You hear a lot of talk in the media about mindfulness, and the tea ceremony is a mindfulness practice. Participating in a tea ceremony is a way to slow down and focus in the moment you are given. Since most of us live in fast-paced urban environments, we often take nature for granted. The tea ceremony allows us to slow down, focus on our intentions, and connect with the spirit of the earth.
Starting your own tea practice is very simple and you don’t need much. Begin with reliable organic tea and clay cups or bowls that are non-toxic and pleasing to you.
You will need:
A nontoxic clay teapot
Nontoxic clay teacups
An offering (like a flower in a vase) that helps to decorate the space for the ceremony
To prepare the tea:
Heat the water in a traditional teakettle until it is just about to boil, the transfer it to the teapot that you will use for the ceremony.
Put a few tea leaves in each cup/bowl, and watch them unfurl when you pour in the hot water. As with every practice, preparing tea becomes a ritual when you bring in mindfulness and intention. As the tea blossoms, really take in the history of what you are drinking. Sit outside if you can, and empty your mind of everything else by paying attention to what is a round you: the sounds of nature, the feel of the warm cup in your hand, and the taste of the tea on your tongue. Sip in silence. When you are done, make an offering to tea and the earth by tossing your leaves on the ground, rather than in the trash.