Meditation is a widely popular practice where an individual exercises mindfulness in order to achieve a more clear and calm mental state. By stressing the importance of body awareness, meditation is used as a method to ground oneself when overwhelmed by various life situations. Specifically, tea meditation can be used as a method of fostering and strengthening connections with other people if performed in groups. By incorporating tea rituals, the practice becomes one that has even more potent effects on helping us establish a more present and calm mind.
Historically, tea and meditation have always been interconnected. Buddhist monks in Tibet used to drink copious quantities of tea to receive just the right amount of caffeine to help them stay awake during long meditation hours. In Japan, the Zen scholars did the same. However, don’t let this intimidate you as tea meditation can be practiced very easily by people who aren’t necessarily spiritual.
The key component of meditation is mindfulness. The first and most important step is to find a setting where you won’t be disturbed by the environment or others. In order to be mindful, you need to act like the moment you are living in will be your last moment. In a way, tea meditation begins even before you start enjoying your cup of tea; it starts in the tea preparation stage. While it might be easy to let your mind wander to planning tonight’s dinner, you should try to remain actively engaged in the moment and focus your senses on the sight, scent and feel of the tea preparation. If your mind does begin to wander, gently bring it back to your actions and retrain your focus back onto the tea. Maintain this focus and mental awareness on your actions and how your body naturally reacts to the incoming sensory stimulus.
Tea meditation has been shown to reduce stress levels as well as provide potent boosts to the mind and awareness through its caffeine content. Many people prefer to practice tea meditation in the mornings to set a solid foundation for the proceedings of the day. If you have never practiced tea meditation before, we encourage you to take 15 minutes out of your day to perform it and discover firsthand how it can help you achieve a less stressful life.