Hugo's Tea Meditation
- Small teapot and small teacups
- Good quality water
- Tea kettle
- Your favorite premium tea
- Good nose and a willing palate
- Optional: Paper and pen for your thoughts
Atmosphere: Find a quiet, beautiful place (or create your own, anywhere you might be)
Directions: Alone or with friends, place a teaspoon of tea into the palm of your hand. Take a breath and exhale through your nose, warming the leaves in your palm. The aroma will begin to unfold. Slowly inhale the fragrance of the dried leaves. Use an extra cup or saucer to hold the tea while you –
Rinse your teapot and cups with hot water. Add the tea to the warmed pot and again smell the leaves. The heat will intensify the aroma. What aromas, what thoughts come to mind? Use your imagination to see where the aroma takes you.
Once you pour hot water into the pot try the same process. Are there new or different aromas or memories? Take a few deep breaths and allow yourself to relax a little deeper into your thoughts as you let the tea steep. Breathe in the aroma again as you pour it into cups. Sip, close your eyes and observe the first taste on your palate. You may find yourself wanting to edit your response, but stay open to your ideas even if your first thought is that it just tastes like tea. Sip again and note the flavors, perhaps similarities to other foods, beverages, or aromas from nature. Memory and imagination play a huge part in the depth of experience. Pour another cup, this one stronger from a longer steep, and note how the flavor has evolved. Pour more hot water into the pot to steep a second time. A fine tea can withstand several steepings without loss of quality. You may find the third steeping is the most appealing or a longer steeping creates your favorite flavor.
Take your time. It’s a great gift to yourself. Each steeping can be fast or slow, depending on what your taste buds dictate. By using and developing your intuition you increase the potential of your palate to recognize changes. Notice the changes from pot to pot, cup to cup. Notice aftertaste by sipping air through pursed lips and over your tongue. Tomorrow you might have a very different experience with the same tea – because you, the tea, your memories and sense of observation will all be alive with more experience.