"It is no more surprising to be born twice than to be born once." -Voltaire
A quiet mind has always been a challenge for me because of my tendency to analyse and over think everything. All the attempts I have made using traditional meditation techniques, such as mantras and sound meditation, never stuck with me.
A couple of months ago, I finally bought an espresso machine in order to enjoy a great café latte at home. Before that, I had always preferred going to an actual café bistro in order to have the full experience. With the cost of travel and the expense of the overall outing literally doubling in the last few years, it no longer made economic sense to indulge once or twice a week, plus the quality of my latte had become very hit and miss no matter the location I frequented.
I never expected to literally fall in love with my morning latte ritual. After only a few attempts, I discovered the perfect blend of two different coffees with two different torifications which make my unique café latte. At first, I was worried that I would become addicted and drink three or four coffees a day, but because the machine needs to be cleaned after every usage and the second cup is never better than the first, I have maintained a once a day limit.
As the weeks went by, I realized that I looked forward to the experience the minute my eyes opened in the morning. Even though I really enjoyed the texture, color, smell and flavor of my latte, I soon understood that my enjoyment began long before the first sip. When I had horses at my hobby farm, the activity of spending time with these beautiful animals always required that I first calmed my mind before sharing their space. Without conscious intention, I discovered that I would do the same thing as I was preparing the espresso machine and the counter space with all the items necessary for this exquisite hot beverage.
Just as the Zen monk rakes flowing designs through his sand garden path to empty his mind, I empty my mind with every ritual step that honors both the making of a great cup of coffee and the sublime peace found within the present moment.
Nothing more and nothing less.