It’s a drink with healing properties. That soothes us during some of the most challenging events in our lives. Having a nice cup of tea is a very typical and British thing to do, especially when life gets rough and somehow managing to solve all our problems.
We have been drinking tea for centuries and there are so many different varieties to choose from. I’m a tea drinker but I usually am partial to a fruit or mint tea and love nothing more than enjoying this hot brew especially on a cold day.
Bringing Mindfulness to this drink can take you on a fantastic journey to a new calm you’ve never experienced before. The practice is called ‘informal practice’ in Mindfulness and you bring your attention to the process of tea making, to stay in the present moment and be filled with wonder at how amazing this process is. We very rarely spend much time thinking about what it takes to make a perfect tea, often multitasking whilst doing jobs and other things before we finally get around to drinking it.
The great Mindfulness Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh has an hour practice to make a cup of tea. Wouldn’t we love the luxury of having an hour to do this simple task!
I’m not saying we need an hour but slowing the process down, thoughtfully and with attention, we can have the same benefit of being in the present moment and gain some clarity and peace in a short space of time.
Here are some steps to take to ensure you bring some Mindfulness to your tea making.
- Fill the kettle with water, use your senses to listen intently to the sound of the water filling up the kettle. Just a moment to be grateful for this fresh running water we have at our fingertips.
- Depending on the kettle you have, simply watch as the water starts to boil or you could listen to the bubbling water as it heats up.
- Pick a mug or teacup that you treasure and place a tea bag in the mug, I usually give my fruit tea or mint tea a little sniff too. This excites my taste buds as well.
- Slowly pour the hot liquid over the tea bag, watching as the clear water starts to change colour. I brew my tea bag for around 5 minutes, but if it’s a regular breakfast tea start to add the milk and sugar if needed. Taking the actions slowly and fully awake to what you are doing.
- I’ll then take it to my favourite chair, sit and start to take a deep breath as I inhale the aroma of the tea, the warm mug in my hand and slowly sip the tea.
It’s like all my troubles have disappeared for a moment as I tune my attention to this brew. These moments make up mini rituals through the day to pause, take a moment to breathe and be alive to the moment.
Our minds are so good at chattering and wandering off to the next item on the agenda, a problem to solve and thinking past or future but when we can set some informal practice to our day we can have a little relief to bring us back.
Why not try this today, set aside doing the tea exercise and see how you feel afterward. The more you start to develop this practice of mindfully tea making, the better you’ll feel.
I’d love to hear from you on any practice or ritual you have with tea and what’s your favourite?