Just yesterday talking to someone who teaches Yoga thought that maybe she shouldn’t drink coffee too soon before a class, she said “It sort of doesn’t go with the idea…….Yoga is supposed to be meditative, relaxing!”
Thinking on this I was wondering how this fitted in with the fact that Zen Buddhist monks historically used tea during their meditation practice to keep from going to sleep. The drinking of tea can be a very meditative practice in and of itself. The various tea ceremonies that are found in different cultures would also attest to this.
So what about coffee? In our modern westernized society coffee is one of the pick-me-ups of choice (including also tea and these days energy drinks). As such I like an espresso before leaving home to help jump-start my day. A coffee later in the afternoon helps keep my after lunch duldroms at bay. This would not seem very meditative. On the other hand I have been known to have my cupa (tea) at the same times of the day for the same reasons.
I find it interesting that one of the most meditative times of the day for me is actually sipping that espresso, sitting in front of the large east facing window. Close up I can watch the birds at the bird feeder. Further I look out on a landscape (in January) of snow covered fields with trees and forest in the distance. Occasionally a wild turkey, a coyote, a fox or deer crosses in view. I have seen eagles and hawks soaring, and if it is early enough I can watch the sun rise. All this while relishing the warmth and taste of a fresh brewed cup of espresso.
Now I know that this is not strictly speaking a form of Zen meditation, and it isn’t near as demanding, but I do find the experience refreshing, uplifting, calming, balancing, centering, grounding and……etc! To me that sounds like there are some similarities in result to the more formal meditations out there.
I think I’ll go have another cup of coffee!