Tea Meditation: Matcha Gotcha

Sharon’s tea meditation is very timely.

In January, after visiting our daughter, she suggested that I try matcha tea. I liked the flavour and the part about using a bamboo whisk in the preparation — which fit with my intention to drink more tea —  but primarily for the experience as opposed to the taste.

Unfortunately, I found out the hard way that I’d become a consumer rather than benefiting from a more reflective experience. And with more physical rather than mental experiences.

This went on for a week but, in my too-often lack of mindfulness, I did not see the connection between needing a Pepto Bismal chaser a few hours after having a cup of matcha tea. So, while I was achieving a bodily awareness in the process, it was hardly meditative.

My wife, in her wisdom, suggested I check for side effects from the tea. Sure enough, GI issues are #1 in the list I found. And she checked with our daughter about her consumption and found out that she is half-way through a tin of tea after 3 months. I finished a tin in 3 weeks. Not because I was drinking many more cups, but it turns out I was over-dosing on each cup rather badly.

What did I learn from this lesson of bodily (and mental) inattentiveness? First, that my good intentions to be more attentive and thoughtful; that I also need to pay more attention to the effects — both good and bad; and, lastly, that received wisdom continues to be a very important for both my practice and for my well-being.

The skills and methods are observable and tangible, but the truth is not. The challenge is not to get carried away by the cup.*

with mettā, Rod

*http://www.lionsroar.com/what-makes-you-a-buddhist/