Zen in a cup of tea

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How easily can a cup of tea be taken for granted?

Before I went to Plum Village, I had no idea that I never knew how to truly enjoy a cup of tea, water or coffee. I used to gulp it down without a second thought.

It’s the same with every breath. We all know how to breathe, we can even do it unconsciously, but what happens when we take a moment to do it intentionally?

What happens if we take the time to drink it all in?

Drink tea and breathe

Every morning, I have a cup of coffee. Every afternoon, a cup of tea. But, for every cup, I don’t take the time to enjoy it, I am too busy doing something else at the same time.

Every moment, I am breathing. But, for every breath, I don’t take the time to appreciate it, I am too occupied by distractions that cause my mind to wander off into the past or future.

However, in reality, everything I need to do, or think about, is in the present moment. Only when I am in the present, does life become real.

No longer is my life just another distraction, another figment, another ghost.

Have you ever meditated on a cup of tea? When you meditate, first, you direct your concentration on an object, like the cup in your hands. Then you sustain and intensify your concentration on it, step by step. You will see things that cannot normally be seen.

For example, did you know that to see the clouds, you do not have to look up at the sky? There is a cloud, right there, in your tea. The water in your cup used to fly high in the sky. It used to run down mountains and along rivers and seas. It has been around the world a million times and back again. Now, it is in your hands, and in the air you are breathing right now. It may not look exactly like a cloud right now, but it is in there, do you see it?

When you realise this, your connection with your tea, your breath, and therefore the rest of the world, becomes deep and meaningful.

To be able to have a cup of tea is a wonder. To be able to breathe is a miracle.

Sip your tea. Take a deep breath. Come back to life.

-

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  • Http://zenpresence.com

    I see Thay in your post. How wonderful.

    • http://www.minimalstudent.com/ Jessica Dang | Minimal Student

      Thank you :) He is so inspiring.

  • Http://zenpresence.com

    I see Thay in your post. How wonderful

  • Dodge It.

    Oh god, Jessica, stop being SWPL (stuff white people like) and copying zen habits. Zen habits is shit. Write in your own voice. Like your All things Japanese blog – I dig that. Write to your true heart’s content and not some pretentious, pseudo SWPL drivel. With that said, I would still eat your Vietnamese dumpling, if you know what I mean.

    • http://www.minimalstudent.com/ Jessica Dang | Minimal Student

      There is no need for that. I am not trying to copy Zen Habits at all, if you don’t like it, please feel free to unsubscribe.

  • http://theeventualminimalist.blogspot.co.uk/ The Eventual Minimalist

    ‘There is a cloud, right there, in your tea. The water in your cup used to fly high in the sky. It used to run down mountains and along rivers and seas. It has been around the world a million times and back again. Now, it is in your hands, and in the air you are breathing right now.’

    Love this. What a beautiful post.

  • http://twitter.com/Worryfreewithme Brian

    This reminds me of something I read in a book once about 10 years ago, that talked about conscious breathing. It simply discuess the idea of taking note of your breath as you take it in. Feel it entering your longs. Envision it traveling outwards through your extremities all the way to your fingers and toes.

    I am sure this is some sort of meditation tool or zen technique but I am not very educated in that aspect of life yet. Regardless I always use this when I find myself stressed or in the process of something uneasy. It brings be back to one with what I am doing and reminds me that everything is going to be alright.

    Thanks for the post and for allowing me to recall a distant memory! :-)
    ~Brian

  • Emily

    Hi Jessica!
    Found your blog after remembering that times article i read a few years ago :) great to see a student minimalism blog – the times when you probably have the least space and most freedom anyway :) keep up the good work, love all your tips x

    • http://www.minimalstudent.com/ Jessica Dang | Minimal Student

      Thanks Emily for your encouraging comment!

  • Carolyn

    great post. Very insightful and deep. Can’t wait for the next

    • http://www.minimalstudent.com/ Jessica Dang | Minimal Student

      Thanks Carolyn :)

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  • Wendelherz/DictatorCat

    Thank you.