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View Full Version : "Simple Living" - Chapters 7 and 8



Jundo
07-10-2019, 03:01 AM
Just jump in if joining, no "catch up" ... just today is today ...

I will include chapter headings, as we discovered some differences between the US and UK editions regarding chapter order.

Chapter 7 - Make A Delicious Cup Of Coffee - If you use an automatic coffee maker or usually rush the making coffee, please do so in very slow motion, maybe 1/3 speed, rinsing the pot, opening the cover, picking up and placing it carefully down, adding the water really looking and listening to the sound, unfolding and placing the filter feeling the contours, spooning and deeply inhaling the scent of the coffee grounds, pushing the button followed by Gassho, watching and listening to the percolation sound and steam, pouring into the cup and taking the first taste (or do the equivalent if a tea drinker) ...

It can be a small "coffee ceremony" with a touch of the spirit of the Tea Ceremony, a Japanese ritual much appreciated in Zen circles.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wQVxj_0Mdo

Chapter 8 - Put Pen To Paper With Care - Instead of writing an email or txt, find a nice pen or pencil and neatly, slowly, carefully write a small note on clean paper. It need not be long, just a sentence or two. It can be for another person, or just a note to yourself, or a grocery list to put on the refrigerator. It does not matter. However, take a little extra care and attention, very lovingly writing each letter on the paper.

Gassho, J

STLah

Shingen
07-10-2019, 03:07 AM
Lovely, thank you Jundo. =)

Gassho
Shingen

Sat/LAH

Junkyo
07-10-2019, 03:08 AM
Thank you Jundo!

I will do these in the morning!

Gassho,

Junkyo
SAT

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Shōnin Risa Bear
07-10-2019, 03:47 AM
Yes. Will do. _()_

gassho
doyu sat today/lah

Kuriaki
07-12-2019, 12:13 PM
Another example of how simplicity of action can be meditative and wonderful.
Thank you!

Tairin
07-12-2019, 12:39 PM
About 5 years ago I started using a French press to make my coffee. I like the process. It is a bit slower, more manual but creates such a deep rich coffee that I really enjoy. Similarly my wife introduced me to matcha green tea which I have with my breakfast. Again there is a process of creating it which I enjoy. I like routine. These sorts of things suit me well

In contrast writing is not something I do much or well. For reasons that aren’t clear I never learned to hold a pen properly (think of a right handed person holding a pen like a left handed person) and was never corrected. Consequently writing is awkward, slow and uncomfortable. I avoid writing by hand when I can. Nevertheless I’ll sit today to write a little note in my best most legible script.

gassho2
Tairin
Sat today and lah

Doshin
07-12-2019, 03:47 PM
Yes, coffee! I will slow down the process.

Doshin
St

Kotei
07-12-2019, 04:11 PM
Enjoying tea the Chinese Gong Fu Cha way, pondering about how bad my hand-writing got in the last years.

5810

Gassho,
Kotei sat/lah today.

lorax
07-12-2019, 05:06 PM
The bottom line to these tasks is to SLOW DOWN. Last night by habit set up the coffee for this morning, nothing left to do except plug it in. Tonight I must slow down, set the beans and pot out, and take my time preparing the cups for my wife and me in the morning. Tried to write a note with ink drawing this morning but was distracted by things I had to do today. Again, slow down and set the time aside.

Thanks, Jundo, Peace

SAT TODAY

Geika
07-13-2019, 03:32 AM
I loooove slowing down my coffee process with a moka pot. And keeping journals and physical writing has always been a part of my daily life. I love engaging in handwriting and lettering. It just feels good to me. I'm loving this book.

Gassho

Sat today, lah

Ippo
07-13-2019, 07:37 AM
I noticed a few times this week what is actually going on when I take the Time to write! My hand and mind are able to direct a pen and create something. It was really kool to be a lot more engaged with the process and the feeling. Being more attuned to the process was lucid and harmonious. Very nice suggestion. I don't drink coffee but when I make my tea, I'll do it!

Thanks Jundo and everyone else :).

Gassho,

Brad

SatToday

Seishin
07-13-2019, 09:23 AM
Looking forward to brewing a slow pot of coffee this lunchtime and being more mindful of the process, rather than charging around the kitchen like a whirling Dervish!

