I have never really meditated in my life, not even during yoga class when we need to focus on breathing. It is pretty complicated for me, a restless mind, to concentrate and keep my mind in the blank. It is like telling a kid not to jump on the bed; they will do it anyway when you are not watching. The mind works in the same way.
What if I tell you that meditating is thinking about nothing. That meditating is more than just sitting doing nothing. That you don’t have to sit like a Buddha for God knows how many hours. That there are more ways to meditate than we know. Everyone can be meditating while doing other activities such as gardening, doing the dishes, walking around the neighborhood, and so on. However, not everyone can meditate while doing as previously mentioned(me included). Luckily, I found tea meditation.
As the name suggests, it is meditation using tea as a medium. Crucial elements about this way to induce meditation are that the water and tea should be of high quality and one more detail is that the person brewing the tea should have the right mentality. The person involved in the tea brewing process should have a deep connection with the tea. That person does not need to be a tea master, but someone with enough skills and the disposition to serve others. Enter Bommie, the person who introduced me to this way of meditation.
I would describe Bommie as a person who has dedicated a considerable part of his life to learning the ways of mind and spirit liberation following wise teachings. Please don’t be distracted by his elderly Mr. Bean look with his exaggerated facial expressions; he is sensitive to emotions and an attentive listener who wants to know your story in detail. Along with his wife Zhuang Xi, who is also very wise and experienced, they hold tea meditation sessions.
Every time we begin our tea meditation sessions, Bommie will deliver a brief explanation of what tea mediation is(which I think is obvious). His brief intro feels like an invitation to allow your senses to see beyond, increase awareness (either mental or physical) within yourself.
(paraphrasing him, he would say something similar to the following)
First and foremost, it is good to be curious while practicing meditation. We should use that curiosity to go deep inside ourselves, go beyond our senses and find what is inside of us. Another element is that being critical and having expectations about meditation do not contribute to fruitful practice. Expectations are hardly ever fulfilled; expectations bring us to a moment that makes us feel unbalanced. The moments from the past or future are not the focus of meditation; we should focus on the present. That is why many spiritually inclined people tend to live a life without expectations. Having expectations condition us away from the moment we are looking, our moment of balance. We experience thoughts, emotions whether good or not; do not take part in them. Become a spectator, watch things happen, watch things come and go.
In the end, the purpose of meditation is to transcend everything and reach the depths of ourselves to reach our balanced state, achieve harmony within ourselves.
I have to say that is a lot to take when you meditate for the first time. One thing is for sure, It took me at least three meditation sessions to comprehend what is the purpose of meditating, and I feel very fortunate to Bommie’s and Zhuang Xi’s guidance ( Zhuang Xi is Bommie’s wife).
Meditation can lead to different interpretations of what a person can experience, feel or perceive. I have experienced joy and sadness, but the most important is that I transcended them, at least for a short moment (during meditation). I do not consider myself skillful at it. I am sure that I will find obstacles that will take me time to overcome; some are easy, others are hard.
One thing is for sure; I think if we all had this time, Quality time with ourselves, we could address our worries and concerns more calmly and constructively. I suggest for people that want to begin meditation or feel it is difficult to meditate, try using something as a medium that allows you to relax your mind. Drinking tea is a method; music also works out pretty well. You can also combine Tea and Music; the purpose is to reach that moment of balance. I hope, dear reader, that you give it a try as well.