It has been raining heavily for days. I was told that a country cannot be more different from Finland than India. Well, they were wrong. During monsoon it just has the same feeling, it generates just the same mood as the ever gray Finland, albeit in a bit warmer edition. I sit in a lodge under palm trees, slowly sipping my cup of coffee.
Oh, that smell... It brings the smoothness of the milk, and richness of the air of a summer afternoon enclosed in the coffee. And the warm cup warms me up, too, carries the essence of life, and brings back memories, via the desert of time and space, when I took similar sniffs among friends.
And that taste..! I drink it almost black, but with just a little bit of sugar and milk. That taste is also the life itself. It is bitter. But the little sugar gives a sweet aftertaste. It is an inseparable mixture of sweetness and bitterness, which play with one and other, and force me to take another small sip. And I come into play, too, to finally decide, whether it is sweet or bitter. Just as life... And that small milk gives such a pleasant creamy smoothness that the sips one by one follow each other. I am very much aware of the whole process, as well as my tiniest reactions to it.
Coffee is an excuse. Excuse to stop the fast stream of everyday habits, to sit down, just for sitting. If there is a cup of coffee by you on the table, people don't start to ask silly questions, like why are you sitting there? Is anything wrong with you? Why do you do nothing? No, with coffee, they are convinced that I am doing something. After all, that is healthy if we always do something. Otherwise hidden disturbing contents of the unconscious might arise.
Oh, friend, how wrong you are... I am not drinking coffee. I am meditating. The rituals of coffee-making are just like the deepest religious rituals. To find the perfect balance of the three ingredients is difficult. It requires attention. Awareness of the present moment. It links me back to the basics. Liquid and powder; measuring them, keeping in mind as definable variables the needed amount of coffee, water, with various thickness of milk and amount of sugar, for a proper mix. And I have created something. What? That it is worthless? Oh, friend... Not the end product what counts, but the process of creation!
Meanwhile I have prepared myself. Prepared to detach from the everlasting ripples of my thoughts, from fears in past, from hopes in future. I am finally right here, right now, with my cup of coffee. My heart beats a little bit faster. Oh, its effect started. Just like psychedelic drugs, it alters the consciousness. But it does it so smoothly that most people don't sense it. For them it is already a habit. But it does bring clarity. It is very polite, though. This clarity is not overwhelming, just above the threshold of sensation. But it is there. And you can let it expand. If you allow it, it comes. As I said, it is a polite alteration. :)
People are passing by, and they think I fit perfectly in their habitual pattern. But I am out of that. I am with the now, here, with my cup of coffee. Memories sometimes pop up. No worries. I observe them freely, and let them go, if and when they want. No need of anything. I do not want to get rid of anything, to achieve anything, just to taste the next sip, sense my heartbeat, and be this clarity. Hehe :) During my meditation retreat the best meditations consistently were following the afternoon tea-break. Maybe I am the yogi of coffee-yoga! :D
Still, on other days, coffee is a social excuse. Again a pause. When there is an excuse to stop every day's hassling, come together and just enjoy each other's company. Enjoy the breath of the summer afternoon, the voice of our friend. What he says? It may or may not matters. After all, we all are small human beings. We may or may not be right. The truth is not in what we say. But in the fact that we say it...
(Image is illustration from web: http://www.coffeelab.com/coffee/coffee_roaster.jpg)