Tea Ceremonies Beginner’s Guide (History & Tips)

The History of Tea Ceremony

The tea ceremony has evolved over many years when first a zen Buddhist brought tea seeds to Japan and produced trees producing the finest tea in Japan. Buddhist rituals began to include the tea, later starting tea ceremonies with a spiritual purpose.

The ceremony involved spiritual meanings of purity, tranquility, and harmony. Those qualities are the reason Helen Schifter encourages others to enjoy the present tea ceremonies, to bring harmony and peace to their lives. Fine sencha tea is ground into a powder for the tea ceremony. This is the tea used today.

The Two Tea Ceremonies

There are two types of tea ceremony, a formal and a light tea. The light tea includes confections, light tea, and a meal.

A formal tea can last four hours and includes a thin tea, a thick tea, a formal meal, and confections. The purpose is to bring an imperfect life to purity and harmony, to learn charity above his own imperfections.

The tea ceremony can be held in any room where the correct utensils can be held and the mixing and preparations can occur in the presence of others. The tea ceremony can be held outdoors. During the tea ceremony, silence reigns and it is time to feel and think. A spiritual time to grow.

Tea Preparation

Thick tea requires three times more powdered tea than thin tea. The tea is mixed in a bowl with hot water using a whisk. Thin tea is served to each guest in a separate bowl. Thick tea is served in one bowl and passed around to each person who turns the bowl a quarter around before sipping.

Helen Schifter wanted to include list the items needed for preparation:

• a small white cloth for cleaning

• a tea bowl to mix tea, possibly hand thrown.

• A tea caddy, a lidded container to hold tea.

• A tea scoop, usually carved of bamboo.

• A tea whisk to mix the tea powder and hot water.

These utensils may be old and valuable so deserve reverence.

The Tea Ceremony

The host lights the charcoal fire to heat the water. The host meticulously cleans each utensil in a prescribed way before the guests in exact motions. The utensils are set in a prescribed manner. Thick tea is prepared. The tea host and one guest talk minimally. The other guests remain quiet.

The bowl is given to a guest who sips before handing wiping the rim of the bowl with a slight bow to the next guest and praises the host on the tea. When everyone has drunk the tea the host leaves the room.

When finished the host next restarts the charcoal fire to start the next phase of the lesser formal ceremony. Here confections and thin tea are served. Guests can now talk after formalities are observed. Each guest gets his own bowl with the thin tea. The host cleans the utensils and the guests inspect them. This is done to show respect to the host.

Diego Ruiz Duran Associates Texas Snowstorm with Climate Change

Texas is considered a warm environment and it is unlikely to see frigid weather conditions or snowstorms. However, winter storm Uri of 2021 left Texas unprepared resulting in fatalities, destruction of property and significant power outages. Many have wondered why the south has experienced such colder weather over the years especially this year with Tuesday December 16th being the coldest day at -2 degrees F in Texas in over 72 years.

Scientists have theorized that the warming of the Arctic is the cause of the colder weather spilling into the southern states. As the Arctic continues to thaw, the polar air will travel resulting in colder periods. The wind in the polar zone continues to circle and move as between 5 and 9 miles per hour but the winds reach up to 250mph, in something called a jet stream. This jet stream eventually causes a polar vortex bringing the colder air to the south. This has caught many southern states such as Texas off guard by the cold as they are not familiar in how to handle the demand for electricity and fuel to heat homes and commercial properties.

As global warming continues in the world, it will change how much colder periods occur and how drastic these effects can be on the country. It is similar to extreme heat during the winter and an increase of electricity and fuel to cool homes and commercial buildings. A rapid change in temperature can put strain on any system no matter how well it is put together. A cold snap threshold in the south is going to be a lot different than a cold snap in Alaska or the North East. Since warming is occurring, these extreme cold spells will be less likely but it is important for the government to take into consideration these changes and make the necessary changes to protect the community. Average temperatures are rising around the world due to greenhouse gas and this is causing more heat in a global climate system. An example would be how much someone is using these emissions.

