Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tea and Patience

Many things I enjoy require patience, including gardening, Tai Chi, golf, feeding my fish, and having tea.

I love to have tea because it trains you to have a lot of patience. Water is the mother of the tea. Waiting for the water to boil just slows down the step of your daily life. Waiting for the bubbles to surface, the steam to appear, and the water to begin hissing, are all time-consuming.

Before even drinking the tea, steps such as smelling the tea, warming the cup, putting the tea leaves in the cup, and wetting the tea leaves to let the taste seep out all require time. You need to quiet down your mind, just feel relaxed, and try to enjoy the whole process. The process will become a pleasure once you are able to quiet your mind.

Sometimes, although you may try to drink your tea one sip at a time, you may end up swilling the whole cup at once like a donkey. It takes patience to do everything slowly and gracefully. If your mind is not empty and relaxed, how can you enjoy the color, taste, fragrance, or shape of the tea? How can you identify if this tea is smooth, sweet, bitter, light or strong? Can you visit a village for just a few seconds and still enjoy the view? Imagine your cup of tea is like a village. Have patience and be relaxed, and then you can enjoy the details of your tea. Wander around and look for its character, its personality.

Why must we hurry to finish everything fast? The next time you are walking to work, or shopping in the grocery store, try doing it slowly. Be aware of the good feelings and let them last, just like having your tea.

copyrights Huan's Tai Chi 2011

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