Buddhism and Tea Meditation
Tea is one of the most commonly drunk beverages in the world, and offers a wide range of benefits that humans have made use of for thousands of years. Tea is perhaps one of the most interesting links between different cultures of the world, from the British having their afternoon tea, to the Chinese who were among the first to cultivate and drink the liquid that was distilled from tealeaves.
The Buddhist monks are another group that have enjoyed tea for a number of its benefits, and today tea has become an important part of the meditative process. Many forms of modern meditation begin with the slow brewing and drinking of the tea, and the art has become such an integral part of meditation that it has its own branch of appreciation and study. Many today use a range of teas to enhance their meditation sessions, taking advantage of the various health benefits that tea offers, including stimulation, and an overall increased alertness and concentration. Tea is also enjoyed the world over by those looking to relax, and is the perfect drink to sip while browsing AFL betting odds or reading a book.
The Origins of Tea Meditation
When Buddhism was still in its infancy, and the tea industry was taking off in China, many monks found the effects of tea helped with their daily meditation. Meditation was vital to the ancient monks, and they believed it was the only path to achieving enlightenment. Meditation, however, can be difficult, as the mind tends to easily wander, which is a problem that even the early monks suffered with.
They quickly discovered that tea helped with the concentration problems encountered with meditation. Tea is a natural stimulant, as it contains a moderate amount of caffeine. While not quite as potent as coffee, tea was much more common in ancient times, and having access to the Chinese tea culture meant that monks always had a constant supply.
The two most important ingredients in tea are caffeine and L-Theanine, and while the ancient monks didn’t know the chemical breakdown of the tea that they drank, they knew that their tea offered sharpened focus and concentration, and helped them on their journey to nirvana.
Today, we’re well aware of the presence of caffeine and L-Theanine in tea, especially in green tea, thanks to the advancements of science, and while the monks didn’t know about the compounds that improved their meditation, they already knew of tea’s benefits.
Using Tea In Modern Meditation
For those that are having trouble with their meditation and wish to start using tea, the best place to start is with the various green teas that are available to buy. Green tea can take some getting used to, but its packed with L-Theanine, especially in Japanese Gyokuro and Matcha, and can help immensely with both holding focus while keeping the mind clear of invasive thoughts.
Some modern monks even suggest acquiring a traditional tea making set, as the process of making green tea can be long and calming, providing a good way to start a meditative session.