I hear so many people say they “can’t” meditate, or they don’t have the time to sit down and meditate. Maybe taking short “qi” breaks to fully engage in the present moment is just enough to calm and focus the mind. One of my quick meditative breaks happens each morning when I drink my matcha tea. Before I drink my tea, I engage my senses by finding a patch of grass out front and standing in the early morning sun, allowing my body to soak up the healing early morning rays. My special matcha bowl is actually a handmade soup bowl I purchased during one of the yearly soup kitchen fundraisers. Just holding it reminds me of the care that went into making this bowl and it makes me aware of just how lucky I am to not have the worry about when my next meal will be. The matcha tea itself is a special tea that I buy from my favorite tea shop (Tea & Chi in Vero Beach) and I reflect on how special this little shop is and how special the owner, Maria, is. She taught me how to enjoy this nourishing beverage - how to whisk it to a frothy, warm, earthy drink. The whisk itself is a marvel - handmade from bamboo. I think of and am thankful for artisans that still take the time to craft these wonderful little tools.
So, I stand outside on my patch of grass and engage my senses, feeling the warmth of the sun penetrating my skin and I am aware of my connection to the energy above me - the vastness of space - the sun, the moon, the stars. I feel the precious earth beneath my feet and imagine the life of the grass, the insects beneath the grass, the precious soil that nourishes the plants and I am aware of my connection to the earth. As I quietly listen, I engage in the sounds around me - the birds, the wind in the trees, the squirrels running by me and I am aware of my connection to all living things. Before I drink the tea, I once again reflect on my good fortune to have this drink and the people responsible for bringing it to me. Then I sip my tea and stand with eyes closed and quiet my mind. Taking three full breaths, I fully engage in my surroundings. Then I continue on with the day.
This whole process takes only a few minutes, usually about ten minutes - but it can be as little as a a couple of minutes. Enough time to engage the senses and reflect on the present. There are many opportunities to engage fully and quiet the mind. Preparing your meal, washing the dishes, brushing your teeth, making the bed, standing in line at the grocery store - all perfect little pockets of time to practice awareness and breath.
Take the time to breathe and fully engage in life. AHHHHH!!
As the chi flows