first RRP conversation with Wude, I ordered a small Living Tea ceramic tea-pot, and their three most popular living teas. This has been such a wonderful addition to my morning practice.

    When we slow things down, appreciate the simplicity of life, breathe in mindfulness.. we’re able to cultivate gratitude for the past, patience for the future and contentment in the Now. Forgiveness and Compassion for our fellow beings strengthens our unity with one another and cultivates peace and love.


  • Jen Sheffler says:

    This was such an amazing conversation and had a deep impact on me. Thank you so much!

  • A. W. says:

    Did anyone else find it funny that WuDe kept stressing the importance of establishing Rich Roll in their daily life? All jokes aside, that was a great show. It has altered my week, and I have the feeling it will carry over to my entire life. Thanks Rich, keep up the great work!

  • Tina says:

    What a fabulous podcast. I really struggle with doing just one thing at a time and this was a very timely reminder of being mindful and concentrating on completing one thing well before taking a moment and moving onto the next thing.

    A question that I have is around the ritual of prayer. I have no religious beliefs and would`find it hypocritical to pray to a god that I didn’t believe in. Who do you suggest that those of us who are atheists but open to spirituality pray to?

    I have just subscribed to global tea hut and am very much looking forward to receiving my first package of tea!

  • Mitchell Katz says:

    This was not the most interesting discussion I heard this week. It was the most interesting and satisfying discussion I have heard in years!

  • Faith says:

    WOW, what a great Podcast!! I actually took notes so I can remember all the wonderful things from this discussion!! I continue to be amazed at the journey that you, Rich and Julie, have taken me on since I found you. Your goal to introduce us to inspiring and amazing people, concepts, and mind-blowing information has been achieved (and then some) in my world! Keep up the fantastic work!

  • Troy Delaney says:

    Creating gaps in between tasks…so powerful (but much harder to do than I was expecting.)

  • Nick Bowles says:

    I enjoyed this podcast much more than WuDe’s first instalment, which while interesting got a little too bogged down into the details of tea in my view (although I love WuDe’s passion for it!). Although I was initially hoping for more of a meditation focus, I found this podcast to be really profound and was moved to tears a few times by WuDe’s beautifully poetic words. I particularly loved the quote “We seek spiritual progress, not spiritual perfection”. As someone who has discovered spirituality through the practice of meditation, I can appreciate much more now that a spiritual life is about being mindful in every aspect of life. There are some great ‘tools’ in here, particularly in terms of cherishing/celebrating simple experiences. Thank you Rich & thank you WuDe.

  • viii_ball says:

    I finished listening to this episode this morning during my commute. While the whole conversation was excellent and had many nuggets there was one part that really struck me. WuDe said that our dying self is with us right now remembering what we are doing. And he asked his dying self what would you tell me now looking back on this conversation. And his dying self told him to LIVE! And that is live with an exclamation point. OMG. How powerful to think about your dying self being with you right now, cataloging your life. Now fast forward when you are looking back and what would you tell yourself now? Can we find anything better than LIVE!

  • Kim says:

    Wonderful episode, and just beautiful listening to all of your voices, it had such a calming affect. Thank you. The part that I found most profound and that I hope will always stick with me was when WuDE said in every moment all we have to think is, “right here, right now, I am free”. Absolutely beautiful.

  • Dominique says:

    The nuggets of wisdom in this episode with WuDe are endless. Thank you so much for this wonderful podcast.

  • Yo Momma says:

    After hearing the podcast, I decided to incorporate a tea ceremony during my workday using a French press, a coffee mug and water glass from the office kitchen. I thought it would take 3 minutes but I was shocked that it took 15 minutes. It was a really nice way to do an active meditation during my day.

  • Sue Miller says:

    I enjoyed this podcast even more than the first one with Wude, which is among my favorites. I will be listening to it again. I especially enjoyed the tips we can implement in our daily lives (how we do the small things in our lives is how we do everything….how incredibly powerful). Thank you, Rich, for continuing to present quality and relevant material; I look forward so very much to what the next podcast will be!

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