the elegance of a tea ritual (or a ritual, for that matter)

Many many times throughout my years on this planet I have muttered these words: "Thank. The Gods. For. Tea". The humble cup of tea has saved my behind many times over. Getting cranky? Make a cup of tea. Feeling dishevelled? Make a cup of tea. About to have a whopper of a disagreement with your partner? Guess.

by blackoctober

my favourite mug and teapot,which my mum gave me -a keeper then.

Of course, I've quickly realised it's not the actual tea leaves that are key here (although many do have medicinal benefits, see here). It's in the ritual of the making of said tea, that's the gold. That's what gives you permission to take a few minutes to yourself, to pause, a small retreat, to reflect, to bring yourself back into the reality of the moment (mindfulness) and to find joy in those moments. Also to experience a moment of certainty. Yes, there's a certain certainty in tea making.

The  Japanese get it. No other People have elevated the tea ritual to such great existential heights. The Japanese tea ceremony was in actual fact primarily influenced by Zen Buddhism as a transformative practice, a step towards enlightenment. It's based on two principles "sabis" and "wabis". Wabi means "quiet and sober refinement" and celebrates the "mellow beauty that time and care impart to materials". Sabi represents "embracing imperfection, cherishing our unpolished selves, here and now, just as we are". Don't you love it? I do.

Whether tea is your chosen ritual or not, a daily ritual (maybe it's coffee grinding, maybe it's  meditating, maybe it's weeding) gives space to just be - imperfections, dishevelments, quirkiness and all. Within the sacred moments of a daily ritual, there is space for silence and refinement. It's not like we naturally get many of those elsewhere in life. We have to work them in...


2 comments:

  1. Love this!
    Thank you :)

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  2. At 35 I'm not a tea or coffee drinker and 5 weeks started on a quitting sugar journey and forced myself for 4 weeks to drink tea until I liked it! Now I have 3 herbal teas, a gorgeous tea cup and a green tea and I LOVE TEA and the whole ritual of making it and the gorgeous tea cup etc. Wished I had of drank tea when my kids were little...I could have used the 5 minute break back then!

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