Winner: Scott’s Favourite Blogs of 2013 #3
Imagine an ocean of consciousness. Take a small portion of it and fill an individual teapot. That teapot is you. That is your consciousness. The scooping of that water is your birth. And when you are born your water is clear. But you do observe very closely what types of tea are regularly made in your vicinity. So if your family gets angry a lot you’ll either be motivated to drink that tea too because it’s familiar, or you’ll avoid it because you’re tired of it, but either way your family will have largely dictated which teas you prepare most often. The point with spiritual growth is to take conscious control over the preparation of your own tea.
Your consciousness is an opportunity. The convection of your very Being will allow you to make any tea you choose. But to enjoy the tea of life as much as possible we must take ownership of the brewing process. We must consciously choose to make the tea we wish to experience.
The biggest challenge to that is that we often losing track of our sense of choice. But that is where our taste comes in. Because if we throw in teabags without really considering their affect, or if we just throw in whatever our Dad or Mom did in this or that situation, then we’re not really actively alive at all. We’re not choosing our life at that point, we’re following a script. We’re drinking whatever we were told to drink whether we like it or not. This can be as minor as crying at weddings to as serious as domestic abuse. But even if you like crying at weddings—it would be much better that it was you choosing that fate, and not your history.
If you don’t like how your tea tastes, then that is not your tea. That is what individuality is: personal taste. Other people can tell you chamomile is amazing, but if you don’t like it then it’s not for you. The fact that it tastes bad to you is what’s supposed to prompt you to stop drinking it and stop making it. It’s a signal to change teabags. It’s a signal to change the contents of your thinking. It’s a change to what is contained within your consciousness. So don’t blame others when you’re drinking something you don’t like. Take responsibility for that because that also means you’re assuming control. Control over your choice of teabags. Control over your life experience.
You make tea all day long. You just go from this moment/sip to that moment/sip. But you are always having some tea. So stop complaining about it as though someone handed it to you. This stops being a restaurant when you’re about two. Once you can talk you slowly and clumsily start making your own tea. Maybe you’ll get lucky and you’ll mostly make pretty nice teas. Or maybe you’ll start off making teas you really don’t like. But either way, you have to experiment to figure out both what your favourite tea experiences are, and also how to change bags quickly and easily. When it comes to the latter, it’s really only a matter of practice. The more you change teabags the better you get at changing teabags. After you have that skill, knowing what you like to drink is easy.
Get conscious of the process of being alive. This is your short-lived opportunity to be a tea-maker. So go ahead and make some terrible teas when you’re younger. Drinking those will be what teaches you that the tea is ultimately your responsibility. Then go through a phase where you practice changing teabags and you experiment with other people’s tea choices. Eventually you figure out which teas are truly your favourites. From there you simply brew those every opportunity you get.
Before you know it you will remember that the pot of consciousness that is you will be poured back into the ocean of consciousness from which it came. And that will be the end of tea held in the shape of You. Free to flow and mix without judgment, the former You will melt and become an integral part of the vast and infinite ocean of consciousness that will eventually be scooped up to be reincarnated as other individuals opportunities to choose lives of their very own.
Scott McPherson is a writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and nonprofit organizations around the world.