Don’t you miss those simpler days when you could reflect on your whole day and be sure of what you have accomplished by the end of it? We all rush somewhere today; we’re constantly worried and busy with our jobs, families and other life obligations. No one has the time for themselves anymore and everyone forgets to take things slow and relax. However, we need that “me” time in order to feel better, relieve stress and lead a healthier life. In order to achieve such a calming and meaningful lifestyle, you should engage in daily meditations with tea.
Tea-drinking customs go back for millennia and are most widely present in Eastern civilizations. India, China, Japan and many other Asian cultures consider this a ritual and it is part of their daily spiritual practice. These cultures call tea drinking a tea ceremony, which includes its ceremonial preparation and drinking with mindfulness and connecting it with daily meditation.
The best known tea ceremony is the Japanese one, called “chanoyu” and it is quite inseparable from meditation and Zen. During this mindful ceremony, matcha green tea is prepared and drunk along with the number of ancient meditative techniques. When tea was brought to Japan in the 12th century by Zen monk named Eisai Zenji, who studied in China, it was quickly adopted nationwide and it became one of the important aspects of Japanese culture. At first, Zen monks used tea as means of staying awake during meditation, but the tea ceremony quickly became meditative itself. The strong powerful aroma of matcha green tea and its calming qualities became an integral part of Zen monks’ daily lives, and even made their ways to today’s lifestyles.
Even today, tea ceremonies are performed worldwide and people do them in order to take a break during the day, restore their strength and simply forget about everything that is happening. Some people meditate with matcha tea even during the busiest hours of the day, in order to clear their heads and get a good grip on the reality. Just twenty minutes a day of this calming ceremony will help you find your inner peace and lead a better, stress-free life. Of course, there are some rules to be followed and, just like with any meditation, the beginning might be hard. However, as you progress and practice it every day, meditation with tea will become your necessary part of day.
Find a Good Tea
Basically, meditation with tea can be performed with any kind of tea, but a cup of quality tea will enhance the effect. Unflavored teas are recommended, usually because of their better quality. Also, you can use whole-leaf teas which taste better and are generally fresher; just make sure to look for the consistency in shape, color and size of the leaves. Another option is using quality matcha tea powder which has quality taste and a powerful aroma.
Boiling the Water
The only aim of this type of meditation is to pay attention to the tea only and nothing else. So, when you’re boiling the water you should do only that. Sit down, relax and watch the bubbles go from tiny frizzy ones to big jumpy ones. Enjoy every second of this and don’t let a thought enter your mind. Pay attention to your breathing, lower the heart rate and let the sounds of water set the atmosphere.
Mixing the Water with Tea
Gently take a spoon of your matcha tea and put it in your favorite cup. Slowly add a cup of boiled water onto the tea and let it sit for a minute or two. You will notice the steam wafting up and take time to look at it. The sweet, strong smells of the aroma will arise from the cup, so make sure to breathe them in easily. If you’re using tea leaves, be generous and watch them twirl in the boiling water. Clear your mind and give in.
Enjoying the Looks of the Tea
After a few minutes, gently remove the infusion and just sit with your tea for a while. This will give a chance to tea to cool a bit and to you to enjoy the aromas and colors of the brew. Take the cup and feel the ceramic in your hands. Think about the fact that someone far, far away picked the leaves and enabled you to brew this calming drink. Be thankful to that person. Expand your thoughts to other things that made this moment possible and appreciate all the people and circumstances that made this all this come true.
Drink Your Tea
Sip it slowly. Focus on the characteristics of the cup and tea itself. Pay attention to the temperature whether it is hot or cold, notice the tastes if they are earthy, floral or grassy; think about how does the tea feel in your mouth, whether it is creamy, dry, heavy or light. Direct your thoughts only to the tea and to each sip. You will notice that everything else is different around you, and you will never miss a detail.
After you have finished drinking your tea, don’t forget to enjoy the process of cleaning after yourself. This too is a part of the ceremony which will help you achieve inner peace. The aim of the tea ceremony and your path to inner peace lies in learning mindfulness and living in the now. It also includes using all of our senses and the interaction of our inner being with something from the outside world.
Everything in our environment has an impact on us, one way or another, and drinking the tea slowly, focusing on its taste, smell, color and how it enters our bodies gives us a chance to slow down the time and receive a positive impact from the outside world. Tea meditation should become a part of your daily routine and you will notice how you’re changing into a better and healthier person with each ceremony.
“If man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth and beauty.” – Japanese Proverb