Feasting at Home : September 2011

September 21, 2011

Dragon Pearl Green Tea

Tea is nought but this: First you heat the water, 
Then you make the tea.
Then you drink it properly.
That is all you need to know. 
Sen RikyuZen Tea Master  1522-1591

There is something about the act of making and drinking tea that brings us back to ourselves.

Often, we loose ourselves somewhere during the busyness of the day. Running here, running there...scattered, tired, trying to get everything done. We spread ourselves too thin and give bits and  pieces of ourselves away through out the day, until there is nothing left to give. And in our haste to get as much done as possible, we begin to act out of our periphery, rather than our core or center. We disconnect with who we are. On days like this, we need a reset set button. 

Tea time is a way to turn everything off, and reboot from the center of your being.
It doesn't have to take long, but its effects are life changing.
So try this next time you feel overwhelmed.
Take a few minutes to make some tea and sit and be.

I wish I could say I do it everyday... I believe I would become a better person with this one simple act.

I sit and wait for the water to boil, and look out the window.
For a few minutes I actually see what I am looking at.
Leaves fall silently to the ground. 
Brilliant reds and golden yellows glimmer in the light.
It's mesmerizing. Beautiful. Calming. 
I feel a sense of awe. Unexplainable. But in this place, everything is just as it should be.  
Had I not been consciously watching, I would have missed it completely.
I read once that in every single moment there is a gift, if only you open your eyes.

The kettle begins to whistle and I pour the water into the tea pot and let it seep.
Little green pearls open up their arms and float to the top. They appear to be reaching up to me.

I pull my mother's favorite tea cup and saucer down from the shelf.
It is a little frilly.... but I decide to use it anyways. 
It is so light and delicate I could crush it in my hand.
But holding it, I understand why she loved it so much.
Someone actually made this....a very long time ago. 
And somehow this fragile little tea cup has survived.
Surpassing even her.

I pour the tea into the cup and inhale. 

Jasmine Dragon Pearl green tea comes from the misty mountains of Fujian Province, China. It is almost if I am transported there. The most tender tea leaves and buds are hand picked in the early spring and gently  hand rolled into small balls the size of pearls. This is an 800 year tradition.

Drink it in.
The whole of our lives. All we have lived through.. has brought us here. 
To this one moment. 

Unexplainable gratitude comes, filling me.
I am again restored, back to myself.
Words only diminish it.
I stop writing ....and drink.

"Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis
on which the world earth revolves - slowly, evenly, without
rushing toward the future. Live the actual moment.
Only this moment is life."
By Thich Nhat Hanh