Many people are turning to meditation and mindfulness as a way to help them cope with the stresses of life.
I have been teaching this for years and have witnessed a significant increase in this trend. However there is usually the misconception that meditation is all about ‘Oms’ and the ‘Lotus position’. Whilst meditation can be explored in this way, meditation, for me, is as simple as having a cup of tea.
I often teach my clients that their day-to-day tasks (such as tea making/drinking) can become a meditation. We often make a cup of tea with no conscious thought of what we are doing. Everything is on automatic pilot, and while we make (and drink) the tea our thoughts and our presence is really somewhere else. We completely miss the moment.
Meditation whilst teamaking/drinking is about noticing the presence of your body in that space. We can notice the sense of touch of our feet on the ground, our fingers touching—turning on a tap, a kettle, opening the fridge door, holding a spoon. We can notice the sounds we make as we run the water, listen to the kettle boil, open the fridge door (and feel the cool air on our skin). So many opportunities are there for us to touch, feel, hear and experience that present moment.
The tea meditation is a wonderful way to enjoy a moment of presence and as we do this, we learn how to take this into other areas of our life and other activities. Meditation then becomes an active awareness rather than a separate part of the day where we shut off the outerworld with the intention of exploring the innerworld. We experience the full energy of life in our tea meditation.
Here are some starter tips for your tea drinking meditation that can help you be present:
Sense of touch.
This is where we notice our feet on the ground, the feeling of our steps as we walk towards the sink, whether we are fully on our feet or leaning to one side or the other. We can take our attention to our hands and feel the different surfaces we touch, the tap, the running water to make sure it’s cold, the weight of the kettle to see if it’s full/empty, opening the fridge door and feeling the cool air, then the breeze as we close the door. As we lift the cup of tea to our lips we can feel the warm steam on our skin, the warmth through our finger tips holding the cup, the warm water in our mouth and the taste of our tea and how our body feels it moving through from our mouth, throat and beyond.
Sense of sound.
We can pay attention to the sounds of our steps, the running water, the kettle boiling, the fridge door for our milk, the water being poured into the cup, the teaspoon on the cup as we stir and as we drink the tea we can pay attention to the sound or silence we notice around us.
Sense of gratitude.
As we drink our tea we can acknowledge with gratitude:
- The clean water we have to drink.
- The energy it took to boil the water.
- The sun and rain that helped grow the tea leaves.
- The cow who donated its milk.
- The earth that helped the tea to grow.
- The people who worked hard to harvest the tea.
- The farmer and workers who look after the cows who brought you the milk.
- The drivers and workers who helped bring all these elements of the tea together so you can enjoy this cup of tea.
Lorraine Murray is an author of Calm Kids – Help Children Relax with Mindful Activities and Managing Director of Feel Good Therapies ltd which teaches courses on meditation and therapies to empower the mind, body and spirit. Her mission – to help adults and children learn meditation that can make life more peaceful for this planet. Meditation – is as simple as breathing, everyone can do it. You can visit the ‘teach children meditation campaign’ on Facebook or Twitter (Meditation4kids) to find out more about research, free tips and ideas for meditation. She also runs a blog on www.teachchildrenmeditation.com or www.ilovefgt.com with ideas and tips for health and wellbeing.
Editor: Ryan Pinkard