I took a break from work today to have a cup of my favourite Jasmine tea. Whilst I was sipping my tea, I thought of Thich Nhat Hanh’s words:
“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.”
Easier said than done! Often it takes a while for a busy mind to slow down. There is a period at the start of meditation when the thoughts continue to arise quickly, and in their multitudes, and we have to gently tell them that this is not the time; that it’s ok to be slow and quiet. It takes a few minutes but the brain soon learns that it is not expected to generate new thoughts at this time and it gradually settles.
This afternoon, I was doing something quite different and the idea of a mindful tea-bag popped up. So, I made one out of tracing paper on an old book. I like it. It seems to me that there’s a similarity between putting the tea bag in water and watching it diffuse before you drink your tea, and sitting with the breath at the start of meditation and letting the words in your head slowly fade.
So my mindful teabag is a reminder to me that when my mind gets busy and my body tense, I can imagine surrounding my chattering thoughts with clear water. I can feel my mind calm and my neurones relax as I let go of the words buzzing around my head. I can let those frantic thoughts diffuse like tea infusing water.
Then, I can rest in this quiet before continuing with the rest of my day feeling clear and refreshed!