The Yogi in the Teapot

The Yogi in the Teapot

Messages  come from everywhere.

Sometimes I find an unexpected message heartening. Sometimes puzzling.  Or disquieting. Sometimes I ignore them. Like email I’ll read later. Or email I delete. When I first started getting messages attached to a string attached to a teabag, I read them.  I would say to myself before reading one, “Okay, this is my message for today—the one I should shape my behaviour and thoughts around.” There was no harm in that decision. We can chose to find meanings in a book of Thoughts for the Day, or in a box of teabags.

Do some people believe that the messages on the little squares of paper attached to a Yogi teabag come from a real Yogi? Do they see him as an old man full of wisdom who is willing to share it? Perhaps some people think that way. Or don’t know care where the  messages come from they are just comforted by them. Perhaps some people find them heartening—assuring them that they are living in a benign world.

I don’t think there is an old yogi creating the little maxims. Here’s what I imagine. Somewhere in the USA there is a group of 3 persons—a young man and 2 young woman, all in college. They are friends and they have been  hired to think up these sayings. The money is useful for helping to pay their way through university. They say things to each other like, “Here’s a good one. You are more than you think. Subtle eh? I mean, think about it. It could just mean, “Hey! Don’t forget you have a body.” Barely containing his laughter, the young man says, “No, you are bigger than you think.” All three of them crack up.      

A friend suggests that the messages are computer generated. A pretty simple program could develop the kinds of things they write. It just needs words like “heart” and “soul.” Those are popular. 

I will give you a sample of ones I have received from my Ginger Mint brand of Yogi tea.

You will always live happy if you live with heart.

Compassion has no limits. Kindness has no enemy.

You are unlimited.

You are as beautiful as the Universe.

Lift people up to their potential and higher self.

The beauty of the soul is constant, continuous and endless.

And my personal favorite, Let things come to you.

I can’t stop myself from creating messages of my own. You pick up your teabag of the day and read, “Everyone is someone.” Or, “Now is the time. There will never be a better one.” Or is that a depressing idea? How about, “You matter. You really matter.” I feel at this point you are making up your own. Perhaps you won’t go so far as writing them on tiny pieces of paper for the others you live with to choose and read. So far, I’ve been able to stop at just thinking them up.

But. I ask you. What does this say about North America that manufacturers feel we need these messages enough that we would choose our brand of tea just to read them. This seems like taking the slogans on t-shirts too far. Do you really want your tea or your next cookie or the image on your wall to tell you how to live? To be your moral arbiter? Or to remind your friends and family how they should think or what you want them to feel?

I am all for happiness, peace, safety, compassion, and a good life for all, but these are hard earned. When those dark hours of the soul come to me, it’s usually in the middle of the night. I do want help. Sometimes if the insomnia sets in for weeks, I pray. I say, “Help!’ and “Please.” I often get up and read but the books I want don’t contain maxims.

I do find comfort in my morning ritual of starting my day with tea. A warm cup to hold. Tea to sip while I gaze at the sky and cars and people in the streets below me. Tea to drink while I read or listen to music.

As for the yogi messages, I think, well, “It all started with tea leaves.”

Perhaps go for a walk and ask the squirrel what she thinks. About you. About life.



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