A lesson on mindfulness

When one month’s warmth gives way to another’s chill, the sun’s early descent into nightfall beckons a seasonal shift. Trees shed their vibrant green hue in solemn deference, and cool winds nip at our heels to quicken our steps. Waning daylight hours are proof of just one thing: autumn’s arrival. As our skin goes from sunkissed to wind-flushed, consider these little moments. Appreciate the changing of seasons and the wordless passage of time. Practice mindfulness. Because when we stop to reflect on the seconds that tick by, each one becomes that much more meaningful. 

Practicing mindfulness spans the complex, mundane, and everything in between. Mindfulness simply refers to the act of reflecting upon the beauty of the present moment. The Japanese character for mindfulness actually alludes to the word’s meaning. 

The kanji symbol consists of an upper and lower part which denote the present moment and the mind or heart, respectively. In concert, the two symbolize the harmony between mind and heart in the current moment, in full awareness and appreciation of life itself. Drinking tea, then, exemplifies the sort of unhurried contemplation that proper mindfulness requires. When you adopt this idea, you drink your tea with a humble perception that cultivates a sense of gratitude for life. 

Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh instills the same kind of appreciation in his powerful teachings and bestselling writings regarding mindfulness and peace. His dogma claims that through mindfulness we can learn to live happily in the present moment. In fact, he lauds this as the only way to truly develop peace in one’s self or in the world. As an aspiration to practice mindfulness in accordance with the teachings of this global spiritual leader, poet, and peace activist, we offer an intentional, curated selection of organic, consciously sourced fine teas. Each of these caddies is inscribed with calligraphic expressions of Thich Nhat Hanh’s notions of enlightenment. As such, we encourage you to ritualise every cup of tea as a lesson on mindfulness and experience your guiding senses. When enjoyed with the energy of mindfulness and true presence, we can experience a profound, awakened connection with ourselves, our bodies, and our beloved mother earth.

Tibetan Buddhism espouses beliefs centering on the importance of mindfulness which permeates mind, body, and soul. TIbetan Buddhism mirrors other forms of Buddhism in that it encourages spiritual development in pursuit of Buddhahood or enlightenment in order to help other individuals do the same. Unique to Tibetan Buddhism, however, is the idea that the mind is dependent on a subtle energy within the body known as the Lungta. Lungta, or wind horse, is a mythical Tibetan creature whose storied speed and strength grant it the ability to carry prayers from earth to the heavens. This Tibetan lore was the inspiration for our green tea blend, Lungta Spirit.  A vehicle of enlightenment, we associate Lungta Spirit with positive energy and good luck. Mythology as our ongoing dialogue with spirituality, Lungta Spirit offers the perfect allegory to inspire personal rituals in our everyday lives. The mindful composition of toasty Hojicha green tea, smoky Lapsang Souchong black tea and sweet blueberry leaves, creates a unique experience that reminds us of the still and subdued temples of Eastern philosophies.

Another artefact of eastern philosophy is the art of tea meditation. This practice takes mindfulness a step further, helping destress and realize greater peace of mind. Tea meditation is a simple ritual, the mere action of completing every step of tea preparation with a careful attention to the action at hand. From watching the plumes of steam rise from the hot water, to the color seeling from the submerged leaves, to taking a seat at your breakfast nook, to the first too-hot sip of tea meeting your lips, to the last drop as it falls from the upturned cup. Distance yourself from the distractions of a vibrating phone or an overflowing inbox, and just relinquish yourself to the process of making and drinking your tea. As you do, take a moment for contemplation. Reflect on the privilege it is to enjoy a cup of delicious tea in silence, unencumbered by worries or stress. Take a moment to be thankful for all the things that helped make your cup of tea a reality. If you’re sipping a cup of our brand new Tian Chi, think of its journey from the acclaimed Fujian, China region to your kitchen. A descendant of the Narcissus cultivar, this tea is produced by plucking one bud and two leaves. Peer down at the color of the infusion; the Tian Chi leaves produce a clear bright apricot colored cup, with a natural gentle herbaceous and floral fragrance. Finally, the cup delights with a gentle floral and peppery finish. Gently acknowledge all sensations as well as thoughts and emotions that flow through you as you savor the cup. Understand that this moment and this tea will never exist again.

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