Recently at work, I have been asked by a small group of people to lead a meditation. These people are all beginners and have little knowledge of what meditation is or how to 'do' it. I am definately no expert in teaching meditation, but have a regular practice of meditating for three and a half years. From my experience meditation is about stopping, and sitting in awareness. In the beginning of my meditation, I needed to focus on something so that my mind wouldn't wonder off. I used a simple cup of tea to meditate on. I became more calm in the mornings, and started my day in a positive way! Meditation doesn't need to take a long time, just a few moments to start does a wonder of good!
I am juggling between being a Mother of two young boys, a wife, running a business, studying and working part time....and I can honestly say one thing:- I have never been more calm, nor see things with more clarity than I do right now. This is broken down to one thing: Making time for myself to 'check in'.... respecting myself enough to STOP! One of the ways I do this is through a daily meditation involving drinking my tea every morning.
Having a regular practice makes space in your mind..... space to step back! There is a terrific way to start the day which involves a simple technique of meditating over a beautifully brewed cup of tea......Find a place where you won't be disturbed (as best as you can). This is a time to focus on one thing at a time. Hot tea is the perfect tool for this. If you shift your focus you can burn yourself or spill the tea over furniture. So, you will have a constant reminder to be still in awareness!
What you want to do is make a ritual for yourself- something you enjoy and look forward to doing.... Some people light a candle, or sit in a place to look outside over a garden, or you can look at your beautiful tea set!.... Find something that keeps you coming back every morning (or whenever you choose to do your tea meditation).
Tea is a perfect tool for those new to meditation. We are after a single focus, to make our mind focus on one thing. I start with awareness of the aroma of the tea, picking it up, I take three deep breaths, before placing a beautiful cup to my mouth and feeling the cup on my lower lip. I then practice a breathing technique I do when consuming all of my teas.... I breathe in when taking a sip, I hold the tea with my breath whilst in my mouth, then swallow the tea before breathing out. If you practice this method of breathing whilst drinking your tea two things will happen:-
1. Your heart rate will slow
2. You will taste more of your tea.
This beautiful cyclical pattern of breathing is something that can help you drop into stillness almost immediately. Play around with your ritual. Get into being the calmer version of yourself! Try meditating with your next cup of tea.
Awareness is only one cup away!