Updated: May 5, 2020
Expressing gratitude enhances our sense of well-being. With mindfulness, we quiet the ego and redirect the mind to notice the simplest things from the breath, which is literally under our noses, to the mundane tasks we engage in throughout the day. Remaining mindful can be a challenge, but deliberately choosing to remain focused for even a few seconds can connect us deeply to the present moment. When we are fully present and fully alive, even a simple activity, like drinking a cup of tea, can be meditative. In Japan, the tea ceremony isa"worship of the mundane." The mundane is elevated to an art.
The next time you drink a cup of tea, coffee, fruit juice or water, approach it with a spirit of mindfulness: be aware of every movement (the lifting of the tea kettle, for example); pay attention to sound as you pour from the bottle, kettle, or spigot into the cup; if the beverage is hot, notice the patterns of vapor that rise from the surface, dance and disappear; concentrate even as you taste little by little. Do not completely satisfy your thirst until later. Notice how it affects the sensations in your mouth. Notice how the tongue, the top of your mouth, the back of your throat welcome it. Scan your body for sensations that go with drinking. Set aside time to enjoy a simple everyday experience. Your experience may be very different each time you do this exercise. As with formal meditation, keep your attention on whatever it is you're doing (lifting, pouring, cradling, sipping, swallowing, etc.) Every time your mind wanders, bring your attention back to the present. The Sufi poet Rumi writes: "Look past your thoughts, so you may drink the pure nectar of this Moment."