Hello Dear Ones,
I was delighted with the comments so many of you shared around the September Daily Practice of the Morning and Evening gathas. I hope you will consider continuing to practice with them, as over time they grow deeper in their import and transformative power.
For this month, I'd like to pick up as a practice something that many (most?) of us tend to do fairly absent-mindedly: drinking our morning coffee/tea/juice/water or whatever it is we drink in the morning.
There is a gatha for this as well, though you needn't memorize or use it in order to practice it's purpose and intent of helping us be awake and mindful of the act of drinking. I hasten to add that if your mornings are too time-constrained to take the time to drink mindfully, then please adapt the practice to another time. Whether it's at lunch, during your 'coffee break,' or in the evening, let at least one cup of your favorite beverage be a 'ceremony of daily life.'
Here's the gatha (substitute your beverage of choice for coffee, which happens to be mine!):
This cup of coffee in my two hands --
Mindfulness is held uprightly!
Mind and body dwell
In the very here and now.
Again, whether at home or at the cafe, taking some time to appreciate your drink (and your drinking) will over time cultivate greater appreciation for other small moments of your day. I especially enjoy taking my morning cup of coffee in my two hands and feeling the warmth of the cup, the roundness of the mug.
Once you've taken your cup or glass in your two hands, either recite the gatha to yourself, while really looking at your drink, OR just take three mindful breaths. Use your senses, look, feel, smell. Then, feel the weight and texture of the cup as you bring it to your lips, the liquid flowing out of the cup, onto your tongue, and really experience its taste(s). Let yourself feel the impulse to swallow and experience the swallowing. Can you trace the warmth down your throat into your belly?
You don't have to drag this practice out. Even five or ten minutes drinking in this way will be of great benefit. AND, I hope I needn't have to add that it's best to "just drink," meaning avoid reading while drinking, chatting or listening to the news. Just drink. Or, as I like to say: "Wake up and smell the coffee!"
Please feel free to share any and all comments about your experience of this simple practice.
AND, finally, if you have any suggestions for these monthly Daily Practices, please feel free to forward them to me. Perhaps some month we'll be practicing one that YOU have suggested!
poep sa frank jude