Taking a look at the many varieties of Witch Hazel

Witch hazel is a type of deciduous shrub that grows in both North America and parts of Asia. Typically, they grow between 10-24 feet tall, but some of the tree varieties grow to heights of 39 feet. While the most common varieties of witch hazel blossom with a lively yellow color, there are several others that have different colors. Keep reading and we'll take a closer look at Continue Reading

Wagashi, a simple Japanese gift


Wagashi are Japanese confections served with tea that evolved through many centuries ago from the Chinese tea-house snacks called 'dim sum'.  The word wagashi, derived from the words Japanese (Wa) and sweets (gashi), originated during the Meiji era (1868-1912) to distinguish the confections from European sweets. Continue Reading

Japanese tea and the Zen master

place of silence

Soto Zen teacher, Dogen Zenji said, “Handle even a single leaf of green in such a way that it manifests the body of the Buddha. This in turn allows the Buddha to manifest through the leaf.”  Was Dogen referring to the tranquil, detached state of Zen meditation or to the remarkable properties of the leaves of camelia sinensis, the tea plant? Continue Reading

Ficus bonsai, a spiritual tree


Ficus a spiritual tree has been cited by many religions and leaders. The earliest recording was in 288 BC, when King Tissa of Sri Lanka planted a Ficus religiosa tree in the temple at Anuradhapura and also part of the Ficus family the Fig is mentioned in the Christian bible when Adam and Eve covered there nakedness with Fig leaves. Continue Reading