What I have found strange in recent years, is my handwriting has actually improved in quality. When I was working and involved in major IT crisis's (?) we had to take copious notes at a fast pace, in order to document and eventually analyse what went wrong, when and what was done to fix it. That was then transpose to various reports and follow meetings, all to ensure we'd do better next time. My writing was often close to illegible even to me. Nowadays, although I used technology more, when writing I tend to take my time, resulting in a far neater script. Next time some song lyric come to me I'll jot them down rather than use voice recorder.

Struggled with Chapter 5, as I cannot think of one thing I truly hold precious or that has strong sentimental meaning. The older I've got, the more I see it as just "stuff". Guess if I'm attached to anything, apart from my motorcycle it would my Fender Strat and Gibson Les Paul. But I don't know of anyone who would benefit from them. So for now, as we slowly downsize our belongings, I will continue to donate the items to charity. As for Chapter 6, its about time I cleared my work bench in the boiler room!

Sat / lah

Jakuden
07-13-2019, 02:07 PM
Haha I come out in the morning and the coffee is ready because it is set on a timer [emoji23] I am going to make “real” coffee mindfully before the Ordination ceremony tomorrow.

As for handwriting, I have degenerated into complete doctor scribble over the years. I don’t even know if I can write legibly anymore, but I will give it a try!!

Gassho
Jakuden
SatToday/LAH


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Kendrick
07-14-2019, 05:08 AM
7. After zazen tonight I went to make a cup of tea before settling down (and now I am here). My wife and youngest fell asleep watching TV, and my older daughter fell asleep while using a laptop in her bed. I turned off all the electronics before zazen and the house was still quiet when I went to the kitchen. I turned on the stove and slowly filled up my small pot with just enough water to fill a small mug. I chose a clean mug from the shelf, and opened a single serve bag of decaf chai and sniffed the wonderful herbs in it. I really love chai for its aroma. I stood over the pot until it boiled and then poured it over the tea bag in the mug and then went to the living room to wait as it steeped. After it was finished I removed the tea bag and took the cup of tea to the living room to sit cross-legged on the loveseat to slowly enjoy the tea. I thought back to one of my favorite quotes by Thich Nhat Hanh, and I've looked it up to copy here verbatim for everyone:

“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves - slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.”

― Thich Nhat Hanh

For the first half of the cup all was peaceful and well. It's been a hectic week for me this week. A lot of unpaid overtime from home for work after hours, a lot of bickering going on with my family at home, and lots of near sleepless nights (due to the overtime mostly), and many big projects ahead this week. The second half of the cup took me by surprise when a mild panic arose. I was really taking my time with the tea. Taking one's time is most often met with harsh criticism in our society and my usual day-to-day is no exception. I started hearing the loop of criticism I imagined those around me would be saying: "why are you taking so long to do that?" "that isn't very productive, is it?" "are you almost done with that?" "shouldn't you be doing something else right now?"... I remembered the tea, and how nice it smelled, and tasted. I remembered that this IS what I was doing right now, and that I am present here, right now, for that - the rest can wait, especially since I likely would have been asleep if I hadn't been drinking the tea. It made me think about how often that dialog runs through my head any time I slow down and do something for myself or it's own sake. I have to fight the urge to rush, and that fight might be leaving me feeling drained much of the time. Everyone needs a break. Everyone needs time to do more nothing-in-particular. To just live a moment, breathe, and not be thinking about the next move. I really need to work on cultivating this ability to silence the impatient voices and stop the rush more often. Some things may occasionally need expedited action but definitely not everything, and likely most things can wait a little longer. While continuing to drink the the tea I realized: I have time to drink the tea.

Gassho /\
Kendrick
Sat

lorax
07-15-2019, 02:34 AM
We are asked in Chapter 8, "what do calligraphy and painting represent for us"? and observes that our interest "is not in leaving behind work of lasting value, or taking pride in our skills but rather in attempting to express ourselves through the artwork. Thinking on this and being frustrated in finding good rice paper to write or draw something on I drug out my old Buddha Board. A fun thing that allows one to create and watch it disappear. A great lesson in impermanence. I purchased at Barnes and Noble Books a few years back.

58185819

Ryudo
07-15-2019, 07:08 AM
The tea ceremony always appealed to me.
So, “good morning” coffee ceremony. Today I will brew my coffee with a traditional expresso can (the one you put on the stove, not the electrical one).

And I will write a postcard in my best possible handwriting on a card that I will carefully choose.
Maybe a poem.
To someone I did not see for a longer period.