Diego Ruiz Duran is a criminal defense attorney located in Mexico City, Mexico. He not only specializes in criminal defense but in environmental crimes, international crimes and other areas. He is the founding partner of the law firm BRD and has been practicing law since 2007. It is important for Attorney Duran to help practice environmental law to make the necessary changes in Mexico in the event the polar vortex reaches the Mexican environment. If he is successful in making these changes, he can work with the government and other agencies that are prone to the polar vortex on how to make the necessary changes to protect the cities, homes and businesses. He is a firm believer of getting as many experiences as possible as this is valuable to becoming successful. Creating a schedule will help guide you in what you need to get done and keep you grounded as people tend to procrastinate. He also puts his clients first and always treats them with respect and understanding.

To learn more about Diego Ruiz Duran, visit his F6S page.

What to Know About CBD

CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the products that can be gleaned from cannabis. It doesn’t make you high or create a sense of euphoria, but can offer you a sense of calm. By vaping CBD, you can microdose and gain even more benefit from this helpful product.

What is Microdosing?

Microdosing is a way to easily take a very small dose of CBD when you need it. If you find that CBD gummies help you fall asleep and stay there, you can take them before bed with good results, but if you need to be awake and alert, gummies won’t suit.

Using a vaping pen, either disposable or reusable, is a great way to take a very small dose. Microdosing turns sleepiness into calm and can turn an anxious mind into a focused one. All you’re doing is taking the edge off.

For those who use cannabis products to reduce their constant or chronic pain, the addition of a vaping pen is an ideal way to stay on top of spasms or tremors. For example, if you suffer from back pain or pinched nerves, you may also struggle with muscle cramps. A puff or two of CBD when your muscles start to seize up can give you more time, spasm free.

Start and Stay Small

One of the nicest things about vaping is that you’re in control. If you’re using a disposable pen, the puffs determine the dosage. If you have your own pen, you can do a custom blend.

The simplest way to make sure you’re using the right amount for your particular concern is to keep a journal. Many who struggle with anxiety use a vaping pen to turn an anxious brain into a focused one. To journal about the effects of CBD, track how you feel when you sit down to perform a particular task. Then

  • set the timer for 15 minutes
  • take one puff off the vaping tool
  • write down how you feel and what you’re thinking about

Anxiety is a frustrating condition that can be debilitating on very bad days. One puff may be all that you need to line up that “hamster on the wheel” sense in your head and actually enjoy a sense of control.

Start and stay small when vaping. It can be tempting to overload if your anxiety is especially bad, but this can make it worse. If one puff doesn’t work, take two, but continue to track every 15 minutes to see how you are doing.

Vaping Allows You to Stack

Stacking CBD is usually done when you pair multiple dosages. For example, if you have a problem getting to sleep, you may need a sublingual dose of CBD before bed. If you have a problem staying asleep, you may be served by an edible dose.

A half an edible may be enough to allow you to manage pain and stay awake. If you can mostly stay on top of the pain but occasionally feel a spasm, a microdose of a single puff or two can shut down those twinges and keep you functioning in comfort.

Study the Dose

A disposable pen will take a particular number of puffs to get to a full dose. Unless you’re willing and able to take in that much CBD through your lungs, avoid microdosing before bed. You may find that the product that soothes your mind also preps you to do a lot of thinking, which you don’t want to contend with before bedtime. For those who blend their own vaping juice, makes sure you know what a full dose entails.

A Fat Girl’s Confidence – Must Read

In a time where society has declared that skinny is good and fat is bad, Patrice Shavone Brown has written a must-read for every girl who has or is struggling with weight. In A Fat Girl’s Confidence, Brown proclaims that being healthy and confident no longer equates only to being skinny. She provides you with the tools necessary to build self-esteem and confidence, to find beauty from within as a fat girl.

Having been labeled as obese at the age of 30, Brown writes from personal experience. She both learned to manage her weight and accept the shape of her body. She also acknowledges that throughout her journey, it was not easy to learn to love herself amidst all the hurtful comments from family members.

