Welcome to my tea blog! Here, have a cup of tea :).

In this blog, I will be drinking a lot of tea, but I am willing to share! I also will talk about my quest to create a comtemplative tea lifestyle and slow things down so that I can enjoy my life more, and about how drinking tea brings peace to my day.

It, truly, is the pause that refreshes, and I am asking myself how I can create more of that and less of the crazy-buzy, hurry-to-get-to-the-next-thing energy that all too often adds pressure and tension to my day.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Deeper into Stillness: Meditation Challenge ~ Day 20

Only One More Day

I can hardly believe there is only one more day left of this amazing meditation experience!! It really has been so wonderful.

In crafting each meditation, my intentions have been to...
a) Very gently expose you to many different types of meditations

b) Share some of the deeper aspects of Vedanta, the Upanishads, and advaita

c) Lead you to your heart and the processes of forgiving, compassion, and vulnerability

d) Help you move from where you were to where you want to be.
It is our hope at the Chopra Center that you continue to reverberate with many of these aspects of one-ness." ~~Chopra Center

Today's Meditation

Today's meditation went well, though it was really more like tonight's meditation by the time I got around to it. The sun was just beginning to bathe the whispering trees with a golden glow. I found at first that I couldn't look away from them.

But when we began repeating the mantra, I closed my eyes. It felt wonderful!

Where to Find It

If you have waited, too, to do the meditation for today, you can find it here. And when you are ready to blog about your experience, please share your link with us here.

Other Meditation Links You Might Like...

Meditation helps with depression
Free guided meditations

See you tomorrow!


To read each day's blog post and find a link for that day's meditation, go to my Squidoo page at http://www.squidoo.com/21-day-meditation-challenge .

Monday, August 30, 2010

Do You See Purple? Chakra Meditation ~ Day 19 of the Meditation Challenge

The Color Purple

Apparently, a lot of new meditators see purple. I am not a new meditator, but even when I was, I don't remember seeing any particular color.

Did you?

First Thing

Because we go back to homeschool this week, and the meditation challenge ends, I decided this morning to try doing the meditation first to see how that might fit as part of our schedule. I made up my bed, took a few supplements, made and drank some chamomile tea and then, meditated in my pajamas.

While the tea was steeping, I stared at the trees. So basically, the meditation was almost the first thing I did, compared to my normal routine. I think I like that and it might make it easier to get up in the morning.

Especially, once I no longer have to turn on my computer and go into my email to get the day's meditation.

But I was a bit groggy at first, and doing it this way really extends the process of waking up and becoming alert.

Chakra Meditation

Today's meditation focused on clearing and balancing the chakras, and he included a visualization of each chakra's color as well as an invitation to bring our attention to anything related to that chakra in our lives that might need a little assistance.

"The chakra meditation is a very powerful one because it truly opens your body, mind, and soul into the conduits that they truly are and opens you up personally to a more universal flow at the level of your physiology, your emotional state, and your spiritual awareness." ~~Chopra Center

I do love the way I feel after doing that meditation! Lighter and more clear, relaxed and happy.

How did you feel?

Where to Find It

If you haven't yet done today's meditation, you can find it here. And add your blog post here. You also can share your experience here in the comment section if you'd like. I would love to know how this meditation challenge is going for you and what benefits you are noticing.

See you tomorrow!


To read each day's blog post and find a link for that day's meditation, go to my Squidoo page at http://www.squidoo.com/21-day-meditation-challenge .

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Breaking the Cycle So You Can Manifest What You Want: Meditation Challenge ~ Day 18

Meditation that Helps You Break the Cycle

"Is there something in your life right now that needs revamping or a shift or a new perspective? Are there any patterns that you keep repeating and reinforcing that aren’t nourishing you? I designed today’s meditation to help you break the unconscious circle of being stuck in the karmic hamster wheel of life." ~~Chopra Center

Today's meditation was designed to help us release toxic patterns and break through our blockages so that we can be empowered to create more of what we want and less of what we don't want.

He talks about the power of intention and the need to pair each intention with action and will. He also points out that after setting an intention, there is an incubation period before what you want is manifested. And that the final part of the process is allowing it to manifest.

The Process of Manifestation

A four-step process is outlined...

1) Identifying a desire
2) Setting your intention
3) Having the will that it manifest
4) Taking action

There is also the suggestion that we remember our connection to everything that is by thinking about how our goals and desires have benefit beyond ourselves...

"By asking ourselves, “How would this desire or intention serve me and everyone else I come into contact with?” we can make the most evolutionary choices for true happiness, wholeness, and harmony." ~~Chopra Center

Where to Find It

I watched a movie and took a nap before listening to today's meditation. I'm glad I got to it, though, because it was great!

How was it for you?

If by chance, you haven't gotten around to it yet, you can find it here. And if you want to add your blog link about your experience, you can do that here.

See you tomorrow!


To read each day's blog post and find a link for that day's meditation, go to my Squidoo page at http://www.squidoo.com/21-day-meditation-challenge .

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Meditation Challenge: Day 17 ~ Shifting into Self Referral

Your Most Authentic Self

In contrast with object referral, the experience of self-referral is when your internal reference point is your own spirit, and not the objects of your experience. Your true self is free of all those issues – it is open to feedback and immune to criticism, it has no fear because it has no desperation or constriction or lack. It is ever abundant. It is neither above nor below anyone else because it knows we are all Spirit wearing different disguises. Therefore when the world around us is swirling with chaos and confusion . . . we are the calm amidst the storm because we can come from within – a place of abundance, and pure joy, and stillness – to truly see all the external aspects of existence but not be dependent upon them working out a certain way.

