The Art of Tea
I recommend this Ritual first thing in the morning, though it can be practiced at any time of the day.
It is very simple and reminds one that they are worthy. It facilitates connecting with oneself on a deeper more intuitive level. It heals emotionally, physically, and mentally.
Tea has a long and complex history. It is likely to have originated in Yunnan Province in China as far back as 3 AD. Specifically, the plant itself originated near the lands of northeast India, north Burma, southwest China, and Tibet. It was consumed as a medicinal drink, then later for pleasure. The Chinese used it not only as an antidote to poison but also as a restorative drink. The Chinese introduced tea to the Portuguese during the 16th century and the British began tea production and consumption in India during the 17th century to compete with the Chinese market.
Drinking tea soon became a tradition for many different cultures and tea is enjoyed in different ways around the world.
The most well-known tea ceremony in the world is the Japanese Matcha tea ceremony. The Japanese were introduced to drinking tea by the Chinese around the 8th century and the green powdered Matcha tea came to Japan in around the 12th century.
I am a huge tea drinker. And always have a cup on the go. I perform this ritual as many times a day as I can. It helps centre my being and sets a positive intention in how I will continue to proceed through the day.
Practicing a tea ritual is about bringing the mind to the present and within it, a sense of calm and well-being. Being present in our whole entirety, allows us to connect to our intuition more readily.
You may wish to use a special cup when performing your tea ritual and you may like to drink a special tea as this aids as a trigger or memory in the subconscious of the mind that you are shifting inner space.
It starts with setting the intention. By setting the intention, we become present in the moment. So begin with setting the intention. Simply put- "I am going to make some tea, and I am going to be present while I do so.
Take your cup out of where you keep it. Deliberately, and feel the weight of it in your hands, is it warm to your touch or cool? Notice the cup itself. What does it look like? What patterns or markings does it have?
Place the cup down on your table or counter.
Take your kettle, and deliberately turn it on to heat the water. Stay present. Listen to the sound of the water heating up. What do you notice?
Take your tea and place it in your cup. You may wish to use a tea egg or a tea pig, or a loose leaf in a tea pot. There is no right or wrong "tea". This process or ritual is training your mind to be present.
Stay present and listen to the kettle boiling. Notice the rolling boil of the water and how it fills the space around you. Can you feel the rhythm of it in your body.?
When the kettle is boiled, take the kettle and pour the water into your cup or teapot and onto your tea. Notice the steam, and feel the heat from the water. Watch how the liquid slowly changes colour in the cup or pot, how it steeps and moves.
Take a deep breath and breath in the smell of the tea. Feel that ground you, feel your breath slow down.
Take your tea and staying present, find a peaceful spot in your environment. If you are walking, say to the garden, or your favorite chair, as you walk to your destination, feel your feet on the surface of the floor, feel the warmth of your tea in your hands and keep breathing in its aroma.
Sit, close your eyes, and breathe. Deep rhythmic breaths, down into your belly. feel your belly swell as you breathe in, and deflate as you breathe out, allowing the fragrance of the tea to permeate your being.
When you are ready, slowly start to sip your tea. Feel the warmth of the liquid touch your lips and tongue and fill your mouth, Notice the taste on your tongue. What can you taste? Can you taste the sweetness if you have added honey, or individual herbs and aromatics? Does it make your mouth happy? Feel it gently flowing down your throat and into your stomach. Feel your whole body becomes warm. Breathe. Close your eyes and just be. Drinking tea.