Mindful Matcha moments with Bruno
The launch of our new Elements Collection has prompted us to think about how we can combine the benefits of indoor and outdoor living. It has showed us how natural materials thrive in the elements and how they encourage us to feel more connected to the outdoors. We can also bring this approach to our indoor lifestyle by creating mindful moments connected to nature.
Bruno Sitton has a strong passion for creating mindful moments with Zen practice and tea rituals. We sat down with Bruno to learn more about these rituals and to hear his wisdom on how we can incorporate these concepts into our own lives.
How did you become interested in Zen practice and tea ceremonies?
I have always had a beginner’s mind, which is a concept in Zen Buddhism that refers to a receptive way of experiencing and observing people, experiences and things around me. So, when I coincidentally came into contact with a Zen monk six years ago I started going to a Zen Dojo and then developed a keen interest in meditation. From there I eventually fell in love with all established Zen practices.
Next to this connection with Zen, I’ve always been a tea lover. My Mum used to do ‘Sunday morning tea time’ at home, so from an early age I was introduced to tea time as a moment of neutrality. It was a time to put all of our opinions and perspectives aside and take a moment to share love and kindness. In the end, a tea teacher that I met in New York was able to connect the dots for me between Zen and tea. I was then initiated with the ancient tea traditions of China and Japan.
How do these practices affect your lifestyle?
Drinking tea is one of the simplest acts anyone can do. You are fundamentally just drinking a hot drink - but - when you add rituals to this act, it becomes a ceremony. It transforms into a sacred and meditative moment that draws you to the present and lets you be in silence and with grace.
This practice is enhancing my lifestyle because it doesn't stop when I finish the ceremony. The art of any practice is to extend it towards all aspects of your life. So, whenever I walk, wash dishes, clean, talk, drive, cook, etc... I am still preparing tea. In this way it challenges me to execute every act throughout the day with grace and awareness - with Zen. I am preparing tea from the moment I wake up until the moment I go to sleep.
Can you tell us more about Matcha ceremonies?
Matcha literally means ‘whisked tea,’ and it is one of the 5 brewing methods that is practiced in the Chinese Tea tradition. The Japanese monks observed this method of whisking tea and built a set of their own, much more refined, rituals around it. With this, they have established a beautiful ceremony with their Japanese aesthetics and ways of being.
In the photos below you can see a glimpse of this beautiful ceremony which is one of the most defining traditions that shows Japanese philosophy and vision.
Do you have any tips on how people can use these practices in their own lives?
To practice a tea ritual, you simply need to take a moment of silence in your morning or evening. By silence I mean: no music, no talking, no multitasking, no social media and no phone. Then, just focus on the act of preparing your tea. Afterwards, sit down and drink at least one mug, bowl or cup whilst only focussing on your breath and the physical sensations that the tea brings to you.
If you do this every day and allow yourself this special moment in which you connect to yourself and nature (the tea), you will take this with you for the rest of your day and live with passion.
What is the ideal interior for practicing tea ceremonies?
Interior settings are one of the main inspirations and essential ingredients for a magical tea ceremony! Ideally during tea, I sit on the floor and display the tea on a coffee (or tea) table. I love it when there is natural light entering the room so that the space is influenced by the time of day and nature’s energy can enter through the windows. It also often creates nice shades or silhouettes.
Pictured in this tea ritual is Studio HENK’s Base Collection in smoked oak.
Are you interested in incorporating these practices into your daily life? An inspiring setting can help. Discover our indoor Base Collection and outdoor Elements Collection and create a living space that merges indoor and outdoor living.