Instead of External Happiness

Our encouragement today is to choose the happiness that does not depend on circumstance, that can exist despit what others think and say, no matter what's going on, even if we aren't in control.

My Meditation Experience

I waited until evening to do the meditation today, which is great for letting go of the day's stress, but I missed it earlier in the day. I had a headache by the time I did it. But boy, did it help!

The contrast between before and after is more dramatic later in the day! Great meditation.

Where to Find It

If you did not start your day with this meditation, either, you can find it here. Later is far better than never!

See you tomorrow!


To read each day's blog post and find a link for that day's meditation, go to my Squidoo page at http://www.squidoo.com/21-day-meditation-challenge .

Friday, August 27, 2010

Wacky Feelings & A Native American Shaman! Meditation Challenge ~ Day 16

My Wacky Annoying Feelings

I ask in precisely that way because I have noticed a faint but lingering sadness or melancholy that sort of comes and goes.

I was wondering about it, blaming hormones and lack of sleep and whatever else came to mind. I call that sort of blame-finding mission a form of creative writing and I think we rarely land on the real reason unless we get still and quiet and then, ask. But I did it anyway.

And only in the past few days did it occur to me that it might be connected to my experiences with meditating. That it might be a form of release or clearing. Then, this morning, I woke up with a sort of vague fear that kept attaching itself to everything I did while I got ready. I was half asleep, up much earlier than usual to go to an appt., hadn't had enough sleep and wasn't paying attention.

I just kept batting away the anxiety like an annoying fly until I woke up enough to wonder what the heck was going on. I did all my healing techniques and felt better, but I could still tell that something wasn't right.

Finally, I realized that the feelings were clearing, and I was reminded of the sadness that comes and goes.

And then, today, they addressed it and explained it on the meditation page...

Accept and Be Gentle with Your Feelings

"If some of the meditations have sparked some emotion within you or have opened up something that may have been dormant – a sadness long forgotten or an unresolved issue – this is a good thing. There is dormant toxic emotional plaque that is buried in all of us. And this is a form of it FINALLY starting to release – even situations and circumstances we are positive we had closed the loop on and let go. If you are finding yourself more emotional these days . . . or less stressed out . . . or less filled with anxiety . . . congratulations! You are experiencing the first direct benefit of a meditation practice. Let’s keep it going . . . and remember: be gentle with yourself." ~~Chopra Center

Where to Find It

I was in a hurry this morning and had to wait until later to do the meditation. Then, when I got back, I had to finish up with my homeschool planning for the year. Talk about last minute -- we start next week!! But I finally finished!

And I celebrated with the meditation. Well, after I did my happy dance while singing, "I'm done! I'm done! I'm done, I'm done, I'm done!"

If you have waited, too, here's the link!

Native American Shaman

And by the way, today's meditation process is a good one. It's about continuing to explore who we want to be and what qualities we want to embody. The exploration today is about archetypes (fun)!

I have to confess, though, that I fell asleep a couple of times during it. At one point, my response to  his pormpt was to envision a Native American shaman sitting next to me, comforting and kind and peaceful. I lay my head on his shoulder in my mind, and that must have felt real because I drifted off to sleep, LOL.

See you tomorrow!


To read each day's blog post and find a link for that day's meditation, go to my Squidoo page at http://www.squidoo.com/21-day-meditation-challenge .

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Three Important Questions to Meditate on Today: Meditation Challenge ~ Day 15

Three Questions

Before today's meditation, the meditation guide mentions three questions that we can ask ourselves and suggests that our meditation practice will help provide the answers. We are reminded that we were given the first question yesterday as a mantra: who am I? And we were promised that each time we meditate, our awareness and understanding of who we are will expand.

What comes to mind as you ponder that question?


Just before meditating today, I saw and heard one lone goose, which reminded me of the Native American supposition, based on what goose means in Native American spirituality, that the childhood stories that were your favorites often hold clues to your life themes and your life quest.

I spent a week or so blogging about that question here.

What was your favorite childhood story?

Sleeping Beauty was one of mine, and as I sat here, trying to wake up, part of me longing to go back to bed, I was reminded of how many different times in my life and in how many different ways awakening has been a theme for me. Even in as basic a way as my struggle to get going in the mornings.

The Other Questions

The other two questions seem just as deep as the first, all-important one...

What do I want?

What is my dharma – what is my purpose?
My favorite stories offer clues to the answers to those questions, too, although my deepest clarity has come from having my hands read.
My Meditation Experience Today
I wondered how it would go when I still felt so groggy. But it was wonderful!! Not as usual, it was even more wonderful than that, I think, because it was longer. We meditated for ten minutes this time!
After we were done, I felt so good, I think I might do it again tonight!
Where to Find It
If you haven't meditated yet today, here's the link. If you did try it, I would love to know how it went for you. Did you experience any revelations? And how is your experience going, in general, during this challenge?
I sometimes wonder if I am talking to myself about this challenge, but occasionally, I hear from someone who is doing it with me, has tried it or intends to do so. Yay! :)
See you tomorrow! (Don't forget your list ~ see the Chopra Center link for explanation)

To read each day's blog post and find a link for that day's meditation, go to my Squidoo page at http://www.squidoo.com/21-day-meditation-challenge  .

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Awakening to Ourselves at a Deeper Level: Meditation Challenge ~ Day 14

"Every time we meditate we connect to the purest essence, and each time we touch it, experience it, or glimpse it . . . we awaken more to it in our life. And each time we awaken . . . we experience a higher state of consciousness in our life."~~Chopra Center

Evening Meditation

Today, I decided to wait until later to do the meditation to see how it would be, what impact it would have on my night. I am hip deep in homeschool planning (it's crunch time) because we go back to homeschool next week. And I knew it would be hard to focus on anything else this morning.

