Being Mindful While Drinking Tea
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a personal invitation to bring our full awareness or attention to anything we are doing, anything we are seeing, and anything we are feeling or experiencing. Living mindfully means that we are experiencing life with the wonder and awe of a new born child experiencing everything with a beginners mind.
Why does mindfulness matter?
Multitasking is extremely prevalent in our society. This leads us into doing too much all at once, and we end up missing out on each stage of our life experiences because we weren’t fully focused. That is why touching the “moment”, even if only for a short time, is an experience worth relishing. It can be challenging. That is why we begin training mindfulness on the mat, exploring present-moment awareness and its impact on our body and mind. With practice and patience, mindfulness may extend from a brief few seconds to a few minutes and eventually we can move mindfulness into our lives. Below is a script and video about one way to integrate mindfulness into your daily usually "mindless" tasks.
Mindful Tea Drinking Script:
Listen to the sound of the kettle heating and boiling the water. Hear it bubbling, the metal expanding as it is heating by the stove element. Notice the colour of the element grow hot as it heats the kettle from underneath. As it boils, notice the steam rise from the spout. Does the kettle shake from the water bubbling inside? Open your senses, notice, observe, not trying to control or change anything.
Notice your environment and the feeling it gives you. If you are sitting, notice your body’s contact with the chair or the floor. If you are standing, notice the weight of your feet on the ground.
As you pour the water into the tea cup, notice the water start to change colour as the tea leaves are rehydrated. Be curious. Hear the sound of the water hitting the side of the cup. And if your mind starts to wander return your attention to the task at hand. As you lift the tea bag from the cup, feel the sensations in your hands. The feeling of the metal against your fingers, the weight of the tea bag. When you dispose of the tea bag, notice any related sounds, such as, the tea bag dropping into the garbage bin or compost bin, the sound of the garbage or compost bin lid opening and closing.
Notice how the tea cup becomes warmer. Notice the sensation of the cup in your hands. As you bring the cup to your mouth feel the warmth on your lips, notice the steam rising from the hot liquid that fills the cup. Taking a sip, hold the tea in your mouth and let the tongue absorb the flavour. You don’t have to do anything. Just be aware of the sensations your are experiencing. Whether you enjoy the taste, wish it to be weaker or stronger. Just be present in the moment.
When you decide to swallow. Follow the liquid down the esophagus to the stomach. How does it feel? When does the liquid disappear? When does the liquid stop being a separate entity and start becoming a part of you?
Now return to drinking your tea. Noticing. Being aware. Present in the moment. Continue drinking until the cup is empty or you decide to stop drinking. If you decide to stop drinking, be curious about why you stopped drinking. Maybe you feel a pull to go on to the next thing, task, or action. Whatever you choose, try to observe through a beginners mind.
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