Happy Tuesday Tea People! I hope the beginning of your week has been wonderful! I don't know about all of you, but as the first quarter of the year comes to a close I have noticed that I have been feeling very anxious, unsettled, and just a bit restless. I'm not sure if this is attributed to the changing of seasons, taxes being due, or just the all around uncertainty and angst that comes along with being a young adult in our day and age. Whatever it may be, I have been seeking out all the recommended outlets to promote calmness and relaxation. Fortunately and, I suppose, not so coincidentally, I am extremely blessed to work at a place with a slogan such as "Relax, Refresh, Rejuvenate." When combining my search for a solution to my unsettlement and my love of the work I do at Good Life Tea I was elated to discover that such a thing as "Tea Meditation" exists!
Full disclosure, due to these feelings of angst and restlessness I have also explored activities such as yoga, diaphragmatic breathing, art therapy, and meditation. All of these activities had wonderful results and I highly recommend! I will simply just be covering meditation in this blog post! When exploring meditation, I stumbled upon what is known as "Tea Meditation" and thought, "How wonderful! A solution that incorporates something that I already love so much!".
Tea Meditation is a practice that is over 900 years old! It originated in Japan and is included under the umbrella of Zen meditation. Zen meditation focuses essentially on insights into the mindfulness and nature of existence as beings. It is what most people picture of when thinking of meditation. It involves being completely present in each moment and aware of the uniqueness and briefness of these moments. More so, it focuses on the gratefulness for each moment and what is allowed to us in our beautiful lives. In reading and learning about this Zen meditation and how tea is then incorporated into it I was incredibly eager to give it a try!
Tea meditation begins with the preparation of the tea. It doesn't make a difference how you choose to prepare your tea, which tea you choose, or what you choose to drink your tea out of; what matters is that you are completely present and aware in the moments that you are preparing your tea and that you give yourself completely to the process. You should be mindful of each step of preparation (boiling the water, preparing your infuser, adding your milk/cream or sugar, etc). If you notice your mind wandering, simply acknowledge the thought in the moment and return to your objective of meditation.
Once your tea is prepared, find yourself a nice, quiet spot to sit where you can be present and enjoy it. I often find myself choosing to be beside a window in these past few days when we have had sunshine and warmth! Once seated, take a moment to just appreciate the tea before drinking it. Notice the aromas, the color and texture. Take a moment to realize that the leaves used to make this cup of tea most likely came from another country and, furthermore, to realize that you are fortunate enough to live where there is running, clean water. Embrace this moment of full and complete gratitude and sit with it for a moment before you begin to sip your tea.
As you begin to sip your tea, remember to be present in each and every moment and to take this process slowly. Begin by taking small sips and concentrating on each individual action of drinking the tea (i.e. raising your arm, opening your lips, pouring into your mouth, swallowing, etc.). Take a few mindful breathes in between each sip and just sit with your self concentrating on the moment at hand. Again, if you notice your mind wandering, acknowledge these thoughts and then return to the meditative repetition of your sips.
To finish your meditation, again show gratitude and give thanks. Give thanks for the process of meditation and the peace that it has brought you to start your day. Give thanks for the health benefits that both meditation and tea provide. Give thanks for the opportunities that will fill the day ahead of you. Your meditative process can take as little as five minutes to as long as an hour or so depending on your personal preference. Feel free to experiment with different lengths.
I have tried this morning relaxation ritual for a little over a week now, and I will tell you it has truly been a beautiful beginning to my days. It allows me to clear my mind of all the things that having been causing me angst, even for a short period of time and show gratitude for the things that can be overlooked due to this stress. I highly recommend it to all of you and would love to hear your feedback on any suggestions you may have to add! If you have any other daily rituals or activities you participate in that have helped you find peace, please comment and share them with us all as well! Stay dry as we have rain heading our way and curl up with a cup of tea! -- Kay-tea :)