How to Transform Your Tea Time Into A Meditation Practice by Billabong Retreat Basia Nowacki.
Basia is a yoga and meditation teacher, known for her down to earth kindness, warm and calming spirit.
She teachers and inspires acceptance of what is, living in the present moment, connecting to your essence and higher self and integration of yoga into your daily life. Basia studied classical yoga with Michael de Manincor at the Yoga Institute in the Krishnamacharya tradition.
Basia is also a transpersonal coach. Her work as a transpersonal coach is to help facilitate higher awareness and body-mind wisdom, uncovering the answers from within.
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So one of the most common things I hear when it comes to challenges people face with meditation is not finding the time to do it. The time they feel they have to put aside to sit down and meditate. Most often people are already feeling so time poor and so taking time to just sit and be makes them feel like it’s too luxurious.
Now while that topic is something I could address and talk a lot about – offering another perspective on prioritising but for some people this might be your real reality right now and so one really easy way to insert meditation into your everyday life is by transforming an existing activity. Something you already do, but make it into a meditation.
This in essence is what mindfulness is, so I’m not really inventing anything new, but there are some activities where this is much easier done than others, and the activity I’m proposing you change is your tea time. Okay so first disclaimer, if you are not a tea drinker – don’t worry see if you can apply the same principal to a beverage that you do drink.
Now the reason I choose tea is for it’s inherent meditative essence. Again not something I’m inventing but if you look at tea history and culture – especially in the Japanese Zen tradition, the tea ceremony was a very formal practice of tea meditation.
Now I’m not proposing we take it to that level, but we can take its essence into our next cuppa.
So how do we do this?
Firstly see if you can dedicate one of your cups of teas to this practice. Sometimes you don’t have a cup alone or fully present to that single activity, these days we are more often than not multi tasking, so see if you can change that for at least one cup of tea or at the very least the first 5 mins of it.
Next part is start the practice the moment the kettle boils. See that as a little chime dinging the sound of the beginning of your meditation practice.
As you pour the water into your cup, see if you can listen to the sound of the water entering your cup. Then find a comfortable spot where you can sit with your cup – where you ideally won’t be distracted.
Once seated, with a gentle embrace of your cup in your hands, take 4 conscious breaths, allowing your body to relax a little bit more each time you exhale and feel yourself softening to this moment.
Then begin to feel the cup through your hands, gentle explore it by running your hands around the rim of the cup, the handle, noticing the texture of the cup, the form of the cup and the warmth of the cup. Spend a few moments here.
Then gentle lift the cup towards your nose, and notice the weight of the cup and as you bring it to your nose, breath into the aroma of your tea, connecting to your breath and allowing the gentle stem to lightly tickle your face. Spend a few moments here.
Then opening your eyes, begin to look at your cup of tea, really looking at your cup, like you’re seeing it for the first time, noticing the shades of colours it has, the reflections it has and the different tones. Spend a few moments here.
Then slowly take a sip of the tea, but let it sit in your mouth, and notice the sensations that arise, maybe the desire to swallow, the warmth of the tea warming the insides of your mouth, and when you feel ready, mindfully follow the tea all the way down into your stomach, following it until you can not feel it anymore.
And then let yourself sit for a minute with that experience, notice how it felt, how it was for you.And then gently continue – even just taking 4 more sips with that level of intention.
When you decide to end the practice, bring a little smile to your face – offering gratitude for this time you have had with your cup of tea.
And there you have it, a mindful cup of tea, transforming your tea time to a meditation practice.
Let me know how you go and if you have any questions. Until next time. Enjoy