For being all about focusing on the present moment, the practice of meditation ironically is rooted in the past and tied to the future due to its prerequisite of determining the outcome of the latter by connecting yourself to the here and now.
Meditating is a widely spread practice, and despite being of ancient origins, it still prevails in the days of the Internet and everything else that comes with modern times. The reason why the Internet is to be singled out is because of the fact that it’s not a very old invention and yet it has made such a huge impact on people’s lives over the course of a few years.
But why is that?
How can something intangible affect us so profoundly, and why is meditation the go-to remedy in light of the digital age and countless screens that we often encounter? Well, maybe it’s because meditation is concerned with the unseen itself. If you want to take care of a problem, you need to turn toward its roots. At the same time, the irony of both the Internet’s and meditation’s intention to guide us toward connection is not lost on us, even though we might not consciously realize it.
However, there is a noticeable difference between both the Internet and meditation that we should be aware of: while the Internet seeks to connect us with others in a virtual space, it fails to bring us closer to ourselves, while meditation helps us find space to listen to and focus on ourselves.
We gravitate to others, to social connection, we seek out those whom we care about especially during times of anxiety, stress, and uncertainty. Other times, we desire solitude to retreat into our own space again before we threaten to disconnect from ourselves. Each of these two approaches is valid, but the question that inadvertently arises is: why has meditation prevailed as such a time-tested and ubiquitous technique?
As social beings, why do we experience the need to turn inwards from time to time?
To begin, directing attention to oneself is not a bad thing. Self-compassion is a key ingredient to inner peace and success, and there are different ways to cope with an imbalanced mind. In this piece we aim to shed light meditation, through taking a look at the history and meaning of meditation as a primary resource. Our goal is to help you implement meditation in your own everyday life, as you grow on your evolving journey and aspire to self-actualization.
- Reflection: How Meditation Bridges the Past and the Future
- The Art of Simplicity: Why Tea Compliments Meditation
- Applying Meditation: How To Ground Yourself
- Different Ways of Meditation
- The Bottom Line
Reflection: How Meditation Bridges the Past and the Future
Why is meditation so important and who came up with it? The art of meditation is one of those abstract concepts that seems to have been around forever without anyone really knowing where and how it began.
Interestingly, ancient wall art discovered in the Indus Valley suggests that the practice of meditation has been a key part of human’s lives for thousands of years, rooting back to Asia. From there on, meditation weaved its way into various world cultures and religions and became even more important. Some even say that it’s as old as humanity itself.
Today, there are even studies geared toward this practice concerning its effects and benefits. In actually exploring the origins of meditation, we find that there is no straight answer. There is reasoning that the practice emerged from ancient Eastern Asia in countries like India and China. There were, however, several people that played a key role in spreading the value of the practice, some of which are outlined below.
One of the key figures for spreading awareness about meditation was the legendary Buddha, the figurehead of Buddhism. He started out as a simple monk and eventually found enlightenment, otherwise called nirvana, by meditating under a tree. Achieving nirvana is a Buddhist’s highest aspiration because it is believed that one will not be reborn into another life, thus breaking the cycle of reincarnation, and can finally see the world in its “real form.”
This concept underscores the pervading idea that meditating helps in establishing a connection to the present, grounding one to appreciate the world around as it exists naturally.
Meanwhile in ancient China a Daoist philosopher by the name Lao Tze is credited as the thought-forefather of Taoism, the teachings of which are based on meditation practices. His texts include descriptions of meditation techniques that would be used in later centuries.
It wasn’t until the seventh century that meditative practices took on form in Japan. This was thanks to a monk named Dosho who informed himself about China’s practices and decided to re-gift their practices and teachings to his own country by introducing the philosophical process of Zen. He would eventually open up a meditation hall, which garnered attention and further spread meditative practices.
The Art of Simplicity: Why Tea Compliments Meditation
“Tea is the ultimate mental and medical remedy and has the ability to make one’s life more full and complete. Tea has an extraordinary power to extend someone’s life. Everywhere where people will plant tea, long life will follow” (Myōan Eisai, Drinking Tea for Health)
Let’s talk about tea! It is of no surprise to anyone that we at Empress Teas are enthusiasts about all-things-tea. After all, tea is a wonderfully diverse topic to explore, rich to so many options, various colors, scents and tastes that you can choose from. However, there is another reason why we aim to educate folks about our CBD-infused ritual blend tea: tea is one of the healthiest beverages that you can consume and comes with physical as well as mental benefits.
