Mindfulness, being truly present in the moment, is something the Japanese have been practicing for centuries through beautiful rituals like their Japanese tea ceremony. The Japanese tea ceremony or Chanoyu (hot water for tea), chado or sado (the way of tea) has long been an integral part of traditional Japanese culture.
The Japanese tea ceremony is a spiritual ritual deeply rooted in Chinese Zen philosophy were the ultimate aim is to attain deep spiritual satisfaction through drinking tea with complete awareness and appreciation for the beauty and uniqueness of the present moment. Focusing on every element including the look, taste and smell of the tea, the feel and appearance of the tea cups, the different colours and textures in the room and the people you are sharing it with.
It is a way for people to escape from the mundane of day to day living, and to connect with family, friends and nature to experience calmness and inner peace. During the Japanese tea ceremony, tea is prepared in such a way that all of one’s attention and heart goes into the preparing and serving of the tea for their guests. It is an occasion to appreciate the purity and simplicity of tea and to celebrate the fact that this moment, in this place with these people, will never happen again. It’s also a time that friendships are strengthened through being completely present in each others company.
Many of us have lost the ability to feel truly present in the moment. We live in such a face paced society, we are constantly immersed in devices and rushing from one place to the next. Practicing mindful tea drinking can help you feel more grounded and present.
Mindfulness is a state of being, achieved by focusing your attention and awareness on the present moment, while you calmly connect to your breath, and acknowledge and accept your feelings, thoughts, and physical sensations felt throughout your body.
Mindful tea drinking:
Mindful tea drinking is a lovely way to bring mindfulness into your daily life. It is a lovely practical way to remind yourself to be conscious in the now, not worrying about the past or feeling anxious about the future. Drinking organic tea and herbal tisanes with mindfulness will help you to feel more calm and relaxed, and will allow you to reconnect with yourself, your body, and those around you.
Paying close attention to, and appreciating the finer details of preparing and brewing organic loose leaf tea, will also allow you to enjoy a more enriched drinking experience that will engage all of the senses. Making loose leaf tea may take a few minutes more than when using tea bags, that extra time and attention it requires allows you to slow down and reconnect. Tea bags are made for busy people!!! There is something unsatisfying about unconsciously throwing a teabag in a cup then going on with your busy day.
How to create your own mindful tea ritual:
Set aside a time each day to practice mindful tea drinking. Create your own tea time ritual as a gesture of self care, which will help carry feelings of inner peace and wellbeing into your day to day life.
It might be in the morning to energize yourself for the day ahead, or to de-stress and ground yourself at work, or to calm your mind and body ready for bed.
Placing a spoonful of whole loose leaf Bodhi Organic tea in your favourite teapot.
Smell the aroma of the dried leaves as the settle in your teapot.
Listen to the sound of the water being poured over the leaves.
Observe the beauty of the leaves swelling and expanding.
Think about the leaves being handpicked from organic tea farms around the world.
Watch the water change colour and the steam rise from the pot.
Listen to the sound of your tea being poured into your favourite cup.
Find a quiet comfortable place to sit, take a deep breath in and exhale, expelling any feelings of stress and tension in the body.
Feel the smoothness of your cup in your hands and on your lips as you take your first sip.
With each mouthful feel the warmth of your tea move from your mouth to your stomach, then disperse through your body.
Savour each mouthful, appreciating its rich flavour and aroma.
Bring your focus to your body and how this tea makes your feel. Calm and relaxed, or energized and alert.
Pay attention to what feelings this tea evokes in you.
By Lisa Guy, naturopath and founder of Bodhi Organic Tea.