My alarm sounds at 5.45am.
The children may or may not have been awake before this time. The sun is just peeking up over the ocean outside my bedroom window.
I have tried people’s wonderful morning Lists of What To Do. Hey, my morning is so busy (like most other Mum’s) that I can’t do affirmations and qi gong whilst oohing and aahing over early morning children’s artwork, making breakfast and school lunches and attempting to apply some makeup.
My first action, is to put on the kettle, kiss my family and cuddle the dog. This is usually done in a daze. Sometimes I forget one of the family too. It’s not intentional, it’s just sleepy.
Life can be quite hectic, as you well know, and I find it difficult to meditate despite concentrated efforts. However, I have discovered that what I do as a matter of course, is actually a ‘thing’ – the Tea Meditation! – whereby every element of the tea process is undertaken mindfully.
I like tea so much that I even did a tea training course in Singapore once.
As the water heats, I pay attention to not let it boil (this is for green tea of course). I open the tin of tea leaves and take a deep breath of the scent. Then I carefully measure the amount and add it to my tea strainer. The scent of the tea makes me feel happy. Having the wonderful advantage of living in the tropical world of Antigua, I then go outside and sip my tea and look at the sun coming up. Now the day can begin!
Some days of course, there is no time for tea in the morning, or mindfulness. On those days, I enjoy my tea at 10am even more.
Next time you make a cup of tea, don’t read a book or write lists or check emails. Simply sit and drink the tea. Savour each mouthful, look out the window or go outside and enjoy the ‘meditation’. Even better, install a swing (my husband made this one) and find your inner child too.
“Who would then deny that when I am sipping tea in my tearoom I am swallowing the whole universe with it and that this very moment of my lifting the bowl to my lips is eternity itself transcending time and space?”
– D.T.Suzuki ‘Zen and Japanese Culture’.
How do you take your tea?