When I am at home in Vientiane I have a morning ritual that I follow almost every day. I get out of bed and make coffee. Simple.

I fill the kettle and start it to boil. Then I put some whole beans into a hand grinder, pick it up and start cranking. Mixed with the rhythmic sound of beans being transformed I hear birds singing, roosters crowing and other affirming sounds of a new day. When the beans are ground I measure them into a French press and carefully pour the boiled water over the top. I place the top on the press, give it a few minutes to steep, then press the plunger. Perfect coffee every time.

I am not sure this qualifies as actual meditation, but while making the effort I am careful to focus on nothing else and keep my mine only on the task. It may seem like a lot of extra work, but mindfully making my coffee gives my brain a few minutes to just exist before it becomes filled with current events, to do lists or just the meaningless static of the day. I know there are more time “efficient” ways to make a good pot of coffee, but that isn’t the point. I am starting my day right, not just making coffee.

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