I wondered how it would feel to go full out with working on the homeschool planning, put that aside, eat dinner and then, sit down to meditate.

It helped a lot to de-stress from the day! I liked it, so I can see that it would be good to have this kind of meditation break twice in my day.

How was it for you?

Where to Find It

If you waited, too, and have not yet done today's meditation, I'd love to hear how it was different for you. Here's the link for the meditation. If you're blogging about your experiences, you can add your blog link here.

See you tomorrow!


To read each day's blog post and find a link for that day's meditation, go to my Squidoo page at http://www.squidoo.com/21-day-meditation-challenge  .

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Seven Reasons I'm Glad I Am Taking the Meditation Challenge (Day 13)

Seven Reasons...

When I started this process, I had no idea what to expect! But I knew I wanted to create a meditation practice and was game to give it a try. It has rewarded me, already, much more than I could imagine!

Here's why...

(1) I look forward to getting up in the morning now because I know I don’t have to jump right into my day. I get to start the day with a cup of tea and meditation.

(2) It seems like I am sleeping better at night. I am falling asleep more quickly and waking up more easily, too.

(3) I am deeply relaxed now as I start my day and I feel calmer throughout the day. I have noticed that I am not as reactive when something goes wrong.

(4) I already like my life better! I don’t feel so rushed and I’ve been doing things like watch the sunset and sit for a while and read after my son goes to bed, instead if immediately getting back to work.

(5) I feel more spiritually connected than I did before the challenge. I can tell when I’m doing the meditations that the sense of connection has deepened.

(6) Before the challenge came along, I had been wanting to slow down, create more time to relax and incorporate drinking tea into those moments throughout the day. This challenge gave me the perfect opportunity and structure make those changes.

(7) After the first few days, my nine-year-old son decided he wanted to do the meditations with me and has joined me every day since then. He seems calmer, too!

Chopra Center Quote for the Day...

"You are never stuck. You are never trapped. You always have an opportunity to make a shift . . . . surrender to your unconditioned self . . . awaken to your infinite possibilities in each moment. And it is in that surrender – in that trust – that the universe will work out the details so you can let go of past control issues, past judgments, and past conditioned responses."

Where to Find It

If you haven't done the meditation yet for today, it is here. And you can add the link for your blog post here.

See you tomorrow!


To read each day's blog post and find a link for that day's meditation, go to my Squidoo page at http://www.squidoo.com/21-day-meditation-challenge .

What Do I Want to Create? What Does Slowing Down Mean for Me?

Tea and Contemplation

As you already know, I am in the process of slowing things down. I have been practicing meditation and am trying to create a morning tea ritual around it. I also want to make room for afternoon tea and a more contemplative lifestyle, in general.

But practically speaking, what is that going to mean for me? That’s what I’m asking myself right now.

Balance Between Work and Play

Well, one thing I think it will mean is that I have got to create more balance between building up my business and planning for time for myself and family. I’ve been neglecting that balance.

What I Want to Create

I miss having time to read, and time to sit on the couch in the afternoon and look out the window. And then, once it cools off a bit, I can even take time to sit on the balcony.

What I know, so far, is that I want to start my day with tea and meditation, move through our homeschooling day without rushing or pressure, and carve out at least an hour in the afternoon for tea and reading.

Then, I can get back to work for a couple of hours. And after that, I want to stop. I would like to be done with working in front of the TV after my son goes to bed.

Instead, I want to relax, have a cup of tea and read during the commercials. I’m not sure yet how to make it all work but I want to try.

And that’s what I know, so far!

See you tomorrow!


To read each day's blog post and find a link for that day's meditation, go to my Squidoo page at http://www.squidoo.com/21-day-meditation-challenge .

Monday, August 23, 2010

What Limiting Beliefs Do You Need to Let Go Of? ~ Meditation Challenge: Day 12

Be Gentle with the Ego

"As you meditate regularly, your witnessing consciousness expands and you are able to see more and more clearly that you are not your ego . . . you are not your limiting beliefs. This is the starting point for more conscious choice making.Isn’t it interesting that only YOU have set the limits for what you can do, what you’re capable of, and what you believe. This creates a magnificent opportunity to move beyond any limiting beliefs you may have." ~~Chopra Center

Choose the Miraculous

In the pep talk on today's meditation page, we are encouraged to see ourselves as being made of the same stuff as the universe, to see ourselves as limitless and infinite...

"Right now, we have a choice – a powerful choice – to choose these magnificent characteristics of the universe . . . or some conditioned, less than, constricted, perspective. Which will you choose?"~~Chopra Center

Where to Find It

How did you feel about today's meditation?

I loved it! It was awesome. Especially the part where we inhaled something we wanted to experience, like limitless possibility, and exhaled something that no longer served us. We did that several times and it felt fantastic. Try it, if you haven't yet!

If you have not yet listened to it, you can find it here.

See you tomorrow!


To read each day's blog post and find a link for that day's meditation, go to my Squidoo page at http://www.squidoo.com/21-day-meditation-challenge .

Welcome to All the Savvy Bloggers! How Would You Describe Your Blog?...

The Start of an Adventure

I always get excited when a new blog challenge starts! (I think this is my fourth or fifth one). If you decide to comment, please leave a link to your blog and tell me about it.

For this challenge, I will be blogging every day about my effort to slow down and create more me time, more family time, and to create a more contemplative lifestyle, in general. I am already in the process of creating a daily tea ritual that includes meditation.

The Meditation Challenge

Eleven or twelve days ago, I started a 21-day meditation challenge put on by the Chopra Center. Every day, they email that day's meditation and give you a little pep talk to go along with it. I am SO glad I decided to do it, because it is paying off already. I feel better! Much less stressed.

