Friday, October 11, 2019

Relaxing with the Mindful practice of Tea Time.

Sometimes the simplest form of relaxation is found in the simplest of activities, like sitting down for a relaxing cup of tea.  You can add it to your daily relaxation routine--be it sitting for meditation, or adding it to your mindful meal, or reading time.

To keep it as simple as possible, try applying mindfulness to your tea time routine.  In other words, be present for everything from getting the tea pot, to selecting the tea cup.

If you invite all of your senses to be a part of the present moment of this activity, you become more aware of the smell, sight, sound, feel and taste of everything you are doing.

If your thoughts wander during this task, just notice that they have done so.  Then, without judgment--and especially without self-judgement--bring your focus back to the task at hand.  And if the mind wanders again, repeat!

Notice the feel of the cup, the sight of the steam rising, and the sound of the boiling water.  Take the time to smell the tea as you pour or prepare it.

Without judgment means without deciding "good or bad", "right or wrong way", "enjoyable or non-enjoyable", "tasty or bitter", etc.  In other words, you are not placing a judgment of any kind on the task.  You are in the moment of tea moment without moving into labeling and judging the tea moment.  It is "just this" tea moment.

Your tea does not have to be that of an expert or that of an amateur.  It can be expensive loose leaf tea or a bag of that you grew up with from the grocery store.  It doesn't matter if it's herbal or decaffeinated.  There is no one judging your authenticity.  It's just you, the aroma, the smoothness of the cup, the warmth of the tea, and the mindfulness of each sip.  There is no way it should be, and no way it ought not to be, nor is there any comparison of how it's done by others.

It's just tea, in this moment, with full awareness.  Watching thoughts come and go, and returning to the present moment.  Noticing your breath come and go, and returning to the present.  Repeatedly returning to the moment is a practice of meditation.  And staying in the present moment in this way is to be in the only place that actually ever exists.  That is, in this never-ending and yet, ever-changing, unfolding moment.

Thanks to Sheila Sund for the great photo