Coffee as Spiritual Practice

by | Jan 10, 2015 | Ordinary, Reflections

This bag of coffee was a Christmas gift (thanks Tiffany!). It came with a story.

The Tale of the Sleepy Monks, is a folklore story proposing that coffee was discovered by a monk on his way to morning prayer.

In the early morning this sleepy monk encountered a goat herder, and his goats, dancing with glee around a dark-leaved shrub covered with red berries. Taking some berries he experimented with them and finally roasted them (to the colour of his tunic) and then boiled them.

Soon the Monk, and his brothers, stayed awake at prayers and the use of coffee spread from monastery to monastery around the world.

So the story goes!

At some point in my day I make a coffee. When I do it is a signal to pause.

Now I stop what I am doing to be present to this moment, to taste and drink and catch up with the whole of myself. It is spiritual practice.

And you? What do you do each day that helps you stay awake to this moment?

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  1. That is very true indeed. My coffee time is the only ten minutes of my way that goes by at a slower pace, allowing me to prepare for whatever the day will throw my way!

  2. Coffee for me definitely . Dark roast – preferably fair trade. I used to drink coffee all day especially when I was in workplaces which had it in tap or I could make a whole pot for myself . Now I usually just have the one coffee – and think of it as something to enjoy and savour – contemplatively . Easy to do, for me. am aiming to do the same with tea – savour it in its own whenever I make one . I need all the intentionally contemplative moments I can get , and it helps if I make something I already do contemplative . Even cooking or doing dishes – if I can make a chore contemplative rather than something I have to get through . Even writing Annual Reports or sorting out statistics. Now , if anyone can make filing contemplative .

  3. I love coffee! I grew up in a house of tea-totalers (is that the right word?) and learning to drink coffee was my teenage attempt at rebellion. I used to take a LOT of sugar and milk, and now I drink it black. I look forward to the first coffee of the day, it is part of my morning ritual, it is the pause before the events of the day begin, a moment to be grateful for my life and for being alive. Sometimes I enjoy another pause with coffee mid-day; not often, but when I do it returns me to a pause filled with gratitude for the rich taste, the warmth, and the invitation to just sit and savour. What a treat!

  4. Thanks Jane. I like your point about making what we do each day a practice of awareness. We don’t need more to add to our days! We work with what we already do.

  5. I am so glad you are enjoying the coffee, Janice! Coffee also figures significantly in my day – most of which is focused on other people and what they need. When I take time to make or enjoy a coffee, it is something specifically for me. A time to think about what I need to continue with the challenges that lie ahead. Calming, centering, and so enjoyable!

  6. I look forward to my morning coffee. It is my quiet time ,sipping slowly concentrating on the smell and the full flavourful taste, a time of gratitude. Sometimes I drink it on my deck,as I take in the beauty of my flowers,sometimes with honey bees drinking in the nectar.

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