Friday, November 6

It is a cup of Tea....

A cup of tea is a joy. Seeing the blue flame that boils the water and the slow dissipation of tea into the boiling water is a harbinger to an evening with tea. Nevertheless, drinking tea amidst distractions is one thing and drinking tea as a ceremony is something of an experience. Since the time I discovered the tea drinking ceremony, I have attempted always to practise it. Each section brings me closer to tea and life around tea.

As I drink a cup of tea alone at home or in a quit lonely place, it is wonderful to allow enough time to appreciate it. The core of the trick is to drink tea with mindfulness. In quietness, when we I can feel the warmth of the cup in my both hands, it speaks to me of myself and God. Holding the cup of tea with both hands and taking slow natural breath, there is a sudden feeling of oneness with the drink. Consciously telling myself that my ‘body and mind dwell in the very here and now’ is to bring mindfulness to the tea occasion. Breathing mindfully, keeping myself with the tea, soon fixes us with the drink. It releases us from the environment down to the core of the occasion. Those moments, tea reclaims its highest place in my life.

I suddenly began to realise that as I drink every cup of distracted tea, it is not tea that I drink but my own illusions and afflictions. Often, I do not even notice that my cup of tea is empty, as I am so much away from the tea. Sometimes, I cannot even recollect the taste or the warmth of the tea as I have been carried away by the distractions in the tea-shop or by the TV-music that is blasting in the air. It is a shame that we pay so much for a quality tea and still miss so much of it!

By drinking tea mindfully, I think I am encountering a different tea altogether. Meeting tea in that real manner, tea enters into life in a special way. At that moment only one thing matter: tea...and that’s all.