The Practice of Tea as Meditation


Meditation practice doesn’t have to just be sitting cross-legged, or even require being still. Everything can be meditation if you are present in the moment. Being present to the moment, which is really what meditation is, is possible in everything you do. And to me, approaching my tasks meditatively has many more rewards than just practicing sitting meditation.

When I am really present with what I’m doing, I find that my stress level is much lower and I have almost infinite patience. As someone with a pretty quick trigger, infinite patience is unheard of for me. Being present to the moment can be really hard to do, but like anything else, gets easier with practice.

If you find yourself wanting to practice more presence, a good way to start is to pick something you do daily and just do that one thing mindfully. Why not start with your morning tea? It’s something you could probably do with your eyes closed, but try it with your full presence instead and see what the difference is.

The Practice

To prepare your tea in a meditative way, start with the water. As you’re filling your kettle, or your cup, whatever you heat water in, let your senses take over. Listen to the sound of the water coming out of the tap and filling the vessel, listen to how it changes as it fills. Watch and listen to the water heating, or just take a moment to sit or birdwatch if you can’t see the water heating up. Once your water is up to temp, your senses really get a chance to come alive. As you pour the water into your mug or pot, watch the steam rise, listen to the water again, feel the steeping vessel get warm, and watch as the water changes color as it hits the tea leaves.

Even if you only do this one thing mindfully, you’ll find the positive effects trickle down into the rest of your day. Of course, you can apply this practice to anything and everything else you do and multiply the benefits.

For a guided tea meditation, go here and listen while preparing your next cup.

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