Happy Tuesday friends! I hope you all are enjoying a comfortable and happy day wherever you are.
In light of the recent events in the United States, I thought about how I could contribute to the collective energy of peace and kindness. It may sound a little simplistic, but I truly believe that good intentions, prayer, and self-mastery are foundational to creating a more peaceful world. Indeed, if I can create peace within my personal world, I can radiate this out to others, and eventually this energy can start to encourage a peaceful attitude around the world.
I looked around my home to see if I had anything that would create an immediate mood lift. I reached for what has always worked for me: a cup of hot tea. But, instead of simply drinking the tea, I decided to do something a little different. I created a tea meditation around my ritual of enjoying hot tea. After I finished my cup, I felt so much more relaxed and grounded. I figure, if this process can have that effect on me, perhaps it will be of use to you, too.
So here are the steps involved in my tea meditation. If you prefer to watch a video on it, you can see a video demonstration below. Also, if you’re interested in reading more about the rich history of tea and the culture behind the tea ceremony, you should check out The Book of Tea by Kakuzo Okakura. I found the book unexpectedly enlightening and thoroughly inspiring.
- Pay close attention to every step that you take in preparing your tea: select your tea carefully, listen to the sound of the water as it goes from simmering to boiling, feel the weight of the cup in your hand before and after adding water.
- Select your sweetener carefully (if you choose to indulge). If you’re inclined. do a taste test of the different sweeteners available and see which one makes your taste buds dance.
- Gently, slowly and intentionally pour the hot water over your tea. Look intently as the water changes from clear to colored. Look closely to see if the herbs or tea leaves make swirls in the water as it infuses. Get lost in the slow transformation from clear liquid to flavorful beverage.
- Add your sweetener a little at a time. Taste the difference between levels of sweetness. Connect those levels of sweetness to emotions or actions (perhaps you can compare lightly sweetened to a mild happiness, and the perfect level of sweetness to bliss [maybe like a passionate kiss]).
- Stir the tea gently with a spoon, to ensure that the flavors are evenly distributed. Immerse all of your senses into the process.
- Allow the tea to cool a bit before drinking. Take deep, cleansing breaths while you wait, and concentrate on what you want to experience as a result of drinking your tea (happiness, peace, satisfaction, etc.,).
- Bring the cup up to your lips but, before sipping, deeply inhale the aroma. Try to identify each of the components of the tea by smell.
- Take a sip, noting the feel of the cup against your lip, the weight of the cup in your hand, and the smell of the tea.
- Allow the tea to gently swish in your mouth, coming into contact with all of your taste buds. Try to pick up notes of sweetness, bitterness, sourness, or saltiness (an exquisite tea can have elements of each). As you swallow, concentrate once more on what you want to experience.
- With every sip, engage all of your senses and focus on what you desire.
- Upon finishing your tea, speak a few words of gratitude, and complete a few more deep, cleansing breaths.
That’s it for today. I hope that this meditation blesses you and helps you tap into a feeling of peace and relaxation, as it has done for me. Take care, and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow.
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