Tea meditation for mindful living
A clear mind, steady breathing, and a peaceful soul. What else does one need? Maybe just a cup of tea to go along with it! Meditation is an age-old practice that has evolved through many cultures and timelines. However, at its very core, each form of meditation invited us to look inward, feel calm and find clarity. Meditation is a powerful tool to pause and reflect on your life and gain wisdom through the surreal force of silence.
Meditation has evolved through various techniques. There is reflective meditation, prayer, chanting, breathing exercises, and many more. This article takes a look at one of the most creative forms of meditation - tea mindfulness. Tea is more than just a beverage, with incredible benefits ranging from anti-inflammatory properties to soothing a racing mind.
How are tea and meditation connected?
“There is something in the nature of tea that leads us into a world of quiet contemplation of life.” This beautiful quote by Lin Yutang sheds light on the connection between tea and meditation. Tea has been a quiet, ceremonious ritual in Japan for centuries and it is a practice that encourages being still and being present. The sheer act of slowly sipping tea is a relaxing one for tea drinkers and puts them in a meditative, zen state. Tea and meditation both have a rich history that stems from similar Asian roots and evokes similar emotions.
The effects of tea on our brain chemistry
Tea is essentially a caffeinated drink. It acts as a stimulant and encourages brain activity, making you feel more alert and refreshed. Tea also contains an amino acid called L-Theanine which reduces anxiety and makes you feel more at ease. Due to its soothing effects, tea can also help in secreting dopamine which is the happiness chemical. The antioxidants in tea promote brain activity related to memory, thus giving you more clarity along with the power of reflection. Essentially, the effects of tea on our brains have a lot in common with the effects of meditation. Maybe that’s why they work so well together, giving rise to tea meditation or tea mindfulness practices.
How to meditate with tea
Meditating with tea is quite a simple process. Start with being present and bring along your best intentions. Let’s start with the tea. If you are preparing loose-leaf tea, try out a tea that has leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. Teas such as oolong, green, white and black teas fit this category. Add your leaves to a boiling pot of water and watch as the leaves open up and the tea begins to steep. Pay attention to the sounds, the aroma, the color, and the emotions this brings up for you. Experience a feeling of calmness slowly engulfing you and making you feel more rested and relaxed.
Now it's time to move on to the second phase. Find a comfortable, quiet spot in your home and settle down with your tea. Use a mug that you are particularly fond of. Pour yourself a warm cup and feel the heat warming up your palms. During the first sip, pay attention to the flavor and the temperature of the tea. Continue sipping your tea at a leisurely pace, trying to be as present in the moment as you can.
There is no right choice when it comes to selecting the tea for your tea meditation. However, there are a few teas that are better suited to this practice. If you meditate in the mornings, you can opt for potent black teas like English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Assam Black Tea, or Darjeeling Black Tea. You can also use Matcha for your practice as it has a meditative preparation technique. For a late afternoon session, Organic Green Tea or Mint Tea is a great fit. Chamomile Tea is ideal for a nighttime tea meditation as it doesn’t contain caffeine and promotes a relaxed state of mind. You can find the right tea for you on TGL Co’s website. They are available in loose-leaf as well as tea-bag versions.
Perks of practicing tea mindfulness
Since this form of meditation involves tea which contains caffeine, it reduces the chances of feeling sleepy or drowsy during your session which is otherwise very common, especially for beginners. The art of tea meditation is about finding the stillness within you and feeling more connected to the daily tasks in your own life. Through this practice, you can feel your stress melting away slowly and being replaced with a sense of calm and serenity. This practice gives you a meaningful break from the daily grind and helps you be more in touch with yourself. Having this restful moment has a positive impact on your overall mood for the day and also helps you sleep better. Last but not least, you get to experience all the physical and mental benefits of drinking tea through this regular practice.
Tea meditation distinguishes itself from traditional forms of meditation that involve emptying the mind, closing the eyes, or fixating on a particular focal point. Instead, tea meditation emphasizes mindfulness, aiming to cultivate presence and intentionality in your everyday routines. It offers a dedicated moment to concentrate solely on this delightful activity, engaging all your senses in the experience. Indulge in the blissful ritual of tea meditation by selecting your preferred tea from TGL Co., and savor a daily moment of pure joy!