By focusing on the ritual of preparing and drinking your cup of tea, you learn to pay attention to the important details present now, instead of worrying about the future or thinking about the past. It’s right now you have the ability to make a change in life that might have important effects on your future life.
Take care of the opportunity!
Or as Jesse says:
For me, drinking tea is a reminder. The ritual preparing, serving, and drinking tea reminds me to slow down, to let my senses take over, and to let this moment flood the Now. The clatter of tea ware. The warmth of the cup. Hot steam swirling in the early morning sunlight from a cup of brilliant green sencha.
This ritual is a reminder I try to carry with me throughout the day. This is it. This one cup. This one moment. This one life.
A person sipping tea in the usual way may be aware of holding the cup, smelling the aroma before the first sip, and the taste of the first sip. The experience of drinking the rest of the tea may blend into one single experience that has to do with noticing the decreasing amount of tea in the cup.
Taking a sip from a cup of tea with mindfulness, however, is quite different. It begins with noticing the cup of tea in front of you. What is the shape of the cup? Is it tall or short, wide or narrow, thick-walled or thin-walled? Does it have a handle? What is the color of the cup? What is the color of the tea in the cup? What do those colors look like next to each other? Do you see steam rising from the cup?
As you touch the cup, you have a different experience of it. What texture is the surface of the cup? If it has a handle, is the handle warm or cool? Is that different from the temperature of the body of the cup? What is your reaction to touching the cup—do you like the feeling in your fingers, dislike it, or feel indifferent to it? Notice your feeling, and accept it, and continue to pay attention to each moment of experience.
As you lift the cup, notice the sense of fullness or heaviness. Also notice that as you slowly bring the cup toward your face, the scent of the tea becomes quite noticeable. What is that scent like? Is it sweet, pungent, or spicy? Do you notice a dominant scent and other weaker scents? Does the scent evoke an emotional reaction? And does the color of the tea look different as you bring it closer?
As you touch your lips to the edge of the cup, you will feel a temperature and a texture. What are these feelings? Can you feel steam rising from the tea on your face? If you inhale air through your mouth over the surface of the tea, without tipping the cup far enough to receive tea in your mouth yet, you will notice a faint taste of the tea. What is this flavor? Is it exactly like the scent, or a little different? And as you look into the cup up close now, what do you see? Do you notice small currents in the liquid? Are there fragments of tea leaves on the bottom of the cup?
With the first sip, notice the small movement of your wrist that allows the tea to flow into your mouth. Notice the slight shift in the weight of the cup. Notice the temperature of the tea as it enters your mouth and your perception of the flavor as the tea moves from the front of your mouth to the back.
Now, slowly lower the cup to the table. Notice the movement of your hand and arm. Notice the decrease in scent as the cup moves away from your face. Notice the shifting of the weight of the cup to the table as you set it down. Also, notice the aftertaste of the tea in your mouth. Is it the same as or different from the flavor that you noticed when you had tea in your mouth? Do you like the aftertaste or not? Whatever your sensations and reactions are, simply notice them, and accept them.
At this point, you may have spent about five to ten minutes taking your first sip of tea. Many people find that the satisfaction of a sip of tea is greatly increased by such an activity, but others may have a more negative feeling about this practice. Whatever your feeling is, simply notice it and accept it. You may choose to continue to drink the cup of tea slowly and mindfully, or you may simply go back to your usual way of drinking tea.
(NFB – Mindfulness in Everyday Activity by Ann S. Williams, PhD, RN, CDE)
by A Girl With Tea
Found a great post titled One Cup at a Time and written by Samovarlife’s founder Jesse Jacobs.