by Bob Banner
Hello I’m not sure what day it is as in counting the days of the coronavirus episode of earthlings or as being spoken as the pandemic. I don’t feel like writing any specific cultural significant protocol or any intellectual argument for this or that theory or that or this alleged conspiracy. I simply wish to write about the mindfulness I had suggested weeks ago but I hadn’t written anything specifically about it especially since I created a Facebook called quarantine or mindfulness retreat globally.
So what is this mindfulness people? Especially originating from the minds of Buddhists, it seems it’s time to Speak out! How does one practice it? So, the following may be such an example and you may or may not enjoy or agree with it. Another morning of making cafafey as my sweetie calls it for no reason in particular and because it is been my specific ritual of having to make her and meau coffee in the am.
I go into the refrigerator and take out rather ritualistically the 2 pound coffee beans from Uganda. Shame on me for not knowing if it is organic or fair traded – being politically correct these days has sort of taking the backseat to both politics and mindfulness matters.
I reach high in the upper cupboard and slowly retrieve the electric bean grinder. I open the lid and make sure the broken switch is always nearby since it’s in Integral part of the ritual. I open the lid and set it aside and open up the bag of coffee by slowly and quietly removing the large rubber band that is been holding the bag together. Did I mention that it’s pretty early in the morning and most of the people who live here are still asleep. I clean out the French press from the day before but by pouring all the ground to the compost making sure the French press is nice and clean … and while I’m doing this maneuver I’ve also placed hot tap water into the coffee cups to somewhat guarantee the cups maintain the heat somewhat so when I pour the coffee eventually it won’t get cold so quickly. Also during this time I’m filling the French press with fresh water that was purchased out in front of grocery outlet a few days ago.
So I turn the heat on a bit but not too high since I need to walk to the cottage next door since I don’t wish to wake anyone due to the horrific grinding sound of the fresh coffee beans soon to be pulverized by a machine that has been with me for over 30 years.
So I turn the heat down, take my pulverizer machine put on my shoes and hat since it’s drizzling along the Oregon coast and find my way in the drizzly morning about 7 AM … going to the cottage while holding the broken piece in place and walking only about 60 feet to the cottage. I see my kittie Jasper following me as to what is this guy doing now? Turn on the lights and proceed to find my way to an electrical socket. I’m now far enough away from the house so that it won’t wake up anyone, plug it in and force myself to hear the excruciating screams of previous coffee beans picked in Uganda transported by God knows who and when in those days I criticized globalization and now I’m politically so insensitive and not very mindful to buy direct cheap at grocery outlet for $5.99 a 2 pound bag. And all these thoughts are now going through my mind as I’m shaking the electric grinder as a sort of dance about making sure all the beans are pulverized into a powder that is small enough to make some precious coffee.
I unplug it, leave the cottage, see my kitty waiting for me in the heavy due as I speedily but mindfully return to the main house, only to make sure I flip the canister grinder upside down and shake it a bit before it turns upright, remove the lid and pour the grounded beans into the French press and by this time the water is perfectly hot in time to pour the hot water over the pulverized beans now in the French press. Next I’ll take a large spoon and slowly and gently mix the hot water to the pulverized coffee beans creating a sort of ritual of making sure everything has been slowly and smoothly turned around and around ever so slightly since this is the ritual where the clear hot water mixes with the finely ground coffee beans and being gently massage as it were to all become one and I’ll let it all steep and do it’s thing while I am now moving to the next step of taking some silk soy milk plus some of this new half and half… and believe it or not they have made a half-and-half very thick creamy milk substance that’s made from soy milk from soy beans. I have to say it amazingly looks like cream from cows but this all comes from the soybean.
I mindfully mix the two forms of “milk“ in a pan mixing it all as it gets hotter and more frothy with this very cool smallish tool beater. While all this is happening I forgot to mention that I remind myself to remove the hot water that was keeping the coffee mugs, beautiful pottery by the way, pour the French press coffee into the already sort of heated coffee mugs – – – and now after fluffing up the alternative milk and then poured slowly on top of the poured coffee with their beautifully crafted artisan mugs as well. I also watch the color form and see the white frothiness mix in with the deep dark and roast of the Ugandan coffee. And now I’m ready to bring the cup to my sweetie who is always so happy and as she takes the first sip always says almost ritualistically that “this is the best coffee ever… better than the other day, this is the best!”
Bob Banner runs hopedance.org and has numerous facebook pages since he seems to have a huge appetite for global and personal change making stories. For a list of some of his fb pages, visit here:
A most recent one that focuses on the current quarantine, see