Can joy be consciously and reliably summoned, almost at will?
What if it turned out that feeling joy on a regular basis strengthens the immune system?
Would that be a reason to try to cultivate it daily?
What if joy also was key to developing healthy relationships with people?
Does it boost fortitude and resilience? Is it even a factor in success of all stripes?
The pile of research studies supporting those assertions keeps growing.
While it may sound a little woowoo, you can consciously create tiny moments of joy in the unlikeliest moments, including during the making of a bowl of matcha. It’s not hard to feel some kind of pleasure and joy from the process, from turning on the kettle, to sieving the matcha, to frothing it, to sitting with it and inhaling its aromas and simply appreciating its warmth against our hands and sipping it. It’s the perfect time to simply be, to let the charms of the bowl and the elixir inside it overtake you, even for a single minute. You will do yourself, and everyone around you, a tremendous favor by starting the day in this fashion. It doesn’t even have to be daily. The occasional practice can pull us out of the numbness-inducing anomie of ordinary routines, stresses, and frustrations. Simply by deciding to make a bowl of incredible tea and letting yourself feel the joy it produces.
You might feel delight, thrill, contentment, passion, elation, or even feel the rapture of the simplest kind of love.
Finding/creating joy is a worthwhile pursuit. It’s especially important when you’re facing challenges big and small. You can always turn to a bowl of well-made tea to summon joy, to claim it, and to welcome it. It can act like a flashlight or a candle, exactly what you need when darkness gathers. It can make such a big difference in the quality of your day. You can feel intense gratitude for the simplest things, like hot water and tea and ceramics and the visual and epicurean delight of their sum.
Eventually you might not need the tea at all, you might be able to simple summon joy on demand. Or maybe not, you might find you enjoy the ritual. You might even dial into something vaguely divine, and dwell there for a few minutes.
The making of a bowl of matcha can be a 24-7 refuge, a point of brightness when the world feels dark. Matcha as lighthouse.