Coffee: A Meditation

I am trying to simplify my life by being intentional in what I buy, make and keep. This means that I have less clutter in all facets of my life and that I have a clearer view of what brings joy and what has value.

Gradually, one at a time, I’ve made changes to the way I approach working, playing and even eating. The effects of some of the small changes were immediate – listening to an audiobook on the way to work instead of the usual bombastic morning radio allowed me to arrive more relaxed and inspired. Reducing my clothing to only my most favourite things has taken the rush out of my morning and the overwhelming laundry out of my weekends. Preparing most of my meals instead of defaulting to take out has resulted in eating better and financial gain. I’m less stressed, more calm; less burdened, more free - all because I’m paying attention to what I’m doing. I’m no longer on autopilot.

One really simple change vividly illustrates my newfound mindfulness. I've rediscovered pour-over coffee and it makes me happy. Coffee starts my day. It picks me up. It is a pause. It is a comfort. So, now, I take care in making it as it is meant to be. Simply. Strip away all the special appliances, packaging and instructions and what you have left is something quick and simple, full of flavour and so satisfying.

Coffee is a constant in my life and winds its way through my memories. It transports me back to the home of my German grandmother, my Oma. As the electric kettle boils in my downtown condo, I can hear the whistle of the little kettle on her stove. The steam that I see rise as I pour gives me that little feeling of anticipation of a good thing. Oma would let me choose a cup and saucer from her beautiful collection before she poured, and even now, I have a favourite cup of my own that I love the feeling of as I cradle it with two hands. I can smell the comforting, delicious aroma of the coffee that I savoured at her big dining table and now, right here, at my own little kitchen island. All this only takes a minute, and each time it tastes crafted and special - like a real cup of coffee, made by hand. Sometimes I try to imagine that I’ve never had coffee before and that this is the first time that I taste it. All my senses come into play. Even during my morning routine, I can take that moment of mindfulness with my cup.

I continue to discover practical ways to simplify my life and to make sure that the things I choose to use, create and own will bring joy to me for a long time. Even those small changes that I made mean that now I look forward to my commute, I really love everything in my closet and I am saving money. Simplifying on a larger scale has left me with much less physical clutter at home and less digital and social media clutter in my life, and has given me more space and more time for others and myself. I’m reclaiming the simple things of life one cup at a time.

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