by Henry Netherland
Mail Staff Writer
Kindle Bustos offers patrons a place to slow down and live in the moment at Bodhicitta Tea and Wellness.
Bustos said the store’s name is a combination of “bodhi” and “citta,” which are Buddhist terms respectively meaning awakened and heart-mind. Bustos said she prefers to refer to the space as a lounge rather than a teahouse because she wants to make it a relaxed, open-space communal environment as well as an alternative to the downtown bar scene.
The lounge at 211 F St. is the former location of Salida Sunshine Apothecary. In addition to tea, the store sells apothecary owner Gena Shepherd’s Salida Sunshine Botanical skin care products. Shepherd is also responsible for creating their house blends.
The store opened June 2. Erin McIntire works alongside Bustos as a partner.
Bustos said the space’s interior design was inspired by “human” culture.
“We’re all connected; we’re all one,” she said. “The less we separate and segregate, the more we can find peace and know that we’re all different, in like different belief systems, but we’re still all human.”
Bustos said she had wanted to open her own lounge for 14 years, and she is glad that dream finally came to fruition because for three years her mantra has been “I can go at any moment.”
“The only guarantee in this lifetime is death,” Bustos said. “If I live here now and then I die tomorrow, can I ask myself when I leave, ‘Did I love everybody? Did I show up for every person, every being as present as I possibly could?’”
Following the opportunity to take on the location in January, her mantra became “I don’t know.” She said this mindset helps her learn more from others.
She said her top house blend is “The Enlightenment,” which contains a mixture of peppermint, spearmint and tarragon. Other available teas include white, green, black and herbal.
The lounge features a library with books donated by the public. The collection contains everything from spiritual titles to fiction like “Harry Potter.”
Bustos said she intends to host swing dance classes as well as meditation sessions. She also wishes to connect with as many local artists as possible and to host live music.
She moved to Salida 14 years ago to be closer to her mom and to breathe fresh air. In her free time she enjoys dancing, spending time with her “spirit family” and participating in spontaneous activities.
Because her business has not been oversaturated, she has not had to harshly adapt to COVID-19. Her space allows people to socially distance themselves and find their “little spots.”
Bodhicitta’s current hours are 1 to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.