I’ll be honest with you and admit that I can’t meditate. I struggle clearing my mind and sitting still, meditating and being thought-free for more than 60 seconds.
Like most of us mortals, my mind wanders, a lot. It involuntarily goes from one place to the other, with no notice, no reason and many times, no agenda… it just wanders. It is a constant burst of thoughts, ideas, stories, conversations with myself - and imaginary others, plans, solutions, and so on.
For years, since I met my partner, Dani, I have been trying to meditate. I have downloaded apps, attended 'learn to meditate' workshops and have also read on the subject, but in all honesty, I might not be 100 per cent committed to it, because I keep failing.
However, I do my best to be mindful; to enjoy where I am at one single time; to enjoy the company of the people around me; to listen to them; to take in those moments, fully. One of my favourite ways to be mindful and in-the-moment is when I am brewing my morning cup of coffee - slow coffee, slow brew, filter coffee.
For me, coffee is not just a pick-me-up beverage - I’ve been drinking this since I was 10, so it doesn’t really “wake me up” anymore. Drinking coffee is much more than that... it's a special moment where I can be with myself, my partner, my family or my friends. And brewing coffee provides me with those much-needed five minutes of being here, just me and my brew, being fully present and brewing mindfully. Perhaps, this is my way of meditating.
My favourite mindful brewing time is first thing in the morning. It’s my way of starting the day right, slowly, mindfully and gratefully. I’ve never been the type to wake up 15 minutes before I need to head out, when I do, I feel off all day. I always wake up at least an hour before, so I have time to feed our cats, Mac and Cheese, grind some beans, boil the water and enjoy my five minutes of blissfulness; taking in the beautiful aromas of the coffee, listening how it drips in the jug, noticing how the smell covers the whole house and seeing Dani come in and taking a deep breath.
But I also love brewing mid-morning and mid-arvo, especially when I am having a busy, stressful day. Brewing coffee is my way of stopping for a moment, letting go of all the busyness of the day, clearing my head and being mindful for 5 to 10 minutes. I find that it helps with finding solutions to problems I haven’t been able to solve, coming up with ideas I've been chasing around like a headless chicken, or simply forgetting about the stress that I was just feeling a few minutes ago.
Lastly, mindful brewing - and drinking - is a way to fully enjoy this cup of coffee that didn’t magically appear in front of me. It came from lands far away, almost inaccessible mountains in the middle of a coffee-growing region. It then passed many, many hands at origin, to make its way onto a shipping container and onto a boat, travelling thousands of miles for weeks, arriving in Australia to be held in quarantine, inspected, and then sent out to a distributor. Lastly, it reaches your favourite roaster and more magic happens, to then, BOOM! “magically” popping up on your kitchen bench.
Depending on where this coffee came from, what varietal it is, how it was processed, then sorted, then roasted, it will have unique flavours and aromas, and by brewing mindfully, especially slowly as a filter coffee, I get to really dive deep into my cup. Sinking into all those epic floral notes, citrus aromas, fruity flavours and perfect acidity and balance.
So, yes. I cannot meditate like Yoda or Buddha, but I can for sure let go of everything while I am brewing a cup of filter coffee. This is my meditation.
Brew slow, drink well.
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