Friday, May 30, 2014

Ritual Tea: Transforming Your Life {+Giveaway}

Ritual Tea coverIt’s a pleasure to be participating in author Mario Zeleny’s Pump Up Your Book Virtual Blog Tour for his intriguing release, RITUAL TEA: How The 9 Secrets of Tea Can Transform your Life.

To celebrate the release and tour, Mario is hosting an awesome giveaway. Please be sure to see the end of the post for details.


Mario Zeleny is a lover of all things tea. He spent 15 years in healthcare and social services in clinical and administrative roles that offered coaching to employees and volunteers. 

An artist and entrepreneur from an early age, Mario now brings his love of writing, art, spirit, coaching and ritual together online at his creative living site, Sancti Spiritus and also from his transformational art site, Art Spellz.

Mario looks forward to completing his education with Mentor Coach and St. Clement Seminary. He currently resides in Sacramento with his husband of 8 years, their children and their domestic sovereign, a pug named Brigit.

For more on Mario and his writing, visit his website and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads.

RITUAL TEA: How The 9 Secrets of Tea Can Transform Your Life is available at Amazon. You can also discuss this book in the Pump Up Your Book Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE

Here are the thoughts of a coffee drinker on this interesting book.

Day to day life is filled with stressful situations, hectic schedules and ever-growing ‘to-do’ lists.

Author Mario Zeleny, a lifelong tea lover and personal coach, offers ways to de-stress in his recent release, RITUAL TEA: How The 9 Secrets of Tea Can Transform your Life. While drinking tea may not sound like a major stress reliever, it’s the ritual of preparing the tea that can transform you.

When tea rituals are mentioned a vast array of images can come to mind from elegant English tea parties to ceremonies performed by monks and a myriad of thoughts in between. Zeleny breaks the ritual down into simple, easy steps explaining the actions and results.

The author tells the history of tea and how its uses have evolved over the centuries. He notes how tea has influenced cultures and countries.

Each chapter in the book offers a secret to tea rituals, as well as a look at how that ritual can translate into everyday life. In addition, the author includes over 30 links to free tea products and charts to help make creating your own ritual easier. To assist even more, the author has made a free Ritual Tea e-course available through his website.

RITUAL TEA is so much more than just a book about preparing tea. The book is inspiring and encourages you to create a time for yourself, a time to decompress and enjoy, a time to re-energize.

As you read this book and begin to put your own rituals into practice, you’ll discover the process deals with reexamining your life, not just about drinking tea.

Ritual Tea: How the 9 Secrets of Tea Can Transform Your Life by Mario Zeleny, Sancti Spiritus, @2014, ISBN: 978-0615999906, Paperback, 200 Pages 

FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me by the author as part of his virtual book tour in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

Ritual Tea banner 2

To help you understand a bit more about this intriguing book, here’s a brief excerpt from the first chapter:

Tea Incarnations:
Sordid and Holy Exploits
        Like most major discoveries, the invention of tea was an accident.
        The history of tea reads like a myth from The Hero of a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell:
        •           Tea went on a journey and traveled the world.
        •           Tea has companions.
        •           Tea altered history—politics, commerce, spiritual traditions as well as the growth of nations in addition to people’s well-being, fame and fortune.
        •           Tea has transformed, yet remains the same.
        •           Tea is personal and universal.
        •           Tea has started wars and ended them.
        •           Tea is both sacred and ordinary.
        •           Tea has been used as money, for negotiations, to buy a wife and as a sacred tool in monasteries.
        •           Tea is for welcoming and saying goodbye.
        •           Tea has provided meaningfulness and stability, social connection and comforting solace.
        •           Tea is refreshing and healing, stimulating and calming.
        •           Tea overcame many challenges to reach you.
        It should not be a surprise then that a substance of this magnitude has many birth legends. But, China, Japan, Korea and India have finally come to agree on one thing: tea was discovered in China about 5000 years ago by Shen Nong.
        Shen Nong is the acclaimed father of agriculture and medicine in China. Shen Nong named tea ‘cha' which is the same pronunciation for "checking for poisons". One myth says, "He tasted herbs and plants all day noting their effects." When he tasted tea, he believed it checked for poisons as it made its way through his intestines. In effect, it purified him of toxins.
        Another story says Shen Nong was traveling, when he stopped to boiled water to sanitize it. Leaves from a nearby bush blew in the steaming water. This new brew created an appealing aroma. Upon tasting the tea, he found it delicious and stimulating.
        Out of facts and legends, another less exciting story can be seen emerging. In southwest China 5000 years ago, there was a tribe of people called Shen Nong. The Shen Nong macerated herbs, plants and leaves to soften them. It was a common practice to extract the nutrients. Edentulism (loss of teeth) was also common. Obviously, after the loss of molars, chewing many of the leaves and plants becomes difficult, if not impossible.
        The next best thing to the dissolving qualities of saliva and maceration is water and a mortar and pedestal. Simple observations would have shown that warm water extracts faster and better than cold. Tea must have been extraordinarily easier to consume as a warm liquid than chewing and sucking on it during the day.
        Regardless of tea's creation story, all is conjecture. Tea is not mentioned in writing until 3rd century AD in a Chinese medicinal text written by Hua T'o; far after tea's discovery. By this time, the legends of the birth of tea had already begun to develop.
        Written records or not, tea myths still abound even today. Many tea writers, blind to anthropological realities, have tea arriving into some countries considerably later than it actually occurred. These stories are often dependent upon biased historical claims rather than on science and evidence.
        Throughout tea's travels, tea has remained ecumenical. Tea is still innocent of the drama, abuse, bloodshed, and espionage associated with its history. It is highly unusual that some cultures did not demonize tea for all the hell it caused among people. But tea also continues to be steeped in adoration and honor from the individual and collective lives it has changed for the better.


