I got 45 years into my life before I discovered the power of coffee, aka enlightenment. A well placed cup of coffee can completely change my outlook. As someone wise said, “Coffee doesn’t ask questions. Coffee understands.”
Because I “found” coffee in Europe, I began my new life under coffee’s spell as a coffee snob.
The coffee question is the same as the life question: instant or fresh brewed? Do you expect life, joy, wisdom, enlightenment, anything to come to you on demand, or do you appreciate good fresh brewed experience?
We think we want instant enlightenment, we even think we have a right to it, but the very desire and expectation thwart the goal. So much in the world (the media, religion, the school/college/career assembly line) builds this false expectation of instant fulfillment. We’ve got to reverse the treadmill mentality. Put it in reverse to break the habit.
Willy Wonka said,
So much time and so little to do. Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it.
We’re like greyhounds. We truly think we’ll catch the rabbit, and tear through life chasing something we will never find because we’re seeking non seeking, we’re at war for peace, we’re racing for stillness.
You need to slow down long enough to ask the right questions. Like, who are you?
These questions have no ultimate answer, but they keep you reflective about how you’re showing up in the world, what values you’re living and why you’re making certain choices.
If you choose to be busy, you need to know why you’re being busy.
As Thoreau said,
It’s not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is: what are we busy about?
Be slow or be busy, just know who and why and what you want to achieve. In the end slow and busy are states of mind, not movement. Time moves at the same pace all the time. It’s between our ears that the pace of our life is decided. So you can move quickly with a still mind, which is highly effective, or you can move mindlessly fast, which is less effective. You can go through the motions of slowing down without slowing your mind down, and it won’t do you much good, or you can genuinely slow down with a slow mind and it will change everything.
Eileen Caddy said,
It is important from time to time to slow down, to go away by yourself, and simply be.
Take time to slow down; breathe deeply, look closely and move mindfully. Notice the people around you. They are amazing, and more important to you than you realize.
Practice slowing down with simple daily routines, like drinking coffee. Thich Nhat Hanh, the master of mindfulness, said,
Drink your tea (or coffee) slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis
on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without
rushing toward the future. Live the actual moment.
Only this moment is life.
Above all else, be patient with yourself, it takes time to slow down.