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June 7, 2018

Mindfulness Tea Meditation

 

There are many variations of Tea Meditations or Tea Ceremonies, and Tea Rituals.  Although meaningful and beautiful, I like to keep things simple.  I’ve noticed how very profound simple can be.  Each of the following steps should be done in complete mindfulness, from choosing the cup and the tea, to preparing your tea, to sitting down, to drinking the tea and even cleaning up.  Give yourself over completely to the experience and process of preparing and drinking your tea with complete awareness.  Be aware that this moment is completely unique and will never come along again, just as this tea will never pass through your lips again.  The act of a Tea Meditation is not only about being fully aware in the moment, but also about living in appreciation for the present moment with an open heart and mind. A Tea Meditation reminds us that the present moment just as our life is ever changing, transient and impermanent.

 

If holding this Tea Meditation with a partner or group, do so with the awareness and preparation of the sacredness of honoring the moment and each other.  Be present for each other’s company, with an open heart.

 

  1. Select Your Tea and your Cup
    • Be aware that each type of tea has different health benefits, gravitate towards choosing a tea that will support your health and wellbeing
    • Carefully place your cup down
    • Add the tea to the cup
  2. Make Your Tea
    • Be aware of how you choose to boil the water
    • As the water boils take a moment to breathe and remember that there is nowhere else you need to be
    • Once the water has boiled, fill your cup and observe the leaves and herbs and tea begin to infuse, expand and steep – about 3 minutes
    • As your tea steeps, find a quiet place to sit and simply be still with your tea
    • Notice the aroma of the tea, the look and color of the tea, notice how the cup feels in your hands, notice the temperature, the steam, the sensations in and around you as you hold the tea
  3. Gratitude
    • Before you begin to sip the tea, give thanks for the tea in front of you
    • Consider for a moment how amazing it is that there are countries in this world that don’t have clean drinking water and yet you have the ability to enjoy a cup of warm tea anytime you choose?
    • Appreciate the tea, the delicate balance, growth and harvesting that had to happen for you to enjoy this tea
    • Appreciate all of those things that helped make your cup of tea a reality
    • Enjoy those feelings and thoughts for a few moments before you begin

 

  1. Sip your Tea
    • Fully commit to the task of drinking your tea – be fully awake for the practice of drinking your tea, knowing that this moment and this tea will never exist again
    • Drink your tea with mindfulness, take it slowly, tasting and savoring each sip
      • Notice the warmth, the aroma, the taste, the sensations on your lips, in your mouth, the mechanics of swallowing the tea and the coordination of your breath as you sip…be aware of the steam rising, the clarity and color of the tea in the cup
    • As you drink your concentration can be on various things
      • Perhaps your focus is on the mechanics of the movement – raising your arm, taking a sip, swallowing, lowering the arms, breathing, repeat
      • Perhaps your focus is on ingesting an intention you place in the tea and surrounding yourself in the awareness of the presence of that in your life – for example, peace
      • If you become distracted from your focus and intention simply bring your awareness back to the act of sipping the tea
  1. Gratitude (again)
    • Give thanks for the experience of sipping the tea in full awareness, for taking the time to nourish your body and mind

 

This simple and effective form of mindfulness can be done in as little as 10 minutes or as long as you prefer.   Be warned there are serious side effects from this Zen practice:

  • Reduced stress and increased clarity of mind
  • Greater peace
  • Develop a deeper sense of gratitude and reverence for life
  • Health benefits of drinking the tea (choose a tea that is healthy)
  • Experience all benefits of mindfulness and meditation including relaxation, decreased blood pressure, increased feeling of connection to all there is and more…

 

I hope you mindfully enjoy your next cup of tea.

 

Cheers!

 

Juli

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