Join Us?

If you want to get in on the meditation challenge, it's not too late! Just follow this blog because I post a link to each day's meditation.

After the Meditation Challenge

Once the 21 days have ended, I will be blogging about my efforts to continue this process I have started. I welcome your feedback and look forward to reading your blogs, too!

By the way, I have been reading a couple of blog posts by a fellow blogger at LittleBooks.com and she has issued a "six words" challenge. Hers is to use six words to describe your life. I was thinking maybe those of us participating in this challenge could use six words to describe our blogs.

Here are mine: creating a contemplative tea lifestyle. What are yours? Tell me in your comment...

See you tomorrow!


P.S. While you're here, it would be ever so helpful if you would "like" my Facebook page and "follow" this blog...

P.P.S. I also will be participating in the "Build A Better Blog" activities...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Pride and Prejudice

This weekend, I watched Pride and Prejudice! It held me spellbound for the entire two-and-a-half hours!! Often, when I am watching a TV show or movie, I also am at work on the computer. I do fairly well at multi-tasking, as many women (or moms) do.

But for this movie, I sat on the couch and only read my book during the commercials. I didn’t even get up to make my tea and I had been sure I would have a cuppa at my side.

When it was over, just like a really good book, I was loathe to let it go! In fact, perhaps, now, I should read the book, now that I know it is safe.

Having seen Sense and Sensibility, but not read any of the books or seen any other movies, except Becoming Jane, I must admit, I was prepared for nothing to go well for the any of the primary characters in the Bennett family.

I half expected the movie to end with nearly all their hearts broken!

When Darcy redeemed himself and began to make such grand kind gestures on Elizabeth’s behalf, I was happy that things were working out for those Bennett sisters, but still suspected that somehow, Darcy and Lizzie would be kept apart.

So what a delight at the end to see that they would get to be together!

Did anyone else watch it? What did you think?

Meditation Challenge: Day 11 ~ Effortless Flow at the Halfway Point

"It’s Day 11 and you’ve passed the halfway point! Only ten more days until meditation is infused within you as a ritual. Dig deep now and surrender. Put all your attention on nothingness. Be aware of everything, yet judge nothing. Be defenseless today. Don’t feel the need to insert your point of view on anything. Let the universe just flow you to your next thought, word, or action. In this moment, know that meditation can be a piece of your life forever. And as you continue to meditate, your life will continue to blossom and bloom." ~~Chopra Center

An Infused Ritual

I love the suggestion that if we just keep meditating each day, we will have created a ritual. And that it will change us forever & make our lives blossom.

I also like the idea of being at the halfway point. Just as many days ahead as behind for this challenge.

Great meditation today!

How was it for you?

Where to Find It

If you haven't done it today (I watched a movie and ate breakfast first), the link is here. Add your blog post here.

See you tomorrow!


To read each day's blog post and find a link for that day's meditation, go to my Squidoo page at http://www.squidoo.com/21-day-meditation-challenge .

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Meditation Challenge: Day 10 ~ Be Gentle with Yourself

A Reminder to Be Gentle...

"The goal of the meditation is not to eliminate thoughts. It’s to disconnect from activity while you connect to stillness and silence. So as you continue with your meditation practice – and with your life – be easy on yourself. Who’s your biggest critic? Most likely it’s you. Cut yourself some slack today from your harshest critic. Take a deep breath in, feel the universe’s abundance . . . and let it flow throughout your day." ~~Chopra Center

My Meditation Experience

Well, I did not do what I had planned, which was to get up and meditate before everything else. But I did do everything mindfully and without rushing, so it all felt okay. I felt quite relaxed even before I drank my first sip of chamomile tea, well before the meditation began.

The meditation, itself, was wonderful, as usual. I feel so happy about creating this meditation ritual!

Where to Find It

If you haven't done the meditation yet for today, go here. And to add your blog post, go here.

See you tomorrow!


To read each day's blog post and find a link for that day's meditation, go to my Squidoo page at http://www.squidoo.com/21-day-meditation-challenge .

Friday, August 20, 2010

This Blog is about to Get Savvy!

Starting on Monday, this blog will participate in the Build A Better Blog Challenge, which goes for 31 days. But we get to take weekends off, so it will turn out to be a six-week challenge, lasting until October 4th!

We will be reading Darren Bowse's 31 Days to a Better Blog and doing our best to follow his suggestions.

Want to join us?

The link to register is at Savvy Blogging Success.

See you tomorrow!


Meditation Challenge: Day 9 ~ Meditating in Nature

"We are quickly approaching the halfway point in the Meditation Challenge and your DNA is changing; you are becoming less reactive, calmer, less stressed – and you are truly crafting a meditation ritual . . . effortlessly. Today let’s again make a commitment to connect with nature . . . in any way. Breathe fresh air; pet a flower; snuggle with your dog; squish your bare feet in the grass, sand, or water; sit or lie down on a warm rock, connecting to the earth’s foundational energy; and gaze at the night sky and celebrate its infinite power."~~Chopra Center

Today's Meditation...

I haven't been feeling well in the past day or so (allergies!), so this will probably be a shorter post than usual.

Are you noticing that you are less reactive?

I think I am beginning to notice that, plus more relaxation in general. Less tension. And so far, I love getting up to have chamomile tea and meditation!

Today's meditation felt wonderful!! But I must say, it's very tempting to get ready in the morning first, to make up the bed, take my supplements, go through the whole morning routine. And I think I need to let go of that and just sit quietly in my pjs while I prepare the tea. I am going to try that tomorrow and see how it feels.

