The recent herbal walk in East London on 26th November 2016 was a very worthwhile endeavour. Prior to the walk, the tea meditation was helpful in focusing and being in the present. Taking into account that we were in the winter season and it was a cold day, I was appreciative of the warmth derived from the tea. I was also appreciative of the spiritual and medicinal benefits of drinking the peppermint tea that I drank. Tea meditation entails mindfulness of the present moment in each step taken; from the preparatory process, sitting and drinking the tea.
Drinking one cup of tea could take almost an hour, while paying attention to your breathing and being mindful of each action including swallowing. Expression of thanks is pertinent to the tea meditation process. The relaxation, alertness and calmness derived from the tea meditation can help with stress and anxiety relief, while having a focused mind. The nexus of the steps in the meditation process from start to finish can facilitate a sense of gratitude for divine providence.
During the herbal walk several reminders resurfaced. There was acknowledgement that the herbs we were harvesting were helpful to us with regard to their medicinal and spiritual benefits, and the oxygen derived from them. Plants derive carbon dioxide from humans, a good example of the interdependency of living things in the ecosystem. Other living organisms derive benefit from the herbs we use, hence the need to share. There was also a reminder that when harvesting, uprooting the whole plant prevents re-grown coupled with deprivation of other creatures from benefiting from the herb.
Giving thanks or expression of gratitude immediately after harvests is a good gesture of appreciation. The herbal harvesting etiquette reminded me of the Sustainable Development Goals, premised on conservation and restoration. During the walk, a range of known herbs were identified; including Nettle, Yarrow, Hawthorne and many more. I was privileged to drink an infusion of Ginger, Apple and Hawthorne tea for the first time, and to derive benefits from that combination. My thanks to Rabiah Abdullah; the organizer, lead person and founder of the Herbal Blessing Clinic.