Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Tea meditation

I just found a WONDERFUL exercise in Five Good Minutes by Jeffrey Brantley and Wendy Millstine. It's entitled, "Your first sip of tea":
Make yourself a cup of your favorite tea (or a beverage of your choice) in your favorite cup. Place the mug with the loose tea or teabag at your place at the table. As you pour water into the cup, pay attention to the way your body moves, the weight of the kettle, and the sound and look of the water. Be mindful of every movement as you replace the kettle on the stove and sit at the table in front of the teacup. Wrap your hands around the cup and breathe the steam in, paying attention to how it feels on your face, the smell of the tea, and the warmth of the cup in your hands. Look at the tea and notice how it moves or swirls as you lift the cup. Be mindful of its color. When you sip the tea, pay close attention to how it feels on your tongue, the complexity of the taste, and the movement of your tongue and lips. It should take you five minutes to swallow your first sip of tea.
You can apply these same principles to eating an orange -- or anything else for that matter. This is both a contemplative exercise and a process that will strengthen mindfulness. Anything that helps us develop the ability to be more aware is all to the good.

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