It's all an experiment, right?

How did it go for you?

Where to Find It

See you tomorrow!


To read each day's blog post and find a link for that day's meditation, go to my Squidoo page at http://www.squidoo.com/21-day-meditation-challenge .

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Meditation Challenge: Day 8 ~~ Connecting w/ Nature (through video)

The Realm of the Senses

For today's meditation, we had the choice of listening to the audio or watching the ocean video...

One of the most healing behaviors we can do is to connect to nature. Whether you are tickling the soles of your feet on freshly cut grass, or gazing deep into the blackness of the heavens, or simply letting the sound of the shore’s foam gently lap at your mind as you breathe in the ocean prana, when you connect with nature, you connect to your universality. You move from your own individual, personal body to your extended body . . . and ultimately to the universal body where you are one with nature.~~Chopra Center

My Experience with the Ocean

For the past several days, my son has been meditating with me. Today, he sat next to me to watch the ocean video and was a bit fidgety, so I was a little distracted. On the other hand, I felt the loving connection between us become part of the oceanic meditation experience.

I tried it both ways: with my eyes open, at first, to watch the waves, and then, closed for a while. Both were okay, but having them closed felt like a deeper connection. My son and I each have nature sounds machines in our rooms that we keep on the ocean waves sound, so it was very familiar.

How was it for you?


I decided to look up seagulls in my animal medicine books to see if there might be an intuitive message there that felt right for me, today. Perhaps it will feel right for you, too...
Here's one thing I found ...

"Gulls have developed an intricate code of behavior...They use a combination of calls and gestures. Because of this, they can teach you how to read people more effectively. They can help you to understand the subtleties of communication -- what is not being ostensibly expressed. They can help you to read between the lines and understand the body language of others." ~~Animal Speak: The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great & Small, Ted Andrews

Because they are shore birds, and the shoreline is the bridge between land and sea, they also can help you travel the bridge between the mystical/magical and the more concrete world of our everyday experience.
Where to Find It

If you haven't done the day's meditation yet, that link is here. Once you have done it, tell us how it went for you. You can add your blog link here, or leave a comment on this blog. I'd love to know how it's going for you!

See you tomorrow!


To read each day's blog post and find a link for that day's meditation, go to my Squidoo page at http://www.squidoo.com/21-day-meditation-challenge .

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Meditation Challenge: Day 7 ~ My Experiment w/ Tea & Meditation

My Tea Ritual

Today, I decided to try doing what he suggested, getting to meditation earlier in my day, before I did most of my "getting ready" kinds of things. Now, he suggested getting up, going to the bathroom, and meditating.

I did a bit more than that. After the first two steps, I raised the blinds to let in sunlight, made myself chamomile tea and made up my bed while it was getting ready, drank a little water, took a supplement or two, turned on this computer and sat down, ready to meditate.

Experiences with Meditation

In the pep talk part of this meditation intro, he asks what our meditation experiences have been like. Have we fallen asleep? Loved it? Disliked it? Had difficulty? Etc.

He reminded us that only three things can happen when you meditate: thoughts wander in and out, you get sleepy and doze off a bit or you experience the wonder between thoughts while still awake. And often, you will experience all three.

...These three experiences – having thoughts, falling asleep, and slipping into the gap – happen innocently and they are all signs of a verified meditation...As long as you commit to the practice, and show up for your meditation . . . you are doing it right.~~Chopra Center

Don't Stop

He also mentioned that a lot of people would stop meditating at this point, and he encouraged us to keep going. He said that sometimes people get disappointed when they don't have an amazing meditation experience (like seeing the Buddha or something else magical) so they give up. If we release those expectations and decide not to have any and instead, come with an openness to whatever we experience, we won't be disappointed.

The benefits of meditation happen when you are awake and out of meditation and now there is a hint of stillness in you that wasn’t there yesterday . . . and now there is a sprinkling of silence that flows through each word and thought. Yes, now in this waking state you feel the full effects of reconnecting to your unconditioned self. You flow through the day with greater grace and ease, all of your deadlines get met, your conversations are more conscious, and your heart is more open to receive.~~Chopra Center

He suggests journaling about your meditation experiences, now, so I am way ahead of the game on that one.

But he also encourages us to pay attention to how this practice affects us during the day after we meditate and I am looking forward to noticing those changes, too.

My Chamomile Tea Meditation

I drank a fair amount of tea while listening to the intro so was very relaxed before we even started. I loved the way it felt to add that to my experience. It was wonderful! I think this contemplative tea ritual thing I'm trying to start is going to work out.

Where to Find It

If you haven't done the day's meditation yet, that link is here. Once you have done it, tell us how it went for you. You can add your blog link here, or leave a comment on this blog. I'd love to know how it's going for you!

See you tomorrow!


To read each day's blog post and find a link for that day's meditation, go to my Squidoo page at http://www.squidoo.com/21-day-meditation-challenge.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Meditation Challenge: Day Six ~ Create a Morning Meditation Ritual

Creating a Ritual

One of the first things David asks in today's post is whether or not you woke up this morning. He says if we are not sure we did, we should go back to bed. That's striking because I got up earlier than usual this morning and I still don't completely feel like I "woke up." Can't go back to bed, though, I have distant healing clients this afternoon.

"Most people perform the same behaviors in the same way in the same order year after year after year. And it was from this foundation that I developed a meditation ritual that has allowed me to NEVER miss a morning meditation. The technique is pretty simple and it relies on the fact that we rise each morning."~~Chopra Center

Right After the Bathroom

What he suggests is that you meditate before you do most of the major things you do as a matter of course each morning. He basically is suggesting that you get up, go to the bathroom and then, sit down to meditate.

