Tea Meditation by Thich Nhat Hanh

Mad Tea PartyYou can organize a tea meditation to provide an opportunity for your friends to practice being truly present in order to enjoy a cup of tea and each other’s presence.Tea meditation is a practice. It’s a practice to help us be free. If you are still bound and haunted by the past, if you are still afraid of future, if you are carried away by your projects, your fear, your anxiety, and your anger, you are not a free person. You are not fully present in the here and the now, so life is not really available to you. The tea, the other person, the blue sky, the flower, is not available to you. In order to be really alive, in order to touch life deeply, you have to become a free person. Cultivating mindfulness can help you to be free.

Short instruction by Max Wilhard. Keep silence, do not tell anything. Drink your tea very slowly, you have one hour to finish your cup of tea. You can eat a couple of cookies. Also very slowly, chewing every piece 50 times. Feel the weight, texture, temperature of the cup. Smell the fresh aroma of the tea, and become aware of your thoughts. Observe the movement of your hand to the mouth, opening of the mouth, touching the cup by lips. Feel the tilting of the cup and warm tea moving into the mouth touching lips, the tongue, throat, stomach. Enjoy every moment. Do not hurry. Focus 100% on the tea.

When you drink tea in mindfulness, your body and your mind are perfectly united. You real, and the tea you drink also becomes real. When you sit in a cafe, with a lot of music in the background and a lot of projects in your head, you are not really drinking your coffee or your tea. You drinking your projects, you are drinking your worries. When you are real, the tea also becomes real and the encounter between you and the tea is real. This is genuine tea drinking.

The energy of mindfulness is the energy of being present. Body and mind united. When you practice mindful breathing or mindful walking, you become free of the past, free of the future, free of your projects, and you become totally alive and present again. Freedom is the basic condition for you to touch life, to touch the blue sky, the trees, the birds, the tea, and the other person. This is why mindfulness practice is very important. Yet it is not something that you have to train yourself for many months to be able to do. One hour of practice can help you to be more mindful. Train yourself to drink your tea mindfully, to become a free person while drinking tea.

This wonderful extract is from the book “Anger” by Tich Nhat Hanh. Buy it!