Learning about freedom

Alex Barrera
3 min readMar 2, 2019

Some days ago I had lunch with a friend. After dessert, they asked us if we wanted some coffee. I passed on the offer as I don’t like coffee. My friend, who is a perceptive person, nudge me to get tea. I decline with a smile. He knows I’m a big tea drinker and was teasing me.

While we kept on talking, he paused to sip his coffee, put it down, pushed it away and told me how bad it was. I had to chuckle. He looked at me, and he asked me how I did it. How I got around when most tea restaurants offer is, well, not the most pleasurable tea.

A big smile sprang in my face. This question has been in my mind for some time now. The conversation reminded me of a tea saying:

“When learning: observe
To speak of “right” & “wrong”
In a place of learning
How foolish,
How foolish.”

- Takeno Jōō

There is a big difference between tea tasting and tea as a lifestyle. I don’t drink tea just because I like its taste and aroma. I drink tea because it resonates with the Dao, the Way. I am, but a lowly student of the Dao and tea is my teacher.

That’s why, when someone offers me tea, I’ll take whatever they can provide. It’s not…



Alex Barrera

Chief Editor at The Aleph Report (@thealeph_report), CEO at Press42.com, Cofounder & associated editor @tech_eu, former editor @KernelMag.