Saturday, November 27, 2010

Life's Cup of Coffee

I will readily admit that I am a coffee-holic. Not just coffee but hot coffee. After all the cups of coffee I've consumed I cannot say it is the taste as much as it is the ritual. The running of hot water in the thermos carafe so that it is warmed and ready to receive the fresh brewed coffee, keeping it even warmer. My arthritic hands holding the mug of coffee. The mug's warmth coursing through my palms, hands and arms is the antithesis of caffeine, it is calming. The raising of the mug to my face and feeling the steam is my morning hot shower that awakens my eyes, my brain and my heart. The slow motion tilt of the mug and the anticipation of the hot coffee as it approaches my mouth, is my morning sunrise. It is the first arms of the sun's peak over the horizon spilling the blush of the sun and moon's kiss across the sky. 

The pleasure, the calling of coffee occurs and is embedded in the preparation more so than the drinking. It is reminiscent of the Tea Ceremony with its attentiveness and ritual. It is the image of my heart and its calling, its dreams. I must start with the warming of my heart. The intentional softening of my heart. A softening which will receive and nourish the dreams, thoughts, and values that will empty themselves into its openness. I choose the grounds that will make the coffee and the strength. Naught enters this brew but what I choose - a bitter cup of coffee or realization to drink sometimes. I choose how many cups, how full or meager I want to fill my heart. And then, I must sit and be patient while it brews. I must sit and be attentive, anticipating, trusting all will come together as prepared. 

But what of those dreams, those desires, those callings brewed in my heart that conflict with the dreams or hopes others may have for me or of me? What if others do not like coffee? Ahh, afraid I am not so wise. I know only that before I let myself ponder those questions I first have to tend the preparation so that I can hear, see, taste and respond to life and its calling. It begins with the preparation and willingness to take the time to brew. I cannot share what I have not prepared. If I do, I sit and wait by a silent coffee maker, my heart.  What I share is strengthened when I am attentive to my heart first. Then I become the perfect host, extending a cup of my heart, gently and mindfully brewed for you, for others, and for myself. The drinking of coffee is plural. The preparation singular.

And for those who do not like coffee or thought I should prepare tea or wine? I will be honored to prepare their beverage. I will be graced to sit with them at the table as we sip the outpourings of our hearts and their dreams. I will drink my coffee and not pour it into their tea or wine. I would ask that they do not pour theirs into my coffee. As our beverages touch our lips we can let our hearts speak. And should we reach an impasse, and cannot agree, with mindfulness and warmth we can sit in silence enjoying our company. If we must sadly part we will trust the brewing of things we cannot see, mindfully prepared by the hands of life. 

Either way, let us raise our heart's crystal and toast life, love and laughter. L'Chaim! Namaste! And having shared the last drop let us go forth in mindfulness and truth to share and serve our heart's brew. For the preparation and drinking have but one purpose.... to send us forth into the day, into the world.