Mario Giveaway 1 
Zeleny is running a huge grand prize giveaway through the end of the month so you only have a few hours left to enter. The grand prize includes: $100 visa, gift certificate to a free class $60 or less, a RITUAL TEA book, a beautiful tea set, a collection of teas, a canvas gallery wrapped print, and a canvas tea inspired tote from Trader Joes!

To enter, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the instructions. The widget may take a few seconds to load, please be patient. If it doesn’t load properly, you can click HERE and be taken to the author’s website to enter.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Are you solely a tea drinker or do you enjoy both tea and coffee? If you’re a tea drinker, do you like it hot or just iced tea?

*This post contains affiliate links. a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Hi Mason .. what a fascinating book ... and how interesting to read about .. good luck to Mario with his publication and ideas ... cheers Hilary

    1. Hilary, it is a fascinating book. I was surprised at some of the information about tea. Quite interesting.

  2. Mason - There's something about tea that's always been associated with calmness and better mental health. Interesting choice for a book to share - thanks.

    1. Margot, I hadn't thought about it before but you're right - tea and calmness go together.

  3. Tea is considered to solve all problems in England. A cup of tea with friends does a lot to calm the spirit.

    1. Ann, I thought of you when I read this book and wondered if your tea drinking was different since living in the US.

  4. oh, my, I do adore me tea, seems like a perfect book for moiself! Such cozy delight

    1. Dez, I thought you might be a coffee drinker. Nothing wrong with tea either. I enjoy a cup for time to time in between my coffee breaks.

    2. Nope, me doesn't drink coffee at all... I never liked it much, I prefer lighter drinks and beverages and juices to mushy or milky ones. And since I take heart pills I'm not supposed to drink coffee either :))

  5. Tea and self-help - a great combination.

    1. Diane, definitely a great combination.

  6. Tea is my drink forevermore. Love it and am soothed with it. This post is fascinating. Thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

    1. Traveler, tea is quite soothing. I'm learning to appreciate a good cup of tea more and more.

  7. I love tea. Just have my morning ritual tea as a matter of fact.

    1. Southpaw, my morning ritual includes coffee but I'm thinking I need to give tea a try in the mornings too.

  8. Tea is my "coffee" in the morning and very calming when needed.

    1. LilMissMolly, another morning tea drinker. I'm thinking I've got to give this a try instead of coffee one morning.

  9. Interesting. Tea is my hot beverage of choice. I've never developed a taste for coffee. I drink black tea most of the day and switch to green in the evening to ease back on the caffeine.

    1. Linda, I've tried black tea a couple of times and enjoyed it. I think I like hot green tea better than cold.

  10. Fascinating--quite a cuppa!

    I learned about this post and giveaway through my Google Dashboard feed.

  11. Hey Mason! I drink both coffee and tea, and drink both hot and iced tea. For some reason though I cannot drink black tea on an empty stomach without getting nauseated. :-(

    And I found out about this post in my email update of your blog. No doubt it's on Google plus as well.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.