Monday, March 10, 2014

Steep Thoughts: Tea Visualizations

Do you ever notice flavors evoke images in your mind? We all know a nostalgic dish can send us right back to childhood, but what happens when you sip tea? When I focus on flavors in tea, I can picture an entire landscape associated with it. I feel as if I'm transported to a different place, and can hear, see, and taste it.

Sometimes I'll see a sunny field of wildflowers if the tea is bright and floral. I can smell the daffodils and feel the sunshine. Or I'll be walking through crunchy leaves on a fall day if the tea is woodsy and nutty. A smoky campfire crackles in the background.

I'm currently drinking a pu erh which tastes leathery and ever so slightly smoky. I'm travelling on the back of a motorcycle in a wooded area of France with a leather jacket clad rider. I can hear the motor and smell the exhaust. Occasionally we'll pass a small stone house or animal.

For me, the visualizations associated with the tea I'm drinking is part of the meditation. My mind can go somewhere else, away from where I'm sitting.  This transformation will happen anywhere that I'm sipping. Sometimes I just need to clear the thoughts from my mind, but I do enjoy this creative escape.

Have you experienced this transformation? Do certain flavors bring you to specific places?

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