Gassho/SatToday

mateus.baldin
07-15-2019, 10:49 PM
I loved this week’s habits. I’m more of a tea person than a coffee one. But I decided to go a little further than just my usual tea ceremony (not the Japanese one, but a personal one inspired in Japanese sencha ceremony).

So I bought a fresh organic lemon balm and dried the leaves myself. Since last week I’ve been making my herbal tea every morning after the sky looking and morning air breathing. Another habit that will probably continue in the future.

I also started to be more mindful and slow while making the coffee with milk for breakfast (still using the electric machine tough, as we don’t have other coffee making devices).

For the writing, I’m already doing my daily ensō and calligraphy, so I decided to give it a little more mindful attention.

Gassho,
Mateus
Sat today/LAH

Jakuden
07-16-2019, 01:31 AM
7. After zazen tonight I went to make a cup of tea before settling down (and now I am here). My wife and youngest fell asleep watching TV, and my older daughter fell asleep while using a laptop in her bed. I turned off all the electronics before zazen and the house was still quiet when I went to the kitchen. I turned on the stove and slowly filled up my small pot with just enough water to fill a small mug. I chose a clean mug from the shelf, and opened a single serve bag of decaf chai and sniffed the wonderful herbs in it. I really love chai for its aroma. I stood over the pot until it boiled and then poured it over the tea bag in the mug and then went to the living room to wait as it steeped. After it was finished I removed the tea bag and took the cup of tea to the living room to sit cross-legged on the loveseat to slowly enjoy the tea. I thought back to one of my favorite quotes by Thich Nhat Hanh, and I've looked it up to copy here verbatim for everyone:

“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves - slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.”

― Thich Nhat Hanh

For the first half of the cup all was peaceful and well. It's been a hectic week for me this week. A lot of unpaid overtime from home for work after hours, a lot of bickering going on with my family at home, and lots of near sleepless nights (due to the overtime mostly), and many big projects ahead this week. The second half of the cup took me by surprise when a mild panic arose. I was really taking my time with the tea. Taking one's time is most often met with harsh criticism in our society and my usual day-to-day is no exception. I started hearing the loop of criticism I imagined those around me would be saying: "why are you taking so long to do that?" "that isn't very productive, is it?" "are you almost done with that?" "shouldn't you be doing something else right now?"... I remembered the tea, and how nice it smelled, and tasted. I remembered that this IS what I was doing right now, and that I am present here, right now, for that - the rest can wait, especially since I likely would have been asleep if I hadn't been drinking the tea. It made me think about how often that dialog runs through my head any time I slow down and do something for myself or it's own sake. I have to fight the urge to rush, and that fight might be leaving me feeling drained much of the time. Everyone needs a break. Everyone needs time to do more nothing-in-particular. To just live a moment, breathe, and not be thinking about the next move. I really need to work on cultivating this ability to silence the impatient voices and stop the rush more often. Some things may occasionally need expedited action but definitely not everything, and likely most things can wait a little longer. While continuing to drink the the tea I realized: I have time to drink the tea.

Gassho /\
Kendrick
Sat

I love all the posts in this thread, Kendrick yours really resonated though. No matter how much I practice, I still sometimes really fight that “oh gosh that’s enough dawdling, I have to rush off and be productive now” voice. Thank you for the TNH reminder [emoji846]

Gassho
Jakuden
SatToday/LAH




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Seibu
07-16-2019, 06:52 AM
This morning I made coffee the way Jundo suggested. It made me feel grateful that I have access to electricity, that there are farmers who work hard so I can enjoy my cup of coffee, that I have access to clean water, and that I can drink coffee in peace each morning. I will do the writing bit later today.

Gassho,
Jack
sattoday/lah

Kendrick
07-16-2019, 03:08 PM
I love all the posts in this thread, Kendrick yours really resonated though. No matter how much I practice, I still sometimes really fight that “oh gosh that’s enough dawdling, I have to rush off and be productive now” voice. Thank you for the TNH reminder [emoji846]

Gassho
Jakuden
SatToday/LAH


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Thank you, Jakuden. I'm really happy it was beneficial!

Gassho /\
Kendrick
Sat

Ishin
07-16-2019, 09:19 PM
Just reading these suggestions and all your comments is already slowing me down!

Thanks

Gassho

Sat today/lah