My children (7 and 5 years old) are often still in a playful and excited mood when I call them to eat. Then, they find it difficult to remain seated and focus on their meal. Arguing, threatening and punishing didn't work. So, lately, I have started to experience with saying Graces. While not a 'miracle' solution, I found that the prayer helped them to calm down and put their attention on the food on the table, at least for a while.
If Graces work with children before a meal, then they may also work with adults before making tea. Merely calling a higher power creates a presence. For exemple, if I mention an elephant, you'll have difficulty not to think of and visualize an elephant now. (Or could you not think of an elephant?)
This holy presence adds something serious and deep to this moment. When the boss/master comes in the room, we behave our best. We also calm down in the presence of the divine.
As we start to enjoy our tea and focus on its many pleasures, we do feel blessed and fortunate to make this experience. It may sometimes feel selfish to be so happy. Having thanked in advance, in the Grace, helps me to diminish or even eliminate this guilty feeling.
This 'trick' may not work with everyone, but, like Pascal's gambit about the existence of God, there's not much to loose in trying!
Heute Laoshi (Lehrer) Chen, Huan Tang in NZZ
13 hours ago