Though I like the idea of that, I am not sure I am awake enough for that to work. It might be better to pair it with a morning cup of tea, but before I eat breakfast, and start the day in other ways.

How would that work for you?

I think I might try it, starting tomorrow, so I still have lots of days to practice with this process before I have to take my show on the road, so to speak.

Want to join me? Let me know if you do!

What to Land on w/ Your Attention

During the meditation, he suggested not landing on the sad things, though they might deserve our time later.

For this meditation, we started with a body scan, checking in and then, celebrating each body part. Sweet knees, he said! :) Actually, it felt good to be thankful for everything my body does for me.

Did it for you?

And then, we briefly turned our attention to emotional concerns and after that, back to gratitude for what has gone well. It was a good meditation time. I feel very relaxed, which is a great way to begin my afternoon of working with clients!

Where to Find It

If you haven't done today's meditation yet, you can find it here. And if you are blogging about your experience with the daily meditations, please add your link here. Or leave a comment. I would love to know what the experience has been like for you.

Have a great day!

See you tomorrow!


To read each day's blog post and find a link for that day's meditation, go to my Squidoo page at http://www.squidoo.com/21-day-meditation-challenge .

Monday, August 16, 2010

Meditation Challenge: Day Five ~ Attention & Intention: "Yum" or "Yuck"?

"Everything in life is about attention and intention. Our attention is where we direct our energy, intention is what we want to create with that directed energy. This where we realize that in every moment, there is the observer, the act of observing, and the observed. Once we place our attention on something, all three of those components – observer, act of observing, observed – come together in a sort of dance. When we meditate, these three components unify and become one – pure, unbounded spirit."~~Chopra Center

Attention and Intention

I love that he talks about intention and moving in the direction of your dreams! I also loved what he said about this journey taking us to the best parts of ourselves.

And I was struck by how easily those things he mentioned could be evaluated as good or bad, depending on the story and the meaning we gave to it. And then, he said exactly that when he talked about the pounding on the door.

How did it go for you?

Where to Find It

If you haven't listened to it yet, you can find a link to it, along with a place to leave your own thoughts by clicking here.

See you tomorrow!


To read each day's blog post and find a link for that day's meditation, go to my Squidoo page at http://www.squidoo.com/21-day-meditation-challenge .

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Meditation Challenge: Day Four ~~ Manifestation

"The purpose of using a mantra is similar to using our breath. In mantra meditation, we drift back to the mantra whenever we notice that our attention has drifted to thought, sound, or physical sensation. We gently drift back to the mantra and continue repeating it. Typically, mantras are used not for whatever meaning they may have but for their vibrational quality. Just like the ring of a chime or the gong of a church bell, we don’t give meaning to these sounds . . . they are meaningless vibrations. By keeping our attention on a vibration or sound that has no meaning, we disconnect from all the things in our life to which we have given meaning – every thought, every sound, every physical sensation."~~Chopra Center

Mantra Manifestation Meditation

Today's focus was on repeating a mantra connected to manifestation and beginning with an intention of something we would like to manifest. Love that focus!

I didn't know there were manifestation mantras. Cool!

My Meditation Experience

It's raining here, today, so I had the backdrop of gentle sounds of rain as I did the meditation. I also did some reiki this morning, which felt wonderful, so I was relaxed before I even began.

Though I didn't like all the intro talking he does, I can see how some of the explanation is helpful, even necessary.

And I enjoyed the meditation. Just as he predicted, I did forget the mantra and started thinking about work. So When he gave the cue to end the mantra part, I kept going for another minute or so.

Where to Find It

If you haven't done today's meditation yet, you can find it here. And if you are blogging about your experience with the daily meditations, please add your link here. Or leave a comment. I would love to know what the experience has been like for you.

Have a great Sunday!

See you tomorrow!


To read each day's blog post and find a link for that day's meditation, go to my Squidoo page at http://www.squidoo.com/21-day-meditation-challenge .

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Meditation Challenge: Day Three

"Every thought has a beginning, a middle, and an end. When you meditate, you will notice that there is a space between the end of one thought and the beginning of the next. That space is known as the gap. It’s in the gap that you experience your pure, unbounded self – unconditioned, infinite, and pregnant with possibilities. And then the next thought occurs . . . and ends . . . and then the pure potentiality of that space between thoughts helps create the next thought. As you meditate on a regularly basis, your experience of the silence and stillness between thoughts expands and you connect more deeply to the YOU that exists beyond your thoughts, stories, and personality. "~~Chopra Center

In the message today, we are encouraged not to worry about the thoughts that pop into our heads as we meditate. That's normal and okay.

I didn't get to this meditation until my day was almost half over! I had a conference call soon after I got up this morning and then, errands to run, stuff to do.

But the good thing about that is that I was aware of being tense when I started and felt grateful that I was about to meditate.

So what did you think about during the meditation?

I thought about the strawberry tallcake Ruby Tuesday used to make and when I did, I could taste it. I also thought about pizza and at times, wondered when he would stop talking and get to the meditation.

But he did and it allowed me to release all my tension!

See you tomorrow!


To read each day's blog post and find a link for that day's meditation, go to my Squidoo page at http://www.squidoo.com/21-day-meditation-challenge  .

Friday, August 13, 2010

Day Two: Meditation Challenge

"If you find yourself getting caught up in a feeling or a thought, ask yourself, 'Who is the one who is experiencing this thought . . . who is the one having this feeling?' This question will immediately shift your awareness to what, in many Eastern traditions, is referred to as the 'silent witness' or 'witness consciousness.' The goal of these first few sessions is simply to get comfortable with experiences that can happen when you meditate, including thoughts, feelings, sounds, and physical sensations." ~~Chopra Center

Before I do the meditation, I have been reading their little pep talk. And I liked what they said today. They congratulated us on coming back for day two, saying that many people stop after the first try when they are trying to make a change.

