When I heard about the “30 poems in 30 days” idea, it sounded like a lot of fun. They suggested we start the first week with haiku. One subject which came to mind that morning was close at hand – my nearby cup of coffee.
I’ve heard conflicting messages about the use of coffee (and other stimulants) among various groups of meditators, from yogis to Buddhists. I’ve wondered about that, and have settled into the realization that anything which takes us further away from the present moment just isn’t a good idea. Anything which might be poisoning our body or mind or awareness simply isn’t working for us. When I look at it that way, it can include too much of many things: too much TV, too much alcohol, too much tea (even that fancy kind), and too much coffee. To me, it’s more about the mindfulness of what may be “too much” for ourselves.
As I sipped my one daily cup of coffee, I was reminded of a gatha (poem of remembrance) offered by Thich Nhat Hanh about drinking our cloud. He beautifully reminds me that the water in our tea (or coffee) was once in a cloud, which itself was once in a river or lake, and in fact passed through many plants, animals, and humans to arrive into my cup. With each sip, he points out, we can see our interbeing with the entire cycle of life, and cultivate gratitude for being in this moment, supported by so many.
It even works with decaf!