In basic Transactional Analysis we have 3 ego states: Parent, Adult and Child, three different parts of us. I have noticed that some people find it difficult to get into their adult ego state, which is about being fully present in the moment, only interested in the here and now. A guided meditation or yoga class seems to hard to fit in a chaotic week. What came to mind was a Buddhist ceremony around a cup of tea that I had read in my 20s.
Most clients I see drink a cup of tea daily, and those who didn’t exchanged tea for something else such as a drink of squash; but the purpose of the ceremony remains the same. Being fully present whilst making and drinking it. A mindfulness exercise that can be easily included in your daily life helping our emotional well-being and resilience. Thoughts may pop into your head whilst you try to be present, its not about stopping thoughts. Let them pass on by like clouds drifting across the sky. Its only when we chase after thoughts that they become thinking and then we are elsewhere. Use your senses to stay present with the cup of tea. I now hand you over to Thich Nhat Nanh…
The Tea Ceremony
You must be completely awake in the present to enjoy the tea.
Only in the awareness of the present, can your hands feel the pleasant warmth of the cup.
Only in the present, can you savour the aroma, taste the sweetness, appreciate the delicacy.
If you are ruminating about the past, or worrying about the future, you will completely miss the experience of enjoying the cup of tea.
You will look down at the cup, and the tea will be gone.
Life is like that.
If you are not fully present, you will look around and it will be gone.
You will have missed the feel, the aroma, the delicacy and beauty of life.
It will seem to be speeding past you. The past is finished.
Learn from it and let it go.
The future is not even here yet. Plan for it, but do not waste your time worrying about it.
Worrying is worthless.
When you stop ruminating about what has already happened, when you stop worrying about what might never happen, then you will be in the present moment.
Then you will begin to experience joy in life.