So you and I have done well to stick with it! *pats self on back*

I had intended to do the meditation again last night, but when the time came, didn't really want to do it. However, I did have a few moments of stillness while drinking my chamomile tea, and then, again, while watching the sunset.

I did not like the music for today's meditation, and that distracted me a little bit. And my mind wandered again to this post and to the writing I have to do next. But what worked was coming back to "I'm breathing in" and "I'm breathing out." And when it was time to open my eyes at the end, I didn't really want to, which is a way I can tell that I really relaxed pretty deeply!

So I conclude that it went well, I'm glad I did it and I look forward to tomorrow's meditation.

How did it go for you?

See you tomorrow!


To read each day's blog post and find a link for that day's meditation, go to my Squidoo page at http://www.squidoo.com/21-day-meditation-challenge  .

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Meditation Challenge: Day One

I feel like I am floating on a sea of relaxation after doing day one of the meditation challenge! It was great. Normally, I am not a big fan of mindfulness meditation because I am usually hoping that meditation will distract me from what I am noticing or experiencing, and create a different experience.

But this was still good! My favorite part was when I was led to meditate with my eyes open. I watched the trees blow in the wind, and really enjoyed that in a way that is sometimes challenging for me. I even noticed the shadow of the trees and I am pretty sure I have never paid attention to that before! I also watched the flame from my Cinnamon Stick candle flicker, but couldn't smell it right then.

With my eyes closed, I heard the sound of the air conditioner and felt my elbows on the arms of the chair. I realized that my knees were bothering me, just a smidge, and rubbed them a little. These are all things I almost never notice.

I confess, though, that my mind did wander, to writing this post and to the writing I have ahead. This time is time I usually spend writing and I regret a little that I have not started yet. I gulped down my tea this morning to get to the meditation, so I could then, get to my writing. I don't think that embodies the spirit of this experiment! :)

But we'll see how it goes!

At the beginning, the meditation guide asks for your intention for the 21 days. Mine is to let go of stress and tension, the kind I hardly realize is there until my back or neck or head starts to hurt. I look forward to seeing what happens.

If you're participating with me, share how it went in the comments here or, if you are blogging about it, share the link on the community page I created here.

See you tomorrow!


To read each day's blog post and find a link for that day's meditation, go to my Squidoo page at http://www.squidoo.com/21-day-meditation-challenge .

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Meditation Teleseminar: It was great!

I thoroughly enjoyed the meditation teleseminar! He led us in a brief meditation as the call began. He described the problem we all have with daily stress and explained what it does to our bodies. Then, he contrasted that with the benefit we get from meditating.

Here are some of my notes but somewhat synergized with my own thoughts about what he was saying, what he meant…

Reactive Response

The most pervasive in our modern experience. This is the way we do fight-or-flight these days. We fight with our words and flee by shutting down emotionally. This reaction is a primitive one to perceived threats to self-esteem, to the way we think of ourselves and who we are.
Same physical reactions as bear-in-the-woods: increase of cortisol and glucagon, immune system is suppressed, blood platelets gets stickier, etc.

And he asked us to imagine how many times that happens in a day, in a week. How many more times can it happen before our bodies hand us a physical bill?

So many things push our minds and our bodies out of balance. Meditation is about restful awareness. It helps us return to balance, come home to our center. It grounds us.

We always have the ability to make nurturing choices for ourselves. In 21 days, you can create a ritual. Turn good intentions into nourishing choices. And if you show up for 21 days, you will change your life!

Best Time to Meditate

At the start of your day, whenever that is, so that everything that comes after will benefit from your time of meditation. Everything you touch will experience stillness and silence. Then, do it again later in the day to release anything you need to let go of and bring calm to the end of your day.

Guided Meditations

It all starts tomorrow! Though 30 minutes is an optimal amount of time, the guided meditations will be much shorter. Five minutes or less.

To sign up, go to http://www.chopra.cpm/meditate

Why You Should Drink Tea Every Day

I found this video on YouTube, and while he is speaking specifically about green tea here, he makes a good argument for drinking tea every day. And that is my message, too, for so many reasons!...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

More Antioxidants than Fruits and Vegetables

We all know that tea is not just yummy in taste but in many ways it is good for your health. In fact, studies have demonstrated that tea has ten times the antioxidants that fruits and vegetables have.

Ten Times the Antioxidants!

“While tea cannot replace fruits and vegetables in the diet, science has shown that tea leaves contain more of the compound than most antioxidant-rich produce.

The antioxidant activity in two cups of tea is equal to seven glasses of orange juice, five medium-sized onions or four medium-sized apples.” –Kathleen Rogers, certified tea specialist

Monday, August 9, 2010

New Iced Tea Recipe: Sweet Tea with Muddled Mint

"Whether it’s accompanying a southern-inspired menu or enjoyed solo on the front porch, our quick and easy sweet tea is sure to please. Use our simple muddling technique to infuse your drink with fresh, natural flavor and make it feel positively homemade."~~Home Made Simple.

Sweet Tea Muddled with Mint


8 lemon tea bags
6 cups boiling hot water
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups cold water
1 bunch fresh mint
1 lemon, sliced


Place tea bags in a large pot.
Pour boiling water over tea bags. Let steep 20 minutes.
Remove tea bags. Stir in sugar. Pour mixture into a 2-quart pitcher. Stir in cold water and add ice cubes, if desired.
Place a small handful of mint leaves in the bottom of each serving glass. Using a muddler* or wood spoon, crush the mint until the leaves are bruised and fragrant.
Fill each glass with chilled sweet tea. Garnish with an additional sprig of mint and a lemon slice.

