“Me Time” with
Alex Bohn from Fair-a-porter, looks into simple rituals from the world of tea and invites you to de-stress and find some “Me Time” with a simple, yet beautiful ritual: A tea mediation based on the Japanese tea ceremony. Have a look at her four-step-guide and you will be just a cup of tea away from pure bliss.
There’s a Japanese phrase – “ichi-go ichi-e” which means “one time, one meeting”. It is meant to remind us of the beauty of the present moment and that life is ever-changing. When you adopt this idea you drink your tea with complete awareness and appreciation of the moment.
Images taken by Anna Rosa Krau
Step 1 – Be in the moment
Here’s how to do it: Do every step of preparing your tea, to sitting down, to actually drinking, to finishing and cleaning up in mindfulness. That means – no checking your inbox, instagram or whatnot on your mobile in between, no flipping through the pages of a magazine or going over the list of groceries you need to get lateron. Give yourself completely to the process of preparing and drinking your tea. If your are in a communal space and colleagues want to chat you up, either include them in your ritual by inviting them to join you or kindly ask them to come back later. When you’re in private, don’t allow for distractions. Once you’ve made your tea find a nice and quite place to sit and drink it. Before drinking it take a moment to notice the aroma, the look and color of your tea.
Step 2 – Give thanks
Now this might sound weird, because at first sight whom should you thank when you’ve just made your own cup of tea? Again, reconsider. Contemplate on the fact that you can sit and enjoy a wonderful cup of warm tea when there are many people who don’t even have access to clean drinking water. Take a moment to be thankful for all the things that helped make your cup of tea a reality.
Step 3 – Drink your tea
Fully commit to the act of drinking your tea and take in all sensations that arise: From the taste of your tea to the feel of the teacup against your lips, from the way you deliberately pick up and set back your teacup. Gently acknowledge all sensations as well as thoughts and emotions that come with it. Observe them and let them flow through you. Understand that this moment and this tea will never exist again.
Step 4 – Give thanks
Giving thanks again like you did in the beginning helps you to put the tea and the meditation in perspective. Now you might feel like this blows an everyday kind of ritual out of proportion and puts too much weight on an otherwise fleeting moment. That’s the beauty of it, though. You take a chance on an everyday kind of moment and elevate it. Sen no Rikyu, the Japanese Tea Master said to his disappointed student, who had hoped to hear a greater truth about the Tea Ceremony: “When you can do all that well, then I will be your student.” Do give it a try and you will see the benefits of the tea meditation right away: It helps you cultivate a sense of gratitude for life, it helps you to de-stress and find greater peace of mind and it has all the benefits of meditating with mindfulness.