We live in a time where everyone feels the need to make snap judgements and seemingly innocent remarks such as, “You look like you’ve lost weight!”. These comments often come at a time when we do not want them and certainly do not need them. Instead of promising instant progress or gratification from reading her book, she recognizes that confidence must be built and strengthened through repetition. If you continue to always look to others for a stamp of approval, it will be very hard to give yourself permission to be confident.

A portion of A Fat Girl’s Confidence is dedicated toward a seven-day workbook of exercises meant to boost the beauty and self-love everyone can find within. Each day begins with a positive affirmation, inspirational wisdom, and then finishes with an activity to help you feel comfortable and confident in your body. The first few days focus on loving and being happy with who you are, while convincing yourself that you are more than enough. The last few days acknowledge the strength that can be found from associating with other fat girls, complete with a final affirmation of confidence.

The second half of the book stresses the importance and benefits of journaling. Brown insists that writing down your thoughts is a great way to monitor your overall mental health and wellbeing. In doing so, you can not only track patterns of positive or negative thoughts, but also reduce stress and feel as if you vented to a close friend. Taking this a step further, she also reminds readers that they are not alone. Sharing stories and supporting other fat girls can be a fruitful learning experience for all.

Depending on what stage of confidence you are at, you may find some parts of this book more helpful than others. Perhaps the daily activities will be the most crucial in starting your fat girl journey off on the right food. Or maybe the participation in daily journaling groups with other fat girls will unlock new doors, new areas of self-actualization. Either way, you will feel a sense of great accomplishment when you reach the end. The final pledge will, without a doubt, solidify the dedication needed to unleash the bold, beautiful, confident fat girl within you. Order your copy on Amazon now!

The Power of Social Media

The concept of social media was once something that wasn’t thought about by many people. However, in these current events, social media has grown exponentially to the point where a vast number of people are relying on it on a global basis. Specifically, people worldwide are heavily relying on social media for communication purposes, as to whether or not people are fond of social media, it’s a convenient way to communicate with individuals globally.

Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, for example, enjoy a great amount of success from the number of users that use its services, to which even notable figures around the world like politicians use social media. Someone like former United States president, Donald Trump, was heavily known for his use of Twitter as he heavily relied on posting statuses through his profile for the American people to get his message.

Shalom Lamm believes there are numerous reasons to where social media has provided benefits for everyday people. However, this article also intends to educate the reader of the heavy price that comes with being involved with social media. Social media has become an important part of a vast number of people to a great extent, which is why there’s been great harm that came towards many people as a result of the use of social media.

The moderate use of social media is arguably fine, but too much use of it could expose one to the ugly side of what the internet has to offer. It’s important for those who are frequent users of the internet to understand that the internet has somewhat of a “no holds barred” environment, where certain things that are considered gravely immoral can be exposed.

There’s been research on internet users developing stress from using social media, as when one uses such platforms like Facebook and Twitter, they’re more likely to be exposed to being mistreated by other internet users. Considering the internet, in general, gives a platform for people to act a certain way where there are fewer concerns of repercussions, other social users suffer because of that.

The real estate developer discussed the notion that social media has become an integral part of the younger generation, which is noticeable considering the popularity of social media outlets like TikTok, which is known for appealing to younger people. Lamm realizes the young people are social, which could make sense regarding why social media is popular among that very demographic. Lamm also thought that being too much involved with social media isn’t suitable for one’s health, as to his point of view, there’s an argument to be made.

Considering how people’s lives are vastly consumed by using social media to communicate with other people, being exposed to the bad side of the internet, specifically interacting with intolerable internet users, being exposed to such mistreatment can take a toll on a person mentally. With all said and done, the use of social media, like most forms of activities, requires moderation.

5 Most Beautiful Churches in Europe

Whether someone visits Europe for the sights, food, or culture, chances are they will always run into their most famed and beautiful church. Here are the 5 most beautiful churches in Europe.

