Steeping in Stillness: Exploring the Art of Tea Meditation-Cured Leaves Tea
When we think about meditation, we probably think of someone sitting cross-legged on the floor, eyes closed with their hands resting on their thighs making an “Okay” symbol (gyan mudra is the official name of that hand positioning).
But meditation can actually be done almost anywhere at any time. And here at Cured Leaves Tea, we believe that drinking tea is a perfect opportunity to meditate.
Meditation is not only a core component of our approach to tea, but we also believe it is essential to developing positive mental health. And since May is Mental Health Awareness Month, this is the perfect time to discuss meditation, tea, and their combined impact on mental health.
What Is Meditation?
As we mentioned, meditation is often associated with a specific activity, usually connected to Buddhism. But we prefer a simpler, more general definition that’s not tied to a single religion or philosophy:
Meditation is a mental exercise that trains attention and awareness.
For us, meditation is about focusing our minds so that we can gain clarity and calmness about the challenges we face—and the strength to overcome them. Meditation is more about focusing on breathing and noticing the world around us as interpreted through the senses.
The Role of Tea in Meditation
Our tagline “Steep. Sip. Breathe.” succinctly captures how we view the role of tea in meditation.
Steep, of course, refers to steeping the tea. Generally, our teas are best when steeped for 3 – 5 minutes. While the tea steeps, it is building its strength. So, too, do we see this as an opportunity for the tea drinker to build their strength. It’s a moment to calm the mind and to prepare oneself for the meditation session ahead of them. Steeping tea can be a ritual in and of itself, and over time, the mind can find focus and comfort in the repetition of the ritual.
Sip refers to tasting the tea. As mentioned, meditation is about making a conscious effort to focus the mind. This phase is about engaging and raising awareness of all our senses. What does it sound like when the tea pours into their mug? What does that mug feel like in your hand? What scents does the drinker detect when sipping the tea? What color is the tea? What flavors are detected?
Breathe refers to paying attention to our breath throughout the entire process. This key part of meditation—which makes it something a person can really do anywhere at almost any time—is about finding a comfortable rhythm for our breath. When we achieve a regular breathing pattern, our bodies naturally relax, our minds focus, and we can start to place intention.
Ultimately, these three phases combine to create a mindset and environment where the drinker can open themselves to the healing powers of tea meditation. In our experience, this meditation can lead us down a path of healing, healthier living, and improved mental health. We invite you to contact us if you’d like to learn more about using tea in your own meditative practice.
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