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By Kimberly Conway

Creating a personal ritual through matcha, mindfulness, and meditation

Kaila is an incredibly busy mother of four with a booming new pop-up business. Between the pressures of serving an army of customers daily and raising her sons, she barely has time to sit down. Often up before the sun, and not sleeping until the next day’s specialty meats have been smoked with care and her latkes have been prepped, Kaila has her plate full.

Despite the stress, Kaila is brimming with health, energy, and positivity. She has a secret we don’t know about: one that takes place in the twenty minutes before the sun comes up. Kaila starts every day out with a frothy mug of matcha green tea and mindfulness meditation. A few moments out of every day are dedicated solely to her own well-being, and she is reaping the benefits mentally, physically and emotionally. As a result, she radiates peace throughout the community in which she and her business are a thriving integral part.

Vipassana, or Insight Meditation, has a 2500-year history with Zen Buddhists, and has recently been translated by the West into what we know as Mindfulness Meditation. Vipassana develops our ability to greet each feeling and event in our day with compassion and acceptance, cultivating tranquility in our lives. Throughout the centuries, matcha green tea has been prepared and consumed with conscious intention by monks and new practitioners alike in order to ready the body and mind for Mindfulness Meditation. Its key component, L-theanine, produces a heightened state of calm focus. L-theanine, known for its ability to stimulate the mind and calm moderate amounts of anxiety, has been consumed by Buddhist monks for upwards of 900 years to aid in their meditation practices.

Like Kaila, you too can incorporate matcha and mindfulness into your morning routine, setting your day up for success. Here are some key components for your own personal ritual:

  • A freshly brewed cup of matcha tea. Your own favorite recipe.
  • A quiet, distraction-free setting with comfortable seating, free from electronics such as cellphones and computers, perhaps with a delicately fragranced candle to enhance your meditation.
  • At least 10 minutes of time that you can concentrate on yourself.

That’s it! Now remember to brew your tea during quiet time. Focus your energy on your actions and let all thoughts pass through your mind like clouds in the sky, not lingering on any of them, but simply observing as they pass by. This is your time. Focus with intention on the whisking of your tea. Observe the aroma. Now have a seat in a distraction-free zone or in your own personal meditation space. Sip your tea slowly, savoring every nuance of flavor.

Spend the next ten to twenty minutes in quiet solitude, observing only your inner feelings and external movements, without emotionally investing in them. When your time is over and you’re ready to move on, say a quick word of gratitude for the time you have been given to spend with yourself, and slowly ease into your day. Go ahead and give it a try for a week! Take a morning ritual on as a personal challenge to better your life, and let your personal wellness radiate in your community. You won’t be disappointed.

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