And what about music? We can use the same process here as with tea selection. Don’t just un-pause the iPod from its last outing. Tune in and see which music feels right now. What will go well with the tea you have just picked? What will balance your current mood? Or is it actually a day for silence? Again, go into the body and try to develop those Jedi powers. Turn off the rational computer and Use the Force, Luke! What music does the tea actually want to be drunk with? Notice if there is the tendency to avoid silent tea sessions. These are valuable too. Drinking tea is a good way of sort-of-doing-nothing. It is an excellent medium for being with uncomfortable emotions. There is something about the ritual and the warmth and the magic of tea that allows us to go further into this space than normal without getting overwhelmed, so Steer to the deep! and turn off the MP3s from time to time.
I’ll often sit down before I reach for the kettle and see if there are any issues that I need help resolving. I’m not advocating getting into a heavy inner-dialogue while you drink. Rather, notice what is there and acknowledge that it is an issue for you right now. Then let it go and trust in the tea. It’s rather like dropping a pebble into a deep well. You can trust it will find its way to the bottom.
And finally, we can go and draw the water. For some of us, this will mean a trip to the sink or unscrewing a bottle of Evian. Not all of us are lucky enough to have a Yixing jar of fresh mountain water in our tea room. But how we approach our water can make a considerable difference to our tea. For a start, all water, even tap water, benefits from sitting in a jar of nice clay for some time before we use it. If that jar is placed near some good vibes, like where we meditate, then all the better. This requires more preparation, of course, but it is really worth it. Like us, water thrives when it settles and mingles with boosting influences before the tea session begins. And besides, the best water will be at the top of a jar that has sat for a while, so we can draw it from there if we give it sufficient time.
So, let’s pause until next time, kettle in hand. Enjoy your tea.
Image courtesy of Global Tea Hut.