Tea, Hospitality, and Tranquility

 

I travelled to India with the University earlier this summer. Soon after arriving, our group quickly acclimated to the custom of having frequent tea breaks. While touring one of the Tibetan monasteries, for example, we were served tea–not just once but twice. When I was out shopping in the market and being indecisive, the owner sent his assistant to another shop to buy tea while I contemplated scarves. During intermittent breaks from classes, our group was offered tea and cookies. Another shopkeeper preferred to give up his own cup  to me rather than eat his dinner in front of me. This gentle act of hospitality was humbling.

 

I’m starting to realize that maybe serving and receiving tea is not only an act of generosity, but also an intentional time for tranquility-for slowing down. I recently read the post by Scott Dinsmore on the zenhabits blog that when we are constantly running around, we don’t allow our minds the space to be creative. If we are constantly bombarded with new ideas, how can we ever have a chance to create our own? Perhaps tea will help combat my creative funks and better yet my distractibility.

 

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7 thoughts on “Tea, Hospitality, and Tranquility

  1. Jim says:

    I love that proverb! It flies in the face of Western thinking but it’s got truth beyond the surface of how you might hear it the first time you read it. It’s not really about the tea, it’s about the way you do life. Which I didn’t consider until I read this post…which makes it kind of a modern day blog proverb…a blogverb!

  2. Nancy says:

    Mel, I love these pics. The first one is so beautiful! You have convinced me to start drinking more tea. Do you think that the people in India drink tea because of British colonization or vice versa?

  3. Sarah says:

    I love the photos, too! Were they taken in India, or at home? It looks like your tea has milk in it- was it similar to chai? I think I need to drink more tea as well- iced, obviously, in this heat.

  4. Catharine says:

    I recently had a delicious pot of chrysanthemum tea at a tea house with some wonderful friends. Slowing down long enough to share our hopes, fears, and dreams delighted me. The simple act of drinking tea with friends, I believe, will help make the world a more peaceful, tranquil and civil world.

    • Melissa says:

      I cannot agree more! I love your last line “The simple act of drinking tea with friends, I believe, will help make the world a more peaceful, tranquil and civil world.” Ooh, chrysanthemum tea sounds lovely. I should do that soon! 😉

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