July 24, 2012

Slowly and Reverently

Vintage Teacup by HummingBoxStudios
There are so many stories and lives that fill my one cup of tea. So many to give thanks to. There's the earth and rain that made the clay possible. The potter that shaped the clay into a tea cup. The man who planted the tea and the woman who picked it. The cow that gave milk. The children that looked after the cow. The man who sold me the tea cup. The woman who brewed it for me. So many things need to come together for one perfect cup of tea that I often just gulp, my mind in a million other places.
What if I paid more attention to the tea I drank, that culmination of so many lives and the intersection of so many stories? What if I relished every drop, and tasted every sip fully? Would my tea taste the same? Perhaps I'd feel the rich nuances of flavour, or appreciate the experience more holistically. As Zen Buddhist master Thich Naht Hahn says, Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the earth revolves - slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future. Live the actual moment. Only this moment is life.
Ah, to live the moment. I could do so much more if I lived the moment. No thinking. Just being. But first there is the mind to be tamed, my eager pendulum between a projected future and the cache of the past. I'm sure it can be done though, and I'm sure I could do it. It all starts with making the most of every sip. 

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