Tea Meditation: Sweet Self Talk
I'm excited to add a NEW TEA MEDITATION SERIES to my blog on specific tea meditations for you to try.
Today I will introduce a meditation I call SST or "Sweet Self Talk".
Many of us have an inner critic that runs commentary in the background of our minds. It's important to know that just because we have a thought, it doesn't mean we have to believe it. The more we can shine some light on this background noise the less power it will have over us.
Both in our daily life and in this meditation, our negative self talk might pop up. If so, don't try & squash it. Try instead to acknowledge it, thank it, and then let it be. This is like shining a candle in darkness. The room will be lit and the thought can kindly see its way out. Know that thoughts like this may come and go. Congratulate yourself on getting familiar with your thought patterns.
The purpose of this tea meditation is to learn to recognize when we are talking to ourselves in unkind ways, beating ourselves up, holding ourselves to unrealistic standards, or considering ourselves lacking & unworthy.
With this tea meditation we can also learn to create the healthy habit of tuning into things we like about ourselves. This tea meditation only takes 10 minutes each day. When we practice it daily, we bring awareness to what we like about ourselves which will in turn give us a more complete and honest reflection of who we are.
Before sitting down to this tea meditation mindfully prepare yourself a cup of tea of your choice. When I say "mindfully prepare", I simply mean that you should focus only on making your cup of tea. This is not a time to multi-task. Once you start making your tea, the mediation has begun. What do you see? What aromas are present? What do you hear? What do you feel? Even before you taste the tea, what do you taste in your mouth? These are the questions you can focus on while you make your tea, paying attention, without judging anything as good or bad.
The tea is made. Now we are ready for the SST meditation!
1. Find a comfortable table to sit at and place your tea cup in front of you. Sit in whatever way feels good to you. Pay attention to your breath. Breathing in slowly through the nostrils and out slowly through the mouth. You may experience resistance and feel quite restless. That's okay. Welcome these feelings in and just return to your breath.
2. Bring your teacup up to your lips and feel the warmth of the tea nearby. What do you see, smell, and feel? Slowly take a first sip and allow the tea to linger. What do you taste? What do you feel? What do you hear? Take a few more sips in this manner, continuing to relax and simply be with your tea.
3. When you are ready and your mind has settled, become aware of your body and bring something to mind that you like or appreciate about your body. It might be a physical feature like the color of your eyes or texture of your hair, or it can be a quality such as flexibility, strength, or agility. As soon as you have something you like, allow yourself to marinate in this thought and welcome this experience of loving kindness toward yourself. Sip your tea. Breathe. Ahhhhh. :)
4. After a few minutes of focus on kind thoughts toward your body, focus on the mind, paying attention to qualities of your brain and emotional experience you like. Ask yourself what you appreciate about your way of thinking, your perceptions, your insight, and your personality. Once something comes to mind, again allow yourself to marinate in that thought and experience this self appreciation. Sip your tea. Breathe. Ahhhhh. :)
5. Now focus on your spirit or essence. What is something that makes you, you? Something that is the core of your being. This can be trickier to focus on so just meditate on the word, "essence", and see what pops up. Maybe its love, hope, truth, empathy, justice, peace, joy or some other spirit-filled word. Once you have it, soak it in. How does that feel to connect yourself with this word? Sip your tea. Breathe. Ahhhhh. :)
6. For the last few minutes of the tea meditation, return to focusing on your five senses, the same five senses you tuned into when you were preparing your tea.
As you experience each sense with your tea, take time to appreciate the beauty & pleasure the sense has given you. Reflect also on how each sense allows you to experience the beauty of this world and those you love. What a gift your senses are and what a gift you are!
Try this mediation daily for the next week or two and see how things shift for you. Perhaps you can try it each morning as you have your tea. It's wonderful to start each day with loving self talk, setting the tone for the rest of your day!