Tea Meditation

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I’ve found that life doesn’t actually get better when we’re distracted – surfing online, updating our status, checking the news, generally immersed in our digital devices. Life gets better when we’re connecting with real people in real time. Not to mention that the less time we spend on our devices, the more time we have to actually do something. Write something. Create something. Taste something. Do nothing.

Do nothing?

The ritual of tea – boiling the water, sipping the infusion – does something that little else in life does these days: It gives us a little pause, a break in the endless action and tasking that habituates modern living; this is time we can actually dive into and enjoy.

We’re not talking hours here.

Try 10 minutes and see how you feel.

It doesn’t need to be complicated. Pay attention to each step, take your time; you may find that for the rest of your day you’re a little more relaxed, present, and cheerful and it can be a wonderful way to gather yourself and ground yourself into the moment, and into your self.

1. Buy some good tea. Look for consistency in size, shape and colour. Play with herbal teas, peppermint, chamomile and others.

2. When you’re boiling the water, just boil the water. Don’t do anything else. If you have a glass kettle, watch the bubbles go from tiny to large to roiling. Notice your breath and allow this experience to set the tone. The Earth is mostly water. You are mostly water. Water is a miracle, and so is heat. Take your time to enjoy them.

3. Let the tea infuse into the water. Steep the leaves or the tea bag until it’s rich with flavour. Notice the steam wafting up. Notice the aromas arising out of your cup. Breathe easy.

4. Remove the infusion and just sit with the tea for two minutes. Let it cool slightly and notice the colour of the brew. Enjoy the aroma in the air. Feel the cup or mug in your hand. This tea was made possible by someone thousands of miles away who picked the leaves.

5. Now is the time to drink your tea. Sip slowly. Pay attention to the temperature. Is it hot, warm or cool? Notice the taste. Is it earthy or grassy or floral? How does the tea feel in your mouth? Creamy and full, dry and thin, heavy or light, minty, fruity? You might notice that taking this time to enjoy just one activity enriches all the others in your day.

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