By Alyna O'Hanlon
June 5, 2020
With everything going on in the world, it didn't feel like the right time for a recipe. Instead I wanted to share a practice of sitting with tea that I am finding particularly helpful in these times of great uncertainty and unfolding.
This is my personal approach to a tea meditation, which was informed by this blog. I've been doing it first thing in the morning followed by 20 minutes of meditation focusing on the breath.
My goal with this meditation is to practice a combination of gratitude, awareness, savoring, and to carve out space for reading meaningful texts (poetry, philosophy, spiritual writing, etc). It is also my hope that in this turbulent time, sitting with tea might facilitate centering that in turn may fortify us such that we can rise to address the important work for social justice and progress.
The steps of this meditation are broken down into 4 parts with the overall aim to be mindful throughout the entire process; be aware and present as you make the tea, drink the tea, and give thanks for the tea.
1. Prepare the tea
Listen to the sound of the water as it fills the cup. Feel the warmth. Notice the aroma and texture of the cup, the color of the tea.
2. Give thanks
Before drinking the tea, take the opportunity to give thanks, contemplating where the tea is from and how it came to you, your access to hot water, and the gift of time and space to enjoy the tea.
3. Drink the tea
As you drink the tea, attempt to connect with the body, to feel the sensations of temperature and the weight of the cup in hand, to notice the taste of the tea. Take a deep breath between each sip.
4. Give thanks (again)
And after finishing the tea, it is again an opportunity to give thanks.
As previously mentioned, I use this time to study writing that can inform my day. While the tea is brewing, I'll choose a book that is calling to me and flip it open to a random page and see what wisdom presents itself in the moment.
Today as my tea was brewing, I read this Rumi poem that sure did resonate ~
Wishing everyone courage as we step up and do the work — so necessary and so overdue — for justice and equality.