A muddler is a long swizzle stick with an enlarged tip used for muddling, or crushing, ingredients like herbs, sugar and fruits to enhance their flavor and aroma. It’s a fun, old-fashioned technique you can use to add gourmet charm to lots of different drink recipes.

How to Muddle

Learn how to muddle your favorite herbs in 3 easy steps:

(1) Pour a teaspoon or two of granulated sugar into the bottom of your drink glass, which will help create friction as you grind your herb leaves.

(2) Place your herb leaves in the glass, then press down firmly with your muddler (or wooden spoon) and twist. The goal is not to break the leaves, but to bruise them and release their aroma and flavor.

(3) Muddle your leaves for about one minute, then pour your drink into the glass and garnish as desired.

Tip: This tea features strong yet refreshing flavor that we think is perfect for summertime. But if you’d prefer to weaken the tea, simply dilute it by adding in an extra cup or two of cold water.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Make Your Next Tea Party A "Sweet Treat" Recipe Swap

Wanting to host a tea party and looking for ideas to make it even more fun for you and your friends? How about a recipe swap for tea party treats?

Recipe Swap

"Recipe Swap: Ask your friends to bring in copies of their favorite recipe card to pass out to each guest, then craft decorative recipe tins for stowing cards in style. With a new collection of easy, sure-to-please recipes in hand, your guests will leave inspired to take back the kitchen."--Home Made Simple.

Your Recipe

I'll even start you out with a sweet treat recipe you can bring...

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Welcome BlogHer visitors! Here are this blog's coming attractions...

If you are reading along, you have already noticed that this blog will start meditating next week! :) but that's not all the excitement coming soon...

Today: We have a blog hop starting in about half an hour which is connected to the BlogHer conference going on this weekend! Join Us!!

Next Week: Join the meditation challenge and start meditating like you have never meditated before! Especially if you have never meditated before. For more information, click here.

Two Weeks (ish): Starting on the 23rd (I think -- definitely that week), this blog will participate in a blog challenge and will post every day for 30 days. During that time, I will be blogging about creating a tea lifestyle and will tell you all about how well that's working out on my own life! More info here, if you want to join us!

Mid-September: Blogmania ~~ a two-day extravaganza where there will be goodies and prizes and giveaways, oh my! Find out about it here.

Okay, I think that's it for now! Don't forget to come visit me on Twitter and Facebook.

Thanks for dropping by! :)


Meditation Seminar on August 11th at 5pm EST...

Meditation Seminar to Kick-Off the Start of the 21-Day Meditation Challenge.

Register for it at http://www.chopra.com/meditationchallenge or use the webinar link on my Squidoo page at http://www.squidoo.com/21-day-meditation-challenge.

From their website: Meditation is one of the best tools we have to loosen the grip of sticky emotions, go beyond the mind’s noisy chatter, and experience the peace of present-moment awareness. Numerous scientific studies have found that a regular meditation practice produces tangible benefits for mental and physical health, including:

Decreased blood pressure and hypertension

•Slower heart rate

•Lower cholesterol levels

•Reduced production of “stress hormones,” including cortisol and adrenaline

•More efficient oxygen use by the body

•Increased production of the anti-aging hormone DHEA

•Improved immune function and more restful sleep

Hope to you'll be there and join in on the challenge! ~~Jeanine

Friday, August 6, 2010

21-Day Meditation Challenge

The Deepak Chopra Center is announcing a meditation challenge!

Each day of the challenge, beginning on August 12th, you will receive a guided meditation by email, along with a message and meditation tips.

I am looking forward to participating and will be blogging about it here.

Join me? To find out more, go to meditation challenge. If you want to share your blog posts with others taking the challenge, go to my Squidoo page here and give us the link to your blog post.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Dr. Andrew Weil's Personal Tea Story...

Dr. Andrew Weil...

"I take the act of drinking matcha seriously - or perhaps I should say, I take the pleasure of drinking matcha seriously.

So when I have my morning matcha, I don't simultaneously read the newspapers, surf the web, or even talk much with guests who may be present. The flavor of good matcha is subtle, nuanced, a harmony of gentle vegetal, floral, fruit and bitter notes that takes undivided attention to fully appreciate. There is a wonderful interplay here, because matcha contains psychoactive compounds - notably, caffeine and L-theanine - that promote calm, focused alertness, precisely the qualities required to appreciate the taste of good tea!

In the taste of a single cup of tea you will eventually discover the truth of all the ten thousand forms in the universe. It is difficult to put this taste into words, or even to catch a hint of it.
~The Venerable Kyongbong Sunim"

My Life with Tea, Part Two

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Dr. Andrew Weil on Life with Tea

Dr. Andrew Weil...

"In the 1970s and 80s, I became concerned about widespread coffee addiction in America. Many of my patients had longstanding disorders -- such as chronic stress, insomnia or gastrointestinal conditions -- and had been to dozens of doctors, taken many medications, but found no relief. I was nearly always the only doctor who 1) asked them if they drank coffee, and 2) told them in no uncertain terms to stop drinking it for at least two months to see if the problem resolved.

This simple counsel was amazingly successful. My files are full of accounts of chronic health problems that resolved completely when people stopped drinking coffee. In many cases, these patients became tea drinkers, and found the experience satisfying and healthful.

For what I drink now, and why, please read 'My Life with Tea, Part Two.' In the meantime, I'd like to read your personal tea story -- when did you begin to drink tea, and how have your consumption habits changed through the years?"

A Life with Tea

What's Your Tea Story?

Share your story in the comment section...