“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves — slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.” —THICH NHAT HANH, The Miracle of Mindfulness
Everyone I know is experiencing a mounting level of concern around covid-19. We do our best to stay focused on things we can control, but uncertainty greets us with every new news cycle and normal levels of stress and anxiety are multiplied.
While our personal challenges may be reaching new heights, every generation faces challenges—often far greater than the novel coronavirus crisis. In times like this, it can help to look to the wisdom traditions for guidance.
That’s where tea comes in. For thousands of years the humble (and delicious) cup of tea has invited us to see through the daily dramas to find peace and calm while the world storms around us. You don’t have to visit a mountain tea hut in the cloud forests of Taiwan—here’s a guide to create a mini, sacred tea house wherever you are. (Also, I will soon begin hosting a virtual wellness tea tasting. If you are interested, please complete this survey and be the first to know when it is live.)
Mindful Tea Time
- Power down all your devices. Store them out of sight.
- Put water on to boil. Dose 1–2 tbsp tea into your Vivid Glass Brew Pot.
- Select a cup. As you wait for your water to boil, bring your attention to your breath. Don’t control it, just witness your breath as it is. Try to feel the sensation of air passing across your upper lip. When you notice your mind wandering, just bring it gently and without judgement back to your breath.
- When ready, pour the boiling water into your brew pot. With equanimity, watch as the leaves unfurl, and the color floods the brew pot.
- After 2–5 minutes, decant. Keep your attention on the sensation of air passing across your lip as you wait for your tea to cool.
- When ready, sip slowly. Note the scent, aroma, and flavor. Without reacting, pay attention to the sensations that arise in your body and mind. Note the transformation of leaves to liquor and how the tea has become you.
- Clearing your dishware, notice the nature of impermanence; whatever arises also will pass away. Moment to moment, arising and passing away, arising and passing away.