As the year winds down I wanted to take some time to recognize some of the blog entries that have really stood out for a variety of reasons. I will be making some edits and changes to each, but most of my readers pop in two or three times a week so regardless many of these are likely to be completely unknown to you. At the same time, the nature of this teaching is such that even I learned something by re-reading my own words. The text might be the same but the reader is always changing, so even if it is one you’re familiar with I would urge you to consider reading it again. It just takes a few moments and you might just be surprised at how different a reader you have already become….
I’ll break them down into three sections: one for my personal three favourites of the year, another for my three favourites from external sources, and then I’ll end with a countdown of the 10 most popular Blogs-of-the-Year. Today I will begin with my #3 pick for my favourite Blog-of-the-Year:
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 witness its ill-effects, 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 just 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, and not your history dictating it.
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 years old. 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 teas and lives of their very own.
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Following a serious childhood brain injury Scott McPherson unwittingly spent his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and the self. This made him as strange to others as they were to him. Seeing the self-harm people created with their own overthinking, Scott dedicated part of his life to helping others live with greater awareness. He is currently a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB, where he finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.