1. St. Peter’s Basilica

While visiting Vatican City, make sure to make a stop at St. Peter’s Basilica. This is by far the greatest church throughout Europe and the fact that it’s considered a masterpiece says a lot. This is especially true since the greatest artists have had a hand in its decorations including Bernini, Michelangelo, and Carlo Maderno. What’s more is that regardless of where visitors look, they will have a peek at the world’s most priceless relects.

2. St. Mary’s Basilica

St. Mary’s stands behind twin towers and is saturated with designs created by German master craftsman Veit Stoss in the city of Krakow. Tourists can easily find it as they look above Krakow’s cobblestone paths within the old town. Plus, St. Mary’s is a favorite of George Rutler for the fact that the Basilica becomes filled with trumpet sounds that are a reminder of the Mongol defense during medieval times. Plus, during the sunset the spires gleam with red above the square.

3. St. Basil’s Cathedral

A true iconic church in the heart of Moscow, St. Basil’s Cathedral embellishes the Red Square. Along with its brilliant rooftop and domes, which were designed to mirror how a flickering bonfire looks. The construction of the cathedral dates back to the 16th century and presented to Ivan the Terrible as his trophy for the Khanates conquest. These days, it stands as a true symbol that continues to represent Russia, even though it is nowhere near the same design or architecture as others that we see in other parts of the country.

4. Kolner Dom

The Kolner Dom is another church that Father Rutler adores thanks to it sticking to its initial design. Besides being a giant church in Cologne, it is also the biggest throughout the Christian world. The Kolner Dom climbs to a height of 515 feet, which makes it a dominating structure within Cologne. If a person visits Germany, then chances are that they will view it at some point whether up close or far away. On a daily level, over 25,000 visitors take a peek at it and enjoy its beauty as it stands with all of its gothic embellishments and facades. The interior boasts several artifacts including the Bishop Gero Crucifix and the Three Kings Shrine.

5. Wang Church, Karpacz

Located in Karpacz, Poland, the Wang Church made its way from Scandinavia in the mid-1800s to rest in Poland’s southern region. Nevertheless, the church was originally constructed within 12th century Norway and has remained as the last of its kind that was popularly seen throughout Nordic region of Europe. Nowadays, it has become enveloped by snow or the many forests and hills that make up the mountains of Karkonosze. Regardless of this, the church continues to share its inscriptions originally planted from the Viking era.

Best Bagel Shops in NY

There are dozens of bagel shops in New York. Each of which offers a slightly different spin on this traditional New York City food staple. Bagel shops are everywhere. You can go to any town or city and find one, but whether they are chains or mom and pops, they cannot compete with the range and variety offered in New York.

1.Bo’s Bagels

This bagel shop can be found on W. 116th St. Bo’s is also the personal favorite of Shalom Lamm, putting it at the top of our list. Bo’s offers traditional bagels with a 24-hour fermentation, boil, and bake. along with specialty sandwiches.

2. Absolute Bagels 

Right on Broadway, these huge and reasonably priced bagels can also be delivered. Their everything bagel brings lines out of the door. 

3. Bagel Talk 

Bagel Talk features a variety of sandwiches and is open until 8:00p.m. on Amsterdam Avenue. It is perfect for those evening breakfast cravings. 

4. Tal Bagels

On E. 86th St, you will find Tal Bagels. Tal’s menu includes many flavors of cream cheese, along with lox, nova, and smoked salmon. Tal’s is also known for its incredibly fast service and serving breakfast for dinner. This is another shop Shalom Lamm enjoys visiting. 

5. Bagelworks 

 Bagelworks offers other Jewish-style specialties like knishes and black and white cookies. There are also plenty of Kosher meat options for their Jewish customers. 

6. Ess-a-Bagel 

This place can be found on 3rd Ave. with another location in Midtown. This classic New York style bagel shop has been open for more than 45 years, offering chewy-crusted bagels. If you have a quick order of just a bagel with cream cheese, there is a second line behind the building. 

7. Brooklyn Bagel and Coffee Company

 Brooklyn’s can’t actually be found in Brooklyn, there are four locations in Queens and Manhattan instead. Even though the name can be misleading, the breakfast food is definitely worth the trip. 

