1. Tea meditation
To do tea meditation, you simply need to do every part of the tea making and tea drinking process with mindfulness. Take your time making your tea with mindfulness- heat up your water, get your cup out, pour the water, and sift the tea. Then, take your tea and sit down in a quiet place with it. Drink your tea like there’s no tomorrow. Drinking this tea is the most important thing in the world.
(You could always choose to do this with coffee if you’re a coffee drinker.)
2. Zazen (sitting meditation)
Most everything else can fluctuate to some extent, but a daily practice of sitting meditation is one of the most powerful daily practices there is and really should be consistent if you want to get everything you can out of it.
3. Get creative
The morning is a great time to flex your creativity. When a novice monk or nun begins studying Zen, many times, if they have any natural inclination towards art within them, as time goes on they naturally begin to create art of some fashion more regularly.
It’s difficult to describe in words why this is, but imagine you’re a tuning fork. Through your spiritual practice, you’re attempting to attune yourself to the ultimate, the one in the all and the all in the one. When it gets down to it, realizing this is really the central idea behind all spirituality.
So through your practice you gradually begin to tune yourself closer and closer to it, and when this happens you naturally wish to express the all becoming the one, or the great expression of life coming to be in this moment.
This is what art really is, and the morning silence is the ideal time to look within yourself and feel a deep connection to the world around you. This brings out your natural creativity, and self-expression that comes from it is natural and nourishing for the mind.
If you’re trying to figure something out, anything really, just sit down and write about it. Even better, imagine you’re writing TO other people.
This can be really revealing, but also very therapeutic.
5. Keep a journal
Keeping a journal has all kinds of benefits. There are a couple different ways you can choose to keep a journal, the first notable way being to note all the good things that happened on a given day, however small. This form of keeping a journal can help to increase your confidence, make you happier, and give you better perspective during days that seemed tough and unproductive.
Another way of keeping a journal, and to me the most powerful, is what I’d call a mindful journal. It’s essentially keeping a journal and noting down any thoughts or feelings you have throughout your day. You don’t have to note down everything, mostly just those things which were unexpected or needed some introspection, but keeping a journal in this way can be a great partner to your meditation practice.
6. Start a project about something you love
The peace and quiet of the morning is unparalleled, so it’s a great time to work on anything you want or need to do.
If you’re still figuring out what you want to do with your life, or you just want to have some fun doing something you love, design a fun project around it and do a little each morning.
The morning is a great time to go for a run too. It’s so quiet and peaceful in the morning, you could go for a mindful run and have little interruptions.
What you do in the morning has an uncanny ability to set you up for the rest of the day, so the energy and vitality you get from exercise is a great thing to do in the morning as it keeps you energized for the entire rest of your day.