September 3, 2012

Remember to Forget

It's absurdly cliche for a man of my age, disposition, and occupation to find zen writings interesting, but here we are. While we're here, I'd like to share something with you, a poem I found on this blog.
To listen to the songs of birds, I skipped the evening meditation,
enjoyed a patch of grass by the edge of an ancient mountain stream.
Pleasure recollected depends on a beautiful phrase;
the appreciative mind meets with a close friend.
Spring water cries out in a rocky valley;
pine trees echo when wind is coming.
I drank a cup of tea and watched the flowing and stillness.
Quietly and naturally I seemed to forget the return of time.
-Cho Eui Seon, 18th century Korean poet, calligrapher, painter, tea-maker, and Taoist philosopher
I'd also like to ask why it is that tea has a monopoly on introspection, on meditation and relaxation. Furthermore, I'd like to posit that this need not be the case; that coffee can be enjoyed with such serenity; that it need not be a beverage relegated to hurried mornings and more frantic days; that it can, indeed, offer a respite from the maelstrom.

Try, if only once, to drink your coffee with the same attentiveness described in the poem. You may not forget time, but you'll likely remember what it's like to really enjoy coffee, rather than merely consume it.

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