Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Meditations on morning tea

This morning, as with all mornings, I poured myself a cup of tea from my teapot. It was a lapsang souchong - a smoky tea that is soothing but also a strong cup of wakeup. It doesn't just sit there. It pulls you into your day.

After the first few sips, I began to meditate on my tea and my morning ritual.  It was not just me waking up and getting a cup of tea.  It was a ritual that I have built over time.  I thought about what went into this pot of tea I was enjoying.  It was more than just tea leaves and water. There was a whole ceremony around my morning tea that has become a welcoming experience.

Part of it started months ago when I bought a new teapot. I took my time to find just the right one -  simple and white so as not to distract me and not to take away from a peaceful morning.  It has just the right kind of strainer that I enjoy. Not so fussy as to require straining with every cup, but requiring that the strainer be cleaned between each pot. The spout is just above the water line so that water doesn't pour out when I overfilled it, as I am want to do. The tea itself was picked from a larger metal canister weeks ago from my favorite coffee and tea store - Porto Rico Importing Company. Between pots it sits in a small, double lidded metal canister to keep it fresh.  

Each of these things reflects a side of me, the practical and the dreamer.  Each of these is now a part of my morning tea experience. It was cultivated from trying different pots and cups and teas.  Until I found what works for me.  The fact that I use my wife's coffee measure, only filling it three-quarters of the way full, is the result of experimenting until I found just the right level for a good pot of tea. It is also a small symbol of us, instead of just me.

You see, my cup of tea is not just the act of me pouring out tea from a pot. It is the result of trying something - tea - and then refining it for my own personality.  My own Simple Truth, as it were.

That is how life is.  It is about learning from someone else, then adapting it for yourself.  It is about not changing who you are inside, but constantly adapting and evolving to the universe around you.  

That is how we grow, while still staying true to our own Simple Truth. 

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