Do you have a favorite self-care ritual that uplifts your energy and improves the quality of your day? For me, that would be my tea meditation. I’ve written about it before, but it has such a positive effect and has evolved over time, so I’m writing about it again. I don’t do it every day. There are even times when I skip an entire week. But when I do it, everything about it feels great.
I find that doing tea meditation works best in the morning because it sets a tone for the day and sets a stream of positive momentum in motion. If I wake up feeling down or off, doing tea meditation soon after getting out of bed uplifts my energy and gets it flowing in a more positive direction. It helps me get back in alignment with my true self, which is a mighty awesome feeling.
So, how to do tea meditation? The first step involves tuning in to intuition. Which teacup do you feel most drawn to? What shape or color? What flavor tea do you want to taste? And then the question that sets tea meditation apart from just enjoying a cup of tea: What energy or essence do you want to infuse the tea with? What do you really thirst for today?
Sometimes you might not be able to answer that question right away, and that’s okay. Just start making the tea. Boil the water, pour it into the teacup or mug that feels best, drop in a teabag, and sweeten it a bit if it feels right. The answer might come while you do these steps. But no worries if it doesn’t. There’s still time.
It’s easy to fall into habit and grab your usual teacup and tea blend without thinking about it, but this is an invitation to be more present and aware. Take a deep breath, tune in to yourself, and ask: What do I really want? What feels right? Those are great questions to practice, in general, and tea meditation is a small but worthwhile opportunity to exercise the muscles of intuition and presence.
I have a special spot on my meditation altar for my tea meditation mug, as well as a teeny-tiny (only two inches in diameter) plate for placing the teabag when it’s done steeping. You don’t need a special altar for it. The intention is what matters, and you can bring that anywhere.
As the teabag steeps in the steaming water, take a few moments to get centered. I do this on my meditation cushion, but again, you can do it anywhere. You might begin by focusing on your breath or doing a brief meditation practice (brief because you don’t want the tea to get cold!). Then tune into your energy, and consider what quality you’d like to activate or expand. That is the kind of tea you will prepare! For example, you might choose:
- Gratitude Tea
- Love Tea
- Empowerment Tea
- Prosperity Tea
- Joy Tea
- Willpower Tea
- Peace Tea
- Alignment Tea
The possibilities are endless. If you want, you could even write the name of the tea on the teabag label to strengthen the intention. Cinnamon Rose tea is lovely, but Cinnamon Rose Love Tea totally rocks! 🙂
If you have a vision board, consider placing it in front of you. You can focus on some of your vision board images during your tea meditation, if it resonates.
Now, get comfortable, hold your teacup or mug in your hands, and feel the warmth. Then focus on the kind of energy you want to infuse your tea with. You could start with just the word: love, prosperity, etc. Imagine the word going into your tea. Better yet, conjure images and feelings that activate that quality, and put them in your tea. Feel the feelings as best you can. If you’re steeping Prosperity Tea, for example, what would prosperity look and feel like? Does it look like standing on a tropical beach? Does it feel like the excitement of getting on an airplane to go someplace you’ve always wanted to go? Have you experienced that feeling before? Bring up the memory, and feel the feeling again. Let it infuse every cell of your being!
Spend at least five minutes focusing on the quality of energy you want to awaken and expand, and imagine it going into the tea. Give it your all – the sky’s the limit – and make it awesome! Then start sipping the tea. Imagine yourself drinking in deeply that energy/quality/essence. Feel it becoming part of you.
This morning, I couldn’t decide on a particular energy or quality for my tea, and then a little voice in my head exclaimed, “Then make Feel-Good Tea!” So I focused on the best feelings I could remember experiencing. Some examples are:
- Completing a work of art that turned out better than I ever imagined
- Balancing a particularly challenging, crescent-moon shaped rock (that seemed impossible to balance, but I believed I could do it)
- Being offered a full-time teaching job
- Discovering what my parents left behind for us because they loved us so much
- Watching the full moon rise over the sea
- Feeling the energy of the sunrise on the seashore
- Meeting my children for the first time and feeling empowered by the birth experiences
- Being on retreat at Light on the Hill retreat center
- Getting married
- Decluttering a room in my house and feeling the amazing energy flow
- Experiencing and photographing a glorious moment in nature
- Feeling deeply connected while breastfeeding my babies and gazing into their peaceful/blissful face as they relax into sleep nourished by love
- Gliding on the river in my kayak.
You also could project forward (which is where a vision board is useful), and imagine how great it will feel when you achieve or become what the images and words on your vision board represent. Imagine yourself there now, and focus on the feelings! Send them into your tea.
Tea meditation is such a lovely ritual, full of warmth and good feelings. When the weather is hot, you could do this meditation with a beverage that feels refreshing and nourishing, such as infused water.
If you try it, I would love to hear how it went for you and what kind of tea you made. Send me an email, comment below, or comment on my Facebook page!
© 2018 Susan Meyer. All rights reserved. To use any or all of this blog post, include this exactly: Susan Meyer (River-Bliss.com) is a contemplative photographer, writer, educator, and artist who lives on the Hudson River. Her work combines her passion for photography and writing with her deep interest in the nature of mind and perception and her love of the natural world.