There are many forms of meditation that can bring you into the present moment, help ground you, and help give you energy and focus for the day. One of these is the Japanese Tea Meditation.
The Japanese art of Tea Meditation can be understood by one phrase: one time, one meeting. This phrase can help us to remember the only time we have (the present) and the uniqueness of every moment we have. The tea ceremony is a practice that gives us the opportunity to be totally present, grateful, and live with an open heart. The act of making and drinking tea can seem so simple, but to do it all with complete awareness and presence can be very difficult.
Here are the steps to the Japanese Tea Meditation ceremony. This is only one opportunity to be 100% present and aware while doing something simple. Many other things occupy your daily life.
1. Make the tea.
Try to do every step, from getting your tea bag out of the box, to cleaning your glass after you’re done, with complete presence. Once you’ve made your tea, sit with it, inhale the aroma, feel the warmth, look at the colors in the cup, and imagine the journey of the tea leaf as it came to you.
2. Be thankful.
Before you take a sip, be thankful for the tea in your cup. Be thankful for the moment you have, your health, the water, the leaves, your chair. Be grateful for the reality that you live in that allows you to perform this tea ceremony.
3. Savor your tea.
As you drink your tea, your focus can be on many things. Try to stay present with the sensations of the tea, the taste, the smell, the feelings of it on your tongue. You can even think about the ease of the movement of your arm or your wrist. As you drink, be aware of other thoughts that creep into your mind, notice them and let them pass, as in other meditation styles. Remember that this act of drinking, whether or not you’re in the presence of someone else, will never come again. This is a unique moment to be savored.
4. Be thankful again.
After you’ve finished your tea, be thankful again. Gratitude can bring so much richness to life and helps us to stay present.
By taking part in this simple, yet profound ritual, you give yourself so many gifts. By practicing gratitude you enhance your experience of life. You start your day with clarity and peace. You can reap the benefits of the antioxidants of the tea. You can improve relationships by being 100% present with someone else and truly connecting with them. But most importantly, you live in the present and by keeping your awareness in reality, you prevent your mind from controlling your thoughts and you give yourself a strong foundation of peace a joy.
Originally published on Hack Spirit.