8. High Street  

High Street’s bespoke bagels are well known for their chewy and tender dough. Once customers walk in and smell the fresh bread, they fall in love.

9. Murry’s Bagels 

Located on 6th Ave., with a second location in Chelsea. These bagels are described as having a crackly crust and chewy interior. Murry’s offers a variety of meats with its bagels, including pastrami, salami, and chicken cutlets. 

10. Thompkins Square Bagels 

Found on 165th Ave. Known for its rainbow colored bagels, and a huge variety of cream cheese flavors. Thompkins offers an extensive menu with many options to suit every meal and every person. 

11. Sadelle’s 

Right on West Broadway Sadelle’s is most well known for its salt and pepper bagels. This unique spin might sway even the most ardent of bagel purists.  

12. Forest Hills Bagel 

Finally, the twelfth and last New York bagel spot on our list on Queens Blvd. Forest Hills. This place is known for its cinnamon raisin for those who enjoy sweet bagels, poppy and sesame bagels, and a whipped tofu spread.

Whether you’re a fan of traditional bagels or you want the taste of something new, there is a bagel shop in New York for everyone.

2021 Fashion Trends

Although fashion month had to improvise in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, it did not stop the best designers from showcasing the best of 2021 trends.

Someone to look for inspiration? Of course, Helen Lee Schifter, who certainly paid attention during fashion month and always keeps up with the latest trends. Continue reading to learn about the top 5 fashion trends in 2021 that everyone can expect to see on this style icon.

1. Belts

To start, expect to see statement belts everywhere in 2021. Mid-section belts are the perfect accessory to cinch a dress, blazer, or sweater.

2. Oversized Clothing

Another trend to look out for is oversized clothing. From voluminous sleeves to oversized pants, this trend is all about comfort and play. Oversized clothing can make basics feel fancy, but make sure to create balance. Try pairing a crop top with oversized pants or an oversized blouse with leggings.

3. Bright Colors

There is nothing more exciting than bright colors, which will create a bold statement in 2021. Don’t be afraid to go all out with this color blocking trend to stand out in any crowd.

4. Monochrome

Then on the other end of the spectrum, monochrome will also be a huge trend in 2021. Black and white is a classic look–just pair a white button-down with black pants. Or mix it up with a checkerboard print for a whimsical style. Feel free to mix and match with scarves, belts, and jewelry as well for the complete look.

5. Maxi Dresses

Can’t forget about the versatile maxi dresses. While it’s always been around in the past, this trend will be big this year. To make it more fashion-forward, consider styling a maxi dress over a pair of pants or a turtleneck shirt.

6. Sweater Vests

Expect to see this accessory everywhere in 2021. For a quick look, pair a sweater vest over a basic shirt or a dress. For the summertime, wear the sweater vest as a shirt instead.

7. Stirrup Leggings

Try switching it up, this time with stirrup leggings. Although an essential piece in any closet, stirrup leggings are a more high-fashion trend on this classic piece. For a polished look, wear a pair of stirrup leggings with a button-down shirt.

8. Baseball Hats

Baseball hats are another trendy accessory that will be big in 2021. It’s an easy trend to master, especially on bad hair days.

9. Matching Sets

Lastly, matching sets will still be a top trend this year as well. Wear a matching sweatsuit at home for comfort, but switch to a matching top and bottom in social settings.

Concerned about how to tackle these trends? Be sure to keep an eye on Helen Lee Schifter, who always stays on top of the current fashion trends and makes a statement, no matter where she goes. Expect her to try out these trends throughout 2021, as she truly knows how to combine the right pieces together to create a fantastic look.

Best New York Slices

What makes a New York pizza so different from any other pizza? Well, answers vary by person but there are a few things everyone, including New Yorker Andrew Napolitano, loves – the crispy, hand-tossed crust, the wood-fired brick ovens that produce a one-of-a-kind flavor, and the thin, foldable slice that is so easy to enjoy. Of course, New Yorkers know the best places to find authentic Italian slices.