Ritual blend teas are not a new concept. Originally, the positive potential of ritual blend tea has been discovered and made use of in the past by Zen monks. According to a popular Japanese saying “[t]he taste of Tea and Zen are one.”
The go-to meditational tea used by the monks was Matcha tea (green tea). The monks, being aware of the green tea’s health benefits, extracted it among other natural remedies from plants. By powdering and planting tea across the country, Matcha became known as effective medicine. Later, Matcha found additional use as ritual tea in ceremonies among Japan’s elite, who sealed their secret medicine off from the common folk in order to benefit longer from it.
Today, ritual blend teas are alive and well, and we couldn’t be more excited about innovative infusion-processes that allow us to develop and build on centuries of experimentation. Our Morning Ritual Blend combines bright lemongrass, grassy green tea, earthy green rooibos and zesty lemon verbena designed to wake up your senses as well as your mind. Meanwhile, our evening ritual blend is a recipe designed with care to ease your mind and soothe your soul with a simple combination of Egyptian chamomile and water-soluble hemp isolate.
Applying Meditation: How To Ground Yourself
Turning back to the present, let’s direct our focus from the history to the actual practice of using tea in meditative practices. Tea’s incredible healthy properties will positively enhance your meditation sessions. Tea meditation involves mindfulness and movement, aligning your body and mind in the process. Let’s briefly take you through it:
- The first step is simple - pick your preferred tea and make yourself comfortable. For a tea meditation session in the morning, we recommend our Morning Ritual Blend which entails organic green tea among other healthy and energizing ingredients.
- Be mindful - the goal of tea meditation is to express your gratitude and mindfulness for the tea that you picked by acknowledging your thoughts, senses and feelings in regards to your tea. What you focus on is determined by you, as long as you establish a connection between you and your delicious tea.
- Breathe - as you boil and pour your water into a kettle, take your time in doing so. That way, you can allow yourself to relax and just breathe. By following the water’s movements and honing in your own breathing coupled in with the water’s bubbling sound, your body and mind will be tranquilized. A simple motion such as this already helps you in guiding you toward balance between you and the different elements, and in a larger step the world around you.
- Brew - As your tea is getting ready, use this opportunity by appreciating how it looks and transforms. Take in its aroma and let the scent take your mind away to far reaching places...
- Savor - Tea time! Above all, it’s important you savor the moment and make the best out of it! After the tantalizing previous steps, you can finally indulge in your tea while meditating. As you do, let your mind wander. What thoughts and feelings does the tea awaken in you? Try to hone in on what your body and mind are telling you. Tea can be a great mediator between body and soul if you’re willing to let them steep until they are ready.
In case you want to have your day end on a peaceful note in the evening, we recommend our Evening Ritual Blend. If you are intrigued by experimentation, trying a bundle may be the best option, so that you can combine the best of both worlds and bring balance into your entire day.
Choosing the Right Meditation Method
In case you’re not sure with which type of meditation session you want to practice and which one is right for you, there are a couple of alternatives that you can choose from. It’s best if you read up which type of meditation and contemplate the types of techniques that feel most suitable for your current needs.
If you’re a beginner, you might want to start out with mindfulness meditation or by working with an experienced guru. Often, a beginner approach involves a focus on your breathing as you take note of your freely passing thoughts in a calm environment by yourself. Once you develop a routine ritual, you will realize the beautiful positive effects on your mental wellbeing
The Bottom Line
Meditation and efforts to cultivate mental wellbeing has always existed at the core of our human experiences. There is a long-established legacy of meditation mollifying anxiety, stress, as well as providing a platform for developing toward self-actualization.
Introducing meditation into your life will bring various noteworthy and long-lasting health benefits into your body and mind.
At Empress Teas, we are here to help. We believe in the power of community and the importance of learning from each other. Managing anxiety and finding a sense of purpose within our community are ways to have a more positive lifestyle. Treat yourself to the daily rituals you deserve: sit, sip, and self-reflect.
We look forward to having you as a part of the Empress Teas community.Our products, resources and community are all aimed at helping you build the right lifestyle for your mental wellbeing. If you’d like to receive daily ritual guidance, you can download it from our website. We look forward to being your guide on the journey to wellness.