On page 104 paragraph 7 in “Bringing Yoga To Live’ by Donna Farhi, she writes ‘…when we drink a cup of tea it is noe the same as the beginning as at the end. The aroma is strongest when the tea is first poured. We can appreciate that moment. The first sip is the hottest. We appreciate that moment. As we go to the bottom of the cup the tea is now cool. We appreciate that moment.’Donna Farhi
The other day I went to a cafe for breakfast with a close friend. When the coffe was served, it wasn’t hot enough making my really annoyed. Instead of asking a staff to make it hotter, I drank it up within 5 minutes, thinking that I would never come back here again.
The analogy of tea and my relationship between me and my coffee may sound irrelevant. The point here is that I failed to notice the fixed identity of my perfect coffee and the reality of temperature. In my mind the perfect coffee can stay hot from the first sip to the last one. As a result, I felt a bit grumpy and I was holding grudges toward the staff.
In the same chapter in that book Farhi suggests that we can disciplie ourselves to notice that our reality is changing ALL THE TIME. We don’t have to manipulate our perceptions to make them better or to control them. THERE’S NO FIXED SENSE of THINGS. This also applies to the changing senses of comfort and disconfort in our body and the situation in our day-to-day life.
In my case I was fantasising of the perfect cup of Americano. When the real coffee was not the same as in the thinking mind, it ruined my morning coffee experince.
At the same time while I was draining the coffee down my throat before it got cold, my friend was calmly sipping capucino and holding a conversation. Her face lit up, her fingers warpped around her coffe cup as if it was the most precious thing in the world at that moment. Seeing her being at ease and content while I failed to pay attention to what she was saying, I realised the cup of coffee alone couldn’t just make her happy and serene. She enjoyed her coffee, the senses of being served, our conversations and possibly my company.
After that morning, I began to enjoy the coffee we make at home more than ever. I can make it as strong as I like and as hot as I like.
Moreover, I can use what Farhi reminds us about the physical changes to reflect on my ageing body. Each time on the mat I began to accecpt that there are certain poses that make my body ache and may not be able to do it in this life time; there are also some poses I can hold with ease and leaving me the residue of contenment. Off the mat, I began to ask myself what foof nourishes my body and how can I adjust to food that is more beneficial to my body.
Most importantly, if this incident of not-hot-enough coffee should happen again, I’ll notice that abd would politely ask the staff to make it hotter.