Zen Up With Matcha
“Learning to let go should be learned before learning to get. Life should be touched, not strangled. You’ve got to relax, let it happen at times, and at others move forward with it.”
― Ray Bradbury
Stress – the crown prince of all modern problems…
No surprises there. Stress has been and continues to be the primary reason for most physical and mental health problems. It’s everywhere. Its impact on wellbeing, career and relationships is all-encompassing. Stress affects people in different ways. And there’s no one-stop solution to beat stress. However, there are various ways in which we can manage stress and by managing our lives a little better.
What you can do to handle stress:
Be more organised
Learn to say “no”
Make some “me” time
Zen up with matcha
Wait, what’s Zen up with matcha?
To tell you this, we have to delve a little deep into the concept of Zen and its close association with matcha tea. Let’s rewind 700 years to medieval Japan.
Noun: “A Japanese school of Mahayana Buddhism emphasizing the value of meditation and intuition rather than ritual worship or study of scriptures.”
Zen teachings were introduced in Japan in the 12th century by Buddhist monks. The Samurai (noble warriors) were one of the earliest adopters of Zen teachings. In medieval Japanese society, the Samurai held a special place. They were an elite group of people whose lives were based on the philosophical teachings of Zen Buddhism.
Although Zen cannot be taught, one has to find their own Zen, the samurai sought the tutelage of Buddhist monks who would take them and mentor them on their journey towards finding Zen. The students had to observe the master’s lifestyle and learn from the master’s wisdom, ideas and ideals.
Zen cannot completely be explained in words. Your understanding of Zen should largely depend on your own instinct. The closest possible description of Zen could be this:
- Zen is an attitude rather than a belief
- It’s both the beginning as well as the end
- It’s the peace one experiences when they become one with an entity other than themselves
- Zen is empty and full at the same time
- Zen is all-encompassing and is encompassed by all
- Zen is nothing yet everything
- It means being in the flow of the entire universe
- It’s about experiencing the present, being aware of the here and now
- It’s about being aware of your oneness with the rest of the world
- It means being devoid of all distractions and illusory conflicts that are typical of the material world
- Zen means taking pleasure in the small joys of life
Zen can easily be dismissed by some as just another fad or hocus pocus but history suggests that it’s anything but. It’s a higher level of spiritual development and enlightenment. Paradox is closely associated with Zen. It is an inherent part of Zen. It is what steers your psyche towards a direction other than the mundane. It helps free your instincts and points towards a truth beyond the reach of rationality and logic.
The Samurai and Zen
The Samurai used the Zen principles to find peace, enlightenment and strength that they needed both on and off the battlefield. Discipline played a very important part in their lives. Years of discipline, practice and mentoring from the masters helped light their path towards Zen. They also used Zen meditation to confront the possibility of grave injuries.
And in their journey, there was a very simple act that helped them every step of the way. It was the act of drinking matcha tea. Samurai warriors would prepare matcha, following precisely a strict code of conduct that would later become the tea ceremony and drink it both before their meditation sessions and before they would go in to battle. The tea helped them focus completely and achieve a state of alert wakefulness.
How Did Matcha Help Them?
Matcha has both meditative properties as well as restorative properties. It provided them the long-lasting energy boost and the increased physical endurance that they needed for their long, drawn-out combats. Matcha’s unique processing methods, excellent healthful properties, and unmatched versatility made it not only a great source of energy but also a great source to find calmness.
It Can Help You Too -
Matcha synchronises the brain waves to match those experienced during meditation. This yields a state of alert calmness which is a great aid for beating stress, focusing better, and finding your very own Zen.
The concentration and precision with which you have to prepare matcha help you think clearly and achieve a sense of peace. You would experience emancipation from the outside world, be one with nature and let the echo of doubt, lack of confidence and anything that might be an obstacle go away from your path towards Zen.
With matcha on your side, you can de-stress your life remarkably.
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