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Sipping on the Sun

“Everything causes everything.” - Nisargadatta Maharaj

I am practicing my morning latte meditation.

Latte meditation?


Yeah really. Everything is a meditation and everything is a realization.


The Zen Master Dzogchen put it beautifully.

“To study the way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be enlightened by the 10,000 things.”

The 10 thousand things is a poetic way of saying, absolutely everything.

The preparing is a meditation all on its own. The sound of the small pot on the glass topped stove, the refrigerator door opening. The feel of the container of almond milk in my hand, the sound as it pours into the pot. The smell of the fresh grounds falling into the French press as the water begins to boil behind me in the electric teapot. The milk beings to move and sing as it approaches the right temperature and the boiling water echos as it flows into the press immersing the fresh grounds.


In a moment it is all unified in my green cup which I carry into the living room where I set it on the appropriately named coffee table.


I take a moment. I breath. I create a sacred space, a sacred time.


As I lift the cup its warmth penetrates my hands and, through them, my whole body. The fragrance triggers numerous subtle sensation and emotions, all nameless. The morning ritual of your coffee or tea can be an unnoticed event or a moment in temple. It's really up to you.

Finally as the very warm liquid reaches my lips, again subtle, nameless feelings are invoked. But now the content is merging with me. Billions of cells participate in its assimilation. The muscles lifting and guiding the cup. The lips and tongue silently moving it backwards to the throat, which gently guides it into the stomach, its warmth penetrating every cell as it sinks into me.


In the stomach, that grand alchemist of energy transformation, it has become food. So many cells; little, single function, living beings, each doing contributing as they were designed to do, completing each step in a process so complex and subtle yet silent and to us mundane. Shortly and without fanfare the transformed morning coffee is running through the blood to every cell in the body.

"To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour" - William Blake

My mind contemplates the eternity that is in that cup.


What coaxed all of those elements to form, in this moment, into this plain, green cup. the countless people over time, discovering minerals, metals, stone, fire, merging them together to form alloys, molding them into useful shapes. Expertise, craftsmanship, family businesses. The artist who shaped the cup to an aesthetic, painted it with a religious symbol or a meaningless logo. The inventors and makers of the paints the inks the letters of countless alphabets.


This is not a cup. It is a moment in time. It is a flicker of an eternal flame. It is an instance in a continuity. And I sip it, usually noticing none of the extraordinary event that is now warming my hands as a sip its content.


And content itself. The hands that picked the beans, the roasters, the dark, medium or lightness, the almonds, the presses. All the inventors, improvers, makers, distributors.

And the almonds and the beans themselves. No one invented those. They have been changed, altered, bent to our needs and tastes, but originally had simply been a give from an unknown benefactor. And they too are but transient moment in the eternal continuity.

The roots, the stems, the leaves, the minerals sipped from the earth, the water falling from the sky, combined through the alchemical style of tat particular plant to produce that particular fruit that through a process spanning millennia comes to rest in my humble cup.


And, of course, the sun. The source of the energy of all processes natural and man made. It causes the rain and is the fuel in the engine of transformation of all life.


All of that is in my simple cup. As I take it to my lips I drink the minerals, the water, the hands that picked, roasted, packaged and shelved it. I taste the earth, the plants and the source of the energy that empowers it all.


I break this down to illustrate "Hold infinity in the palm of my hand" but it was all just a flow of feeling and thought. An open contemplation that allowed me to participate in the eternal round, the beginning-less continuity. Such sacred permission, begin brought into the eternal secret, so simple yet to ever-present.


Indeed, I have been enlightened by the 10 thousand things

And now the 10 thousand things are me

I have lost myself in them

I am sipping on the sun

 

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