The Italians have a beautiful concept signifying the pleasantness of inactivity – ‘La Dolce Far Niente’, which roughly translates to ‘the sweetness of doing nothing’.
Well, the concept seems easy as taking a break doing relaxing activities gives us lot of options to chose from. But the challenge here is to cultivate ‘mental silence’, which isn’t just about getting respite from the distractions of office chatter or deadlines. It’s about the real sustained silence that quietens inner as well as outer chatter and takes us beyond the noise. A state that can be easily attained through the ‘Art of Tea Meditation’.
A recent Harvard Business Review states that the busier we are, the more quiet time we need. It emphasises on the need of structured periods of silence as important factors in achieving success. In our modern lives when our day begins running on a treadmill of duties and ends with exhaustion, taking a silent break is a luxury. Tea is the modern day meditation and a simple solution to effortlessly embrace the art of doing nothing and experiencing mental silence.
Tea masters and monks have been practising the ‘art of tea way’ for more than 3,000 years – an art that consists simply of boiling water, preparing tea and drinking it. Embracing the traditional goodness of tea in modern times by upgrading our tea-time can help to reprogram our thoughts, manage the non-stop information flow and cultivate periods of deep silence. It can condition our minds to be more adaptive and responsive to the complex environments in which so many of us now live, work, and lead.
Our lives can be a lot different if we take a deliberate pause by just giving 30 minutes of our day to the process of making our cup of tea. This pause declutters our mind, bringing about a sense of calmness and tranquillity. You can chose this time to unwind, plan your day, read a book, think about what you love, admire the view from your window or think about nothing at all. You make your tea, absorb yourself in the process, sit and sip with no particular agenda, letting yourself go wherever your mind takes you. You could also use this time to think about what kind of life would be worth living, rather than simply living the life you live.
With each passing day, we feel more tired, hoping for a reboot in the form of a break, a pause from the daily hustle. And this idea usually translates into a quarterly vacation – travelling to a far off land to get away from the madness for a while. But we don’t need to postpone that idea any further because the elusive ‘relaxation’ that we yearn for is not just found in the scenic landscapes of our ideal vacation spots. It exists within each one of us and is ours to claim if we learn to embrace it with a tea lifestyle. So instead of fantasising about that one big vacation, brew your tea, find that perfect spot in the house, and reboot your life with a simple tea meditation.
The world is getting louder. But silence is still accessible. It just takes commitment and creativity to cultivate it. Make your cup of tea mindfully, take a deep breath, relax and let your brain move away from the abstract and the distant towards the tangible and the near.