Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Zen of Tea Time

"Drink your tea slowly and reverently,
as if it is the axison which the world earth revolves-
slowly, evenly, without
rushing toward the future;
Live the actual moment.
Only this moment is life."
- Thich Nhat Hanh

Drinking tea is the perfect meditation for me at the end of the day. It is a tactile, sensuous experience. First I shut my eyes, cupping my hands around the large shiny black mug, my palms warmed by the steaming hot liquid. I press my bottom lip carefully to the rim, and before sipping breathe in very slowly through my nose. The minty aroma creeps up my nostrils, cleansing sinus cavities, and as I exhale I feel a tingling at the top of my head where the “third eye” is supposed to be. I open my eyes and catch a glimpse of my reflection wavering on the surface.

I take a sip. I feel it on my tongue and teeth, the back of my throat, then it cascades down my esophagus like contrast dye highlighting vital organs to be seen in an ultrasound picture, each body part lights up as it is warmed by my chamomile tea.

I blissfully swallow the drink bit by bit until I can see the bottom of the deep dark mug, the temperature now not quite so hot. I let the last sip linger in my mouth for awhile before swallowing.

Right now I feel like a calm person. I don’t even care that I need an herbal aide to meditate.


  1. Madeleine,

    Since you are a tea fan you should stop by the Baltimore Coffee and Tea Company in Lutherville/Timonium. They have a reasonable selection of tea. I stop there each time I go to Wegman's or the Natural Market.


  2. What an amazing post! I LOVE drinking hot tea but I've never meditated while drinking tea, I'll definitely give it a try very soon. I love your writing style and I'm so glad I found your blog.

    Thank you for stopping by my blog, I really appreciate your comment:)

  3. thanks for the tip on the wizard of floyd. never thought about it... but maybe will give it a listen. :O)

  4. Dear Madeleine,

    Thanks for dropping by my blog. I see you have an interesting blog too and I'll find my time to view all your post when I'm free enough.

    Drinking Chinese tea is good for health and for calming too. We everyday drinking Chinese tea with my family.

    Wish you have a nice day & much happiness!

    by Jenny Malaysia.

  5. Really lovely post. Tea time can be such an important moment and part of the day. You described the intensity and power of it so well. Take care! xxx

  6. Thank you so much for popping by my place! I'll be back soon!

  7. Thanks for all the great comments everyone! I love my new blogger friends.


  8. We love you, too :D

    Tea is great, I have it at lunch. Coffee in the morning.

    Greetings from Finland!

  9. Relaxing over a mug of tea is very good for you. I can not agree more but I love the way you wrote too. To take some minutes to relax every day is aggod things to do too. Glad I found your blogg.

  10. I think the act of drinking anything slowly, letting it curl around your tongue and fill your mouth, is relaxing. I don't do tea, but I know that sipping ice cold water on a really hot day or holding a hot mug of milk (don't judge!) and slurping it just before bed relaxes me.

    Great post :)