morning tea ritual

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morningteaforblog copy.jpgYou can create a morning tea ritual that will change the way you view your life, improve your attitude, and help you to manage your time and resources.  The time for mental rest and contemplation and the relief of awareness, presence and focus is provided by the tea ritual. The 20th century nap is best had awake with a cup of tea in this 21st century. This "waking nap" affords the body and mind some rest and at the same time,  an opportunity to be inspired.

Taking time out of your day, or even starting your day with a tea ritual helps  you to relax, refresh, and also clarify where you are in your  work and relationships, and to consider whether your thoughts and actions are likely to help you create a life that is fulfilling.

To get started, sit comfortably on the floor or at a table, preferably near a window where the light and the view are inspiring or relaxing. Select your tea and tea ware. (If you drink matcha, using a traditional Japanese tea bowl and whisk are great sources of ritual; if you like Chinese tea, go for the gaiwan or a yixing teapot; if you like British style tea, choose your favorite tea pot and tea cup). The comfort comes quickly as the tea and tea ware are laid out, the water is heated, and the tealeaves await their fate.

Regardless of the tea ware you use, the feeling of ritual is the vital element.  It is a time to let go of the concerns of the day (or of the years), and focus your awareness on the water, the leaf, and the "choreography" of the practice of making good tea, including paying attention to the sound of the kettle to get the tea water to the right temperature, observing or smelling the leaves as they steep, and considering the optimal time for the pour. 

Then steep yourself in the comfort of the tea, enjoying its fragrance and taste, as well as the beauty of the liquor. The immediacy of the steam as well as the fragrance of the tea and the ribbon of water saturating the unfurling tea leaves will comfort you to your roots, as the day gradually progresses into a little puzzle of perfection. 

As you sip your tea, you will find your mind wandering in certain directions.  You might remember some things you had wanted to accomplish that day or think about a loved one who might need extra attention (perhaps even yourself). Having note paper or a note book nearby can be a great help.  You'll find that when you write something down, you are relieved of its burden.  The item is acknowledged, and you can move on, let go, rest, and bring yourself back to the enjoyment of your solo tea party as well as to the stillness and quiet that help to balance the mind and emotions.

The best part of this process is that you don't actually have to think about anything.  What you need to be aware of will naturally come to you when your relax your mind and body, and focus your awareness on nothing more than water, leaves, fragrance, taste, and timing.

If you do this everyday, you will notice a difference in the quality of your enjoyment of life and your awareness of what can change and what is there to appreciate.  As well, you will have remembered the things you often forget about, those important details where both angels and devils lurk.

Let me hear back from you.  What is your tea ritual and how does it make you feel?

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