My husband considers himself a bit of a tech geek and loves new technology. Our home is filled with various devices and gadgets and their corresponding cords and chargers.
So it was no surprise when he came home with a kettle that boiled water to a temperature appropriate for the tea of choice. For example, delicate tea’s are only boiled to 75%, green tea is boiled to 80% and so on. He was super excited about it – I was less so…..until doing a bit of research for my tea meditation and discovering that the water temperature is apparently the most critical element in preparing the perfect cup of tea! Of course there are other things to consider if wanting to bring out the best flavour in your tea such as the quality of the leaves, the actual water (spring is the water of choice) and the steeping time.
There is a whole art to tea making and according to various sources it can take years to master. But I only have 30 minutes tonight for my quiet quest so will only be focusing on the drinking aspect opposed to the preparation of my tea. I suppose I’m at some advantage that my tea will be boiled to the correct temperature thanks to my husbands love of new technology.
Thich Nhat Hanh, one of the worlds most famous mindfulness masters teaches the following tea meditation. I almost always drink tea whilst reading, talking, watching tv etc paying no attention to the cup in my hand. Below is a great reminder that you don’t need to be a pot bellied buddha in a cave somewhere to practice mindfulness – it can be done each and every day with your simple cup of tea…..even regardless of what the water temperature is.
“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves.
Slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.
Live the actual moment.
Only this moment is life.
You must be completely awake in the present to enjoy the tea.
Only in the awareness of the present, can your hands feel the pleasant warmth of the cup.
Only in the present, can you savor the aroma, taste the sweetness, appreciate the delicacy.
If you are ruminating about the past, or worrying about the future, you will completely miss the experience of enjoying the cup of tea.
You will look down at the cup, and the tea will be gone.
Life is like that.
If you are not fully present, you will look around and it will be gone.
You will have missed the feel, the aroma, the delicacy and beauty of life.
It will seem to be speeding past you. The past is finished.
Learn from it and let it go.
The future is not even here yet. Plan for it, but do not waste your time worrying about it.
Worrying is worthless.
When you stop ruminating about what has already happened, when you stop worrying about what might never happen, then you will be in the present moment.
Then you will begin to experience joy in life.”