The Tea Ceremony--For One
For this ritual, you'll need candles, loose tea, a fussy china teacup, classical music, a little wrapped present that you buy or make for yourself, and delicious scones, which you'll bake (recipe below).
1. First, prepare yourself by taking a bath, adding 10 drops of an essential oil with relaxing properties, such as lavendar or bergamont. Then dress yourself in something loose, flowing, and elegant--something that makes you feel wonderful.
2. Prepare your room by lighting at least a few candles and putting inspiring classical music on the CD-player. I suggest Beethoven's 7th Symphony, or anything by Bach or Mozart--but if you have a favorite, use it. You can probably find the music at your public library. Oh, and remember to disconnect all telephones.
3. Now it's time to make the scones. Here's an authentic, delicious recipe I got from an innkeeper in County Cork, Ireland:
6.5 cups of self-rising flour
6 oz. butter
1/4 cup of ultrafine sugar
2 cups milk
some raisins (or currants)
*Rub the butter into the flour. Add the raisins and sugar.
*Make a hole in the center. Add the beaten egg and milk to make a soft dough.
*Turn onto a floured board and knead lightly.
* Shape into a round roll about one inch thick and cut into scones.
* Brush with egg wash and bake in a hot oven 15 to 25 minutes (done when top is light gold).
I also add chocolate chips and pecans to my scones, and you can experiment with your favorite ingredients, too.
4. While the scones bake, get out your fussy china. If you like jam, fill a little cup with it and make some butter balls or pats. Choose your tea, fill the infuser and put the cup with all the condiments on a serving tray. Also place your little wrapped present on the tray.
5. By now, your home should be filled with the intoxicating aroma of baked scones, the inspiring sounds of the music, and the soothing glow of the candlelight. Prepare your scone, pour hot water into your lovely teacup, take the tray over to your most comfortable sitting place, and breathe.
6. Spend at least a minute mentally giving gratitude for being able to have this ceremony and for whatever blessings you have in your life. Unwrap your present and gift it to yourself.
7. Enjoy the tea and scone--but force yourself to go slowly. Really let the flavors make themselves known to you. Taste the tea--really taste it. Describe it to yourself. Do the same with the scone. Instead of consuming the scone in two minutes, make it last for 20.
8. When you're done, leave the dishes for at least three hours to give yourself time to assimilate the experience, and absolutely avoid your "to do" list. You might now go out for a walk in nature, or write in your journal, or paint, or do some creative project. Allow yourself to bask in the peaceful energy you've created for as long as possible.
Hiyaguha, the Life Change Coach