The act of drinking tea is one of the simplest things we do in our daily life. On the one hand, it can be an incredibly ordinary thing that we go through. On the other hand, it can be an incredibly beautiful ritual. One that allows us to really settle into the precious moment we are experiencing right now.
I remember a few years ago when I would have a cup of tea in bed before sleeping at night. Those were the days when I dreaded going to work the next day at a job I that was draining me emotionally. There was always an undercurrent of anxiety about how I was going to be able to get through days, weeks, months of something I didn’t enjoy.
But then I turned to the tea in front of me. Feeling the warmth of the cup in my hands, taking a sip…feeling the warmth of the tea go down my throat and then warming my chest. Watching as the steam rose ever so gently. For those few moments, I didn’t have to think about anything. It was just me and the tea.
Even today, when I feel myself rushing about trying to be productive but not really heading anywhere in particular… when the mind feels cloudy with rumination… I know instinctively it’s time for a tea break. And the wise words of Zen Buddhist Monk Thich Nhat Hanh come to mind:
“Tea is an act complete in its simplicity.– Thich Nhat Hanh
When I drink tea, there is only me and the tea.
The rest of the world dissolves.
There are no worries about the future.
No dwelling on past mistakes.
Tea is simple: loose-leaf tea, hot pure water, a cup.
I inhale the scent, tiny delicate pieces of the tea floating above the cup.
I drink the tea, the essence of the leaves becoming a part of me.
I am informed by the tea, changed.
This is the act of life, in one pure moment, and in this act the truth of the world suddenly becomes revealed: all the complexity, pain, drama of life is a pretense, invented in our minds for no good purpose.
There is only the tea, and me, converging.”
Have you made some time for yourself for tea today? Time for only the tea and you.
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