Start with Best Pizza, in Brooklyn. Here loyal customers can find pies that come from a wood-burning oven that is over a century old. Sicilian roots help owner Frank Pinello to craft cheese and white pizzas with all of the traditional yummy toppings. Grab a slice of your favorite and add toppings like caramelized onions or pickled veggies for an added punch. There’s a reason this joint is called ‘Best Pizza’.

Okay, so who really knows pizza better than the Italians who invented it? Joe Pozzouli, the owner of Joe’s Pizza, is originally from Naples, Italy – the birthplace of the famed pie. There are no frou-frou pizza pies in this place. Just honest-to-goodness ooey-gooey cheese, mozzarella and Sicilian square pizza slices. You can add your favorite toppings, but true New Yorkers love the simple, wedge-shaped slice. Large, hot and cheesy pizza at it’s finest is found at Joe’s Pizza.

Nothing beats the original and that includes pizzeria’s. Lombardi’s is heralded as the first American pizzeria. It still stands in the Little Italy section of Manhattan, serving up the New York pizza that was invented here in 1905. This is the favorite pizzeria of Andrew Napolitano, and with good reason. Smoky crusts, ultra thin and flavored with garlic infused oil or freshly crushed tomato sauce, can be embellished with basil, fresh oregano, and Romano cheese. There are also specialty pizzas like the Clam pie or the Spinach, Ricotta and Pancetta pie for those who like a little zing with their slice. The flavors, fresh ingredients, and love that Gennaro Lombardi used to craft his pies in 1905 are still being put into every slice that is proudly served to New Yorkers and visitors today.

Come and see why the people love the truly New York delicacy of a hot, thin-crust, slice of pizza made by these and other fabulous pizzerias.

Donating During The Holidays: A Necessity

It can be a joy to aid non-profit organizations that endorse causes that are meaningful for any reason. There are all sorts of highly regarded groups out there that do not reap the rewards of profits. There are many organizations that tie in with faith, too. These organizations are in many cases on the smaller side. One may want to zero in on small non-profit groups that are headed by Jewish individuals. There are many of these that are worth assisting, says Benjamin Harow.

The IFCJ or the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews is a comparatively small group that does a lot to assist people who are part of the Jewish faith. It even helps many Christians. This is an entity that can be favorable to people who want to do their best to push Israel as a nation forward. People who turn to this group can make the big decision to endorse the country through monetary donations of all sizes. This group has an abundance of diverse programs in place for participants. It’s a group that zeroes in on individuals who have had existences that have been negatively affected due to the presence of wars. It zeroes in on individuals who are part of the IDF. It doesn’t just concentrate on these soldiers. It even concentrates on the others who make up their households. If a soldier from the IDF has a spouse or kids, then this organization may be able to do a lot for them.

Leket Israeli is another not-for-profit that can be advantageous to individuals who put any attention into Jewish matters of concern. The primary aim behind this group is to aid people who in Israeli who are impoverished and who need access to sustenance. There are so many people in the Middle Eastern nation who feel as they have no option but to fall asleep at night without a lot of food inside of their stomachs. Leket Israeli strives to change that massive problem daily without any exceptions. The COVID-19 situation has made getting access to nourishment a lot harder for many individuals in Israel.

Friends of Yad Sarah, Inc. is yet another choice for people who are looking into non-profit organizations that are suitable for all kinds of Jewish causes that are out there. Friends of Yad Sarah, in a nutshell, is the name of a group that strides to aid the individuals in Israel who concentrate on all sorts of construction tasks. It’s a group that does anything in its capacity to deliver feelings of positivity to the individuals who make up the nation nowadays. It longs to aid the country for decades on end. It longs to start right now as well, says Benjamin Harow.

This organization puts a lot of time into services that are relevant to individuals who are already in Israeli. It at the same time puts just as much effort into services that are pertinent to those who visit. Friends of Yad Sarah is headquartered in the United States in bustling New York City.