How a beginner’s mind will help you grow as a person

Grow by leaps and bounds by adopting a Beginner's Mind. Japanese Tea Ceremony teaches us that it is best to start from one and once we reach 10, to return to one. There is always something to learn by adopting this mindset.

Have you ever done something so many times that you feel that you know it so well? We all have felt that way in some way or form. But we can break this cycle by just changing our mindset and improve each repetition. In Japan having a Beginner’s mind at all points (even after 100th repetition) makes them continue to learn from something they already “know”.

      The term came out of zen which latter became part of Japanese culture as the Tea Ceremony became an important part of life itself. If this singular idea can make a whole country and culture become so proficient in what they do. A student will repeatedly study old and new material even when there is no exam to prepare for. A sushi chef will practice molding rice to place a piece of fish so many times before he has a singular customer of his own. Both will succeed and continue to practice by using a Beginner’s Mindset.  Now image what I can do for you in the different parts of your own life.   

Using it is quite simple, let go of what you think of the task. By doing this, letting go of preconceptions, it allows you to try a task a new and free of restraint. Next, will be to practice or repeat the steps to become proficient. To top it all off each time you do the task repeat from the beginning by having no preconceptions. Every moment you can turn into a chance to learn and grow.

 

Family

Now when your parents or Grandparents are teaching or telling you something new you can take it and go beyond. You can learn the wisdom they have been trying to pass onto you, and learn it in a way that is easier to comprehend (because we let go of what held us back before, our preconceptions).

 

Career

Learn job tasks quicker than the others and improve as you go. Every project will be filled with new life. Writing that report or filing those papers will become a new again. Through this method, you may even be ready for some promotions.

 

Education

Remember that student I mentioned above? You can use the same method to gain higher marks in your classes or even workshops you attend. Repetition with a little of a beginner’s mind will make every task you’re given just that little bit easier.

 

Love

Finally, you can look at ever new relationship as it truly is, new. Old relationships stay in the past as you focus your new one. Every step you take with them will become new, not “tarnished” by the past.

 

This technique will take some adjusting to your mindset with will power. If there is a preconception that will not go away try speaking aloud with the thought in mind and say “ I choose to see love instead of this”. Repeat as long as you need to and as often as you wish.

  

I would love to hear if you have used this method before? Or are you going to test drive it out?

Share your experiences in the comments below or tag me on Social Media.  Namaste.

Matcha: Taste is Everything 4

 We are now on week four and the conclusion to our taste experiment. The Fourth  in series of matcha tastings to see if taste, location and price equal up to a good quality tea. Kohei from Tales of Japanese Tea wrote  matcha is not about price or origin , which made me want to do this little experiment. The previous three posts can be found here, here and here. It’s Christmas so let’s have some tea (by the way the Doctor Who Christmas Special is on~)!
     

     This weeks tea is very unique. Maiko Tea was introduced to me during my Tea Sommelier classes earlier this year. Shortly after I was talking to Dr.Ralph Faerber who taught me many new things about matcha and  Japanese Teas. 
        This matcha I bought is called “Kyo Mukashi”. The package depicts a Maiko on the box and tin with a double lid.  Maiko Tea is located in Uji, Kyoto, Japan. The cost was about $13.72 CDN, very decent cost for much a tea.
     
   It had a creamy thick foam sweet, Very smooth lingering taste. I did find a  slight sweet lemon taste behind it all, quite a pleasant surprise. Very vivid green and a tea that held together very well. 
   
   This tea was very different as it had a low cost, great taste and was from Uji. After these four experiments, I feel that you can find something that has a great taste for a low cost. You just need to try different ones to find it. Over all I feel that this tea is my favourite out of the four we tried together, but I still will be looking for new ones to try. After all there are so many different teas in the world and so little time to experience them all. 

Which matcha is your “go to” matcha and why?

Japanese Tea Books

Japanese Tea Books curated collection by Katherine Bellman

   I have always loved a good book as I sip my tea. The books I would love to introduce you all to are all Japanese Tea themed in nature. Japanese tea and literature has always given me the feeling of a meditation, calmness and serenity. I hope these books give you the same peace as it does for me.

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Japanese Tea Books curated collection by Katherine BellmanThe Book of Tea by Kakuzo Okakura- Written in 1906, I found Okakura enlightening and gave a unique perspective of the time. He was brought up in Japan then was given a thorough Western education as opposed to the traditions of his own culture.  He then connects with the traditions and allows us to see and understand the traditions and his opinion of the changes in Japan at the time. Western education had become a priority households and traditions were left behind, this reminds me of  the many cultures around us. I am a big history fan, especially with tea and Japan, this book was very moving when he connects the development of tea to the development of art. Two of my favourite things in life together.                                                                                                                                                                                                     Tea Life , Tea Mind is written by the former Iemoto of Urasenke. Iemoto is like a father or head teacher of the tea school. He inspired me through his words in this book. He urges us to not only learn about tea but to live it through our daily life. By recalling memories from his life and tales from the life of Sen Rikyu’s Grandson, Sen Soutan. With these stories he breaks them down from their Zen parable like wording to make the reader feel on the same level as him. This book inspired me to focus on the four virtues of Sen Rikyu. Wa (Harmony), Ka(Respect), Sei (Purty) and Jaku (Tranquility). I plan to get each character written down my back as I understand them through tea.                                                                                                                                                                                               The Simplest way of Japanese Tea Ceremony- Japanese Tea Ceremony can seem overwhelming but it does not need to be. This book comes with a DVD video to help you see the steps to making matcha in a very simple way. It takes the bare bones and allows anyone to prepare matcha in no time. I added this one to my collection as it is written in both Japanese and English for all text, it helps me recognize which kanji are for tea and learn Japanese from a unique angle.                                                                                                                                     The One Taste of Truth caught my eye while looking through the Philosophy section at Chapters. One could say that it should have been in the religion section as it deconstructs Dao and Zen proverbs throughout history. As both followings are very philosophical and dense, I will admit it is hard for me to follow the most of the stories with in the book. Although I hope that returning to it again after gaining some wisdom through life will allow me to read it with a new perspective in the future.

 Most books can be purchased through Chapters or Amazon, with exception of  The Simplest Way of Japanese Tea Ceremony. This one I obtained from Karen Hartwick of Stratford Tea Leaves. 

   All books are my own and were purchased to further my education of Tea and the traditions behind it.

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