The Japanese Tea Ceremony is an ancient tradition that dates back to the 9th century. Central to the current philosophy of tea ceremony are the ideals of harmony, respect, purity, and tranquility. Japanese tea ceremony is an intricate, sophisticated and historically complex practise with a focus on preparing a bowl of tea from one’s heart. Wow!
Reading about the Japanese Tea Ceremony got me thinking about its parallels to mindfulness. Mindfulness is the intentional, accepting and non-judgemental focus of one’s attention on the emotions, thoughts and sensations occurring in the present moment. Practicing being mindful has all sorts of benefits to our health, wellbeing and ability to cope with daily stress. Being mindful can promote connection to your surroundings, your people and importantly, your self.
Why not incorporate a tea ceremony into your week? Make the time to create a space and a place to slow down and enjoy the nurturing ritual of a cup of tea.
Some hints on how to do it well.
- Prepare a place, space and moment that is nurturing to you, right now. Think about colour, noise, space, smell, pace.
- Take a moment to listen to your body and sense what it needs.
- As you prepare your tea, focus with clear awareness on each movement and each moment.
- Notice your surroundings. Focus your attention on things like texture, light, shape.. Notice any thoughts that arise and see if you can just notice the thoughts and let them be… before bringing your awareness back to the object.
- As you drink your tea, focus your attention on the smell, taste, texture. Enjoy your surroundings and the beauty of the space you have created for yourself. Accept your self here in this moment.
- Sense the experience and sit with it. Do you notice the taste of the tea. What does it make you feel… satisfaction, pleasure, aversion.
- Be thankful for the moment and your place in it. Allow it to come to an end when you are ready or when your time is up. Accept and notice your thoughts as it ends.
- Be ready for the rest of your day. Acknowledge the lesson you have learned through listening to your body and noticing your surrounds. Quickly journal any thoughts or ideas that you feel you would like to take with you.
Sometimes are lives are full of rush and busy, movement and pace. All great things for sure. But how great is it to also be able to take a moment to experience and enjoy the complement of this lifestyle. The quiet.
From the quiet springs creativity, compassion, thoughtfulness, connection.
So take a moment. Maybe when you get really good at it, you could try to create the moment for someone else too. We all love the offer of a good cup of tea, made with love and presented with peace. Right?
For more information on mindfulness check out Smiling Mind and try the smiling mind app.
If you would like more information on the Japanese Tea Ceremony, you could look here. It is much more detailed and sophisticated than my little adventure for sure.
Let me know how you go.
Happy drinking tea.