To those joining us in Wuji Tea Co.— my name is Scott James Cerick— the founder of this small tea importing business, curation of domestic and foreign art, and gathering place for like minded folks on the path of cultivation by means of tea and or esoteric philosophies of the Far East— such as Taoism, Buddhism, or what have you— with a slight mix of Jungian transpersonal psychology and modern philosophy.
I grew up meditating at a young age in the basement of a church, until by means of serendipity, I found myself working with a local meditation coach under the Mahayana lineage of Buddhism, doing so into my early twenties. Like any good sage, I strayed from The Path more so than I would have liked to during my undergraduate studies while attaining my BA in Philosophy at the University of Colorado, in Boulder, Colorado. This ultimately led me through an exploration of Europe, by means of living in, and traveling from, Spain. While studying local art and cuisine, in Alicante, Spain, and returning to work as a chef for near nothing, other than the fulfilled desire of adventure, and and humble obsession with waking up awe struck by different cultures, my interest with observing the means in which cultures operate through different socio economic, geographic, or cultural settings started to blossom in a very real way.
After studying and exploring, and bringing the more scholarly, and at the same time artistic and indulgent sides of my inner world to focus— I found myself lost without this sense of stillness, and peace, that I had worked so hard to attain at a younger age, before the more hedonistic call to adventure began. And so I wander out to the San Francisco Bay Area, only to find myself frequenting a local tea house during my free time, the Wu Wei Tea Temple in Fairfax, CA.
Through again a serendipitous moment, another journey was initiated— as I was quite frankly awe struck the first time I saw tea poured properly by Tracy, a huge mentor to my path, at Wu Wei Tea Temple, using the gongfu/ Chaozhou style and technique with sequences of threes, and oddly small teapots and or gaiwans for brewing these enticingly expensive leaves from mountain tops and ancient trees in a distant land. We worked with David Lee Hoffman’s collection of teas, Tracy blessing me with the opportunity to sit and have tea with David at his home in Lagunitas on a few occasions. Any good tea nerd knows what path David forged for the art of traditional teas in America—and his persona and unique take on the art of gongfu, offered a fairly clear light as to my own future path. It was at this same time that I rediscovered my connection to something deeper than this day to day life, and put this rediscovery into focus through Taoism, and the practice of pouring tea— working in at the teahouse by day, and retreating back to my small hut of a home at night amongst the redwoods to pour tea gongfu style, and meditate/ explore the lineages of Taoism, and the metaphorical lanterns of fire they were able to provide amongst a sometimes darkened and uncertain path.
Fast forward a bit and I find myself on top of a mountain in the middle of China, living at a 1400 year old Taoist Temple under the Dragons Gate Sect of the Complete Reality School of Taoism, training Qi Gong, Tai Ji, and studying Taoist Medicine, Meditation, and healing modalities for 12+ hours a day. This was about the middle point of where the brain child of The Space Between Black and White came into fruition— initially as a small poetry book— trying to capture the essence of duality, and initiate ones journey to the divine by inspiring a sense of mysticism such that they feel inspired to connect to the source of their being in whichever way a person chooses fit. The Space Between Black and White has since been renamed Wuji Tea Co. , as both an homage to the Taoist inspired teahouse that I first worked in owned by Tracy— and also my own path with Taoism, which is more tied into the theme of tapping into the primordial universe of non-states, Wuji is the closest definition to this in the Taoist lineage. Wuji, or the primordial universe, upon rotation created Taiji, eventually each aspect or polarity of the rotation to embed into one another, forming Taijitu, or what is more commonly known as Yin/Yang, or the Great Tao.
I have now settled down beside the creek in Boulder, CO— with the intention to continue to spread this practice of both presence, and stillness, with the community here, and likewise with anyone who is able and willing to interact.
For me, at the time of initiation, and still, that way of accessing the eternal through the present moment has been attainable through pouring tea— combined with Taoism, it has provided a irrefutable place of peace in my physical world— the same sort of thing that I try to attain in my internal world, this place of stillness I can go to amongst movement— has been gifted to me, and us all, in the operations of day to day life— and all that was needed was some silence, nature, and a delicious cup of tea.