We so often hear about the health benefits of drinking tea, but we don’t usually think about the healing benefits of sharing tea with others. Consider the simple pleasure in making a cup of tea for someone or the comfort of talking and sharing with friends over tea (or your beverage of choice). I have happy childhood memories of sharing tea with my mother – leaving my rowdy brothers to play and talking quietly in the kitchen together.
Tea Master Sen Soshitsu XV has made it his life’s mission to spread the message of peace through Tea Ceremony. He says “Peace can be spread by offering a bowl of tea to another.” The main purpose of a traditional Tea Ceremony is to forget your troubles for just a moment and appreciate each other in a relaxed and peaceful atmosphere. We can all benefit from making time in our busy lives to enjoy the simple pleasure of basic human interaction – with or without the tea.
My 2 year old son loves to have tea parties. My favorite part of the day is when he prepares a pretend cup of tea for me in his play kitchen. He so carefully acts out all of the steps – patiently waits for the toy kettle to boil, cautiously pours it into tiny colorful cups, and even blows on it to cool it for me. He hands me my cup of “mama tea” and we sit together. Just one of the many ways he reminds me to slow down and appreciate the little things.
Master Soshitsu has written that the Tea Ceremony is not really a ceremony or ritual at all, but a way of life based on the simple act of serving tea with a pure heart.
Pure heart, warm tea. Sound good to me.