A Zen Tea Ceremony

At the Shaolin Temple, novice monks are taught to be present in everything they do. In our fast paced modern life this is impossible.  If  we are always fully present then our mind will overload so we need to perform some actions automatically. But if we are always mindless and our mind is always on the run we will become increasingly burnt out, stressed and unhappy.
We rest and look after our body, so why do we not take as much care with our mind as we do our body? 
Bringing our heart and mind into the present moment is the Zen Masters secret to real happiness. There are many ways we can do this. And one way is to have a simple Zen Tea Ceremony.

Zen Tea Ceremonies, alongside calligraphy and martial arts are tools that Shaolin Temple disciples use to hone, focus, and sharpen their mind.

The Art of Tea was born in the Zen Temples of China. But you don't need to be a Buddhist or go to a temple to experience this profound art, you can have a Zen Tea Ceremony in your home.

It's good to do a drinking tea meditation on a daily or weekly basis. You can do it on your own or with other people.  If you do it with other people then practice in silence.

Six Simple Steps To Having A Zen Tea Ceremony In Your Home

Put aside a set time
If you're doing it every day then let's say fifteen minutes. Switch off or silence your phone so you will have no distractions.

Set your motivation

Tell yourself: For the next fifteen minutes every time I get distracted I'm going to bring myself back to the present moment.

Boil the kettle

You can use English tea but I use Flowering Green Tea. This is the tea we use in our tea ceremonies at The Shaolin Temple and the fragrance immediately invokes a feeling of well-being and wisdom.

Watch The Lotus Flower Bloom

Pour the water over the tea ball and sit with the tea in front of you.
As I watch the tea ball unfurl, I think of the lotus flower and the inner potential we all have to be peaceful urban warriors.
It takes about five minutes for the flower to unfurl, during that time, sit and watch your breathing.
Drink Your Tea Not Your Thoughts

Once the flower has blossomed, cup both hands around the cup, and drink your tea slowly.
Inhale the tea, taste the tea, feel the sensation of  the tea and what effect it has on your mind and body.
If you drink tea while thinking about your worries then you are not drinking tea, you are drinking your worries. Live only for this moment.

Once you've finished, as with any good quality green tea, you can continue to make at least four cups.
I always feel refreshed and at peace after performing this simple tea ceremony. I feel more connected to myself , the Shaolin Temple and the great Zen masters who even though I may never have met, I take as my masters, and hope they accept me as their disciple.

Try it and let me know how you feel. 

It's great to do at the end or beginning of your Qigong session.  
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