This year I’m all about finding my Zen and in order to do that I have taken up all things Zen’y. From purchasing motivational books to doing yoga classes after work to searching for meditation retreats and finding Tea Meditation ones!
I was intrigued when I stumbled upon the advert about the tea meditation and wanted to see what it was about. So with excitement I called my bestie to ask if she would tag along. I booked and paid and we were set for Sunday meditation.
Based in Parkmore Sandton- The Nan Hua Meditation Centre is set perfectly within the quiet suburbs allowing to enjoy nature at its best! Upon arrival we were greeted with love and warmth and escorted to our table. The Tea Meditation itself was set outside under an enormous tree with beautiful music playing in the background to calm. The setting was perfect and allowed us to really connect with all things that surrounded us. It was strange because even though there was hustle and bustle on the street, not once did I feel my concentration get lost over the noise of the outside world.
As the tables slowly filled up, we enjoyed the tranquility of the space and just sat there quietly taking it all in. The Tea Meditation started at 9am sharp with no one allowed in as it would disrupt the session.
The Tea Meditation session was conducted by a Buddist Monk- The Master that only spoke in Mandarin- Don’t worry, there was a lovely gentlemen that translated everything in English for us as he spoke us through the session. That in it’s self was so awesome. Learning about different cultures only enriches the mind, body and soul.
The Master started the session and we were asked to be in complete silence through out. With beautiful music playing in the background, we were asked to get seated comfortably in our chairs and to close our eyes for a 30 minute meditation. Honestly for me it flew by! It felt like 10 minutes had passed until we opened our eyes to see a beautiful display of teapots, cups and boards.
The Gong sounded and The Master called upon the Tea Practitioners to start the Tea Meditation. They all gracefully filled the tables one by one and proceeded with the art of tea making. As we sat in silence watching the Tea practitioner go through the process of showing us the dried tea leaves, allowing us to smell the aroma of the tea and eventually tasting the tea after it had brewed.
The process of the tea making took about 35 minutes in total. The Master had explained that the reason why the tea making is long is so that by focusing your mind and energy on the task of making the tea, it allows your mind to be focused on only that and to allow you to have complete peace of mind- a time out, if we could call it that. We were all captivated my the easy flow of the tea practitioner and the elegance she displayed throughout the process.
Once all the tea had been sipped away, the Tea Meditation had come to an end and the tables were cleared. I was a bit sad that it had concluded so quickly but to my surprise we had one more thing to do. All the Tea Practitioners had been dismissed all for 2 which asked us to make a big circle around them. They then went on to tell us that we would practice Thai Chi to conclude our day before the feedback session. I was thrilled about this as I have been wanting to do Thai Chi for so long! (I told you I was all about being Zen’y!)
Thai Chi is amazing and I would definitely take it up! It was the perfect end to an amazing experience.
The Meditation came to and end and we were all welcomed to have some drinks and snacks and to sit around for the feedback session. It was really beautiful to see how the experience had moved people in many different ways. People young and old, stood up and shared their experience with the Master. There was one person in particular that stood out for me that had said, this experience for her had really opened her eyes to how fast paced our life is and that by a simple task as making tea could ground a person so much. She continued on to say that every weekend she and her grandchild sit around the kitchen table and have tea together and that by doing so she is taking time out and sharing a special moment with her grandchild- with tears in her eyes she said, in that moment when I look at my grandchild, that is when I realize that nothing matters in life other then special moments like those, and she thanked the class.
The Tea Meditation not only taught me to enjoy the simple things in life but to be present in the moment fully. To be fully aware of all my surroundings and thoughts and to love fully and completely. Life is too short not too.
The Tea Meditation experience was wonderful and I would urge you all to experience it! They are introducing more classes this year that i will definitely be taking part and will share my experience when I do.
For more info on retreats and meditation classes, read here.