Ritual, as defined by Webster’s, is an activity that is done in accordance with social custom or normal protocol:

1: of or relating to rites or a ritual:ceremonial ritual dance, 2: according to religious law, or purity, 3: done in accordance with social custom or normal protocol. 

We have many rituals that we participate in every day; just think about your mornings. Do you have certain routines you follow daily? Brushing one’s teeth might be such a ritual. How we wash ourselves in the shower might follow a certain order. Take a look at how you dress each day. Is there a consistent sequence in which you put on your shoes and socks? Many Americans start their day with a cup of coffee that is brewed in a specific way. If we took the time to closely observe our actions throughout the day, we would begin to notice many rituals that become unconscious activities that shape our lives.

Rituals give structure, meaning, and order to our lives. What if they also brought greater peace and improved health? I would like to invite you to create a tea ritual in your life. By simply taking a few moments to drink a cup of tea every day, you are likely to improve your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

Why not replace the standard “coffee break” with a much more elegant tea break? Unlike coffee, tea does not cause a physiological crash an hour after ingestion. Take a few minutes and simply empty your mind while you savor the delicate taste of a white or green tea and create a sustainable spaciousness that can accompany you through the rest of the day.

My favorite tea ritual takes place on Sunday morning. My husband and I like to unplug on Sundays and have a lazy, relaxing day, which can include a hike if we’re so inclined. Something wonderful has evolved over the years that I’m so delighted to enjoy each week. My dear husband brings us both tea in bed. It’s a special time to sip tea and talk in an unhurried way. It feels so warm and cozy, as if we’ve created a special retreat for ourselves. Not having to get out of bed for this simple pleasure somehow makes this ritual especially appreciated. The view of Mt. Hood is what we both marvel at as we’re lying in bed enjoying our tea.

When I worked outside the home, my favorite time to enjoy tea was at home after work. It provided a clear distinction between work time and personal time. The luxury of a few quiet moments and a delicious cup of tea helped me transition from the stimulation of making things happen to the anticipation of relaxation.

Drinking tea with a meal is another wonderful opportunity to benefit from tea’s powerful antioxidants as well as aid in the digestion of oils and other heavy foods.

What is your favorite tea ritual?

Image provided and copyright held by author

Originally posted in April 2013 by Michelle Rabin