“To be here and now, and enjoy the present moment is our most important task,” Thich Nhat Hanh
Bringing mindfulness to simple activities like drinking a cup of tea can help to train us to direct our attention consciously. We might think we choose what we are paying attention to in life, but in reality, most of us are driven by our automatic habits and patterns. By deliberately choosing to attend to an activity, we slow things down and let ourselves become aware of the process of attending. We often rush through our everyday lives and look forward to the time when we have finally done everything and can sit down and have a cup of tea. However, when we finally sit down with the cup in hand, our minds run away from us thinking about the past or the future, and we lose the joy of drinking our tea.
A tea meditation involves being mindful and present during all aspects of the tea ritual, including making the tea, drinking the tea, and being aware of the effects on your mind and body. You can practice a tea meditation during any time of the day — perhaps you try it in the morning to start your day with presence, enjoy it in the middle of the day for increased focus and clarity, or end your day with the practice for a peaceful night’s sleep.
How to drink a cup of tea mindfully:
- Choose your tea. What will it be today? Consider your current mood and your mental and physical needs.
- Select a cup with care. Notice the water boiling. Watch the tea transition.
- Recognize that in this moment you and the tea are in silent contact. No past, and no future – only you and the cup of tea.
- Have intentions to experience peace and happiness while you drink your tea.
- Hold and feel your cup, and breathe in to be one with the body in the present moment.
- Imagine the cup of tea is like life, but without other activities, worries, and projects – just focus here now on the cup of tea and you.
- As you slowly sip the tea, hold the cup up to your nose and breathe in deeply. Let the aroma of the tea fill the space of your mind until there is no room for thoughts. Let the thinking mind become a tea-enjoying mind.
- As your tea meditation comes to a close, take a moment to express gratitude to yourself for showing up, gratitude for all the people who put in work to grow, harvest, package, and bring you this tea, and gratitude for this present moment of solitude.
Breaks for meditation throughout the day act as pressure valves for emptying the mind. See if you can invite a moment of stillness and ease into your day as you drink a cup of tea.
You can read Denise’s HSSCU articles below:
- ‘Introduction to Mindfulness’ here
- ‘How Mindfulness Can Help Us Through Challenging Times’ here
- ‘How Can I Best Take Care of Myself’ here
- ‘Meditate While You Walk’ here
- ‘Reconnect With Your Body’ here
- ‘Be Present for Christmas’ here
- ‘Becoming Aware of Your Thoughts’ here
- ‘How to Give Your Full Attention’ here
*Please note that Health Services Staffs Credit Union is not an expert on mindfulness techniques and that all the above advice is from Denise Coleman, qualified mindfulness teacher, and HSSCU scholarship recipient. Any views above are not made on behalf of HSSCU.
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