A few people who attended our Kickoff Party (Beer, Jews, and Enlightenment) have asked for a copy of the drinking meditation that we offered, so here it is. If it’s too early for you, you can practice with coffee or tea.
Let’s start by taking a few breaths and quieting and slowing ourselves down. Feel your inhalation start at your nostrils and guide your breath deep down into your belly. Feel your exhalation rise up from your belly and out through your nose. Let’s take a few breaths here and pay attention to the moment that each inhale transforms into an exhale.
Now, hold your drink mindfully in your hands. Feel the weight of the container in your hand. Feel the temperature of your drink on your skin. Feel the ground or seat beneath you. Physically, situate yourself. Now, go back to your breath. Again, pay attention to your in-breath and out-breath.
Notice your glass in your hand. Really look at it. Pay attention to what colors you see, the initial color that strikes you and also the more subtle colors that will present themselves as you pay attention. Smell the drink. Identify what smells you notice, again, what comes up right away, andwhat is more subtle right behind those. Look at the glass in your hand, look deeply at what your hand looks like, holding the drink. Look, in your mind’s eye, at what and who brought you and your drink together to this moment- the bartender, the farmer, the sun and sky, your life.
Feel gratitude for all of that. Baruch atah adonay eloheynu melekh ha’olam shehakol nih’yeh bidvaro: a fountain of blessings are you the eternal breath of life beyond and within, divinity in our world, through whose word everything exists.
Breathe in and breathe out.
Gently bring your drink to your lips. Don’t drink yet, though. Feel the sensation of the moment right before you drink. Savor that moment of expectation and desire. Fully feel it. Now allow yourself to take a sip. Slowly. Taste your drink in a way that you haven’t before. With full attention and mindfulness, take a drink. Is that not the most delicious drink you’ve ever had? Feel the liquid in your mouth, on your tongue, feel it go down your throat. Take another slow drink, and fully feel the experience.
Now go back to your breath. Again, breathe deeply, paying attention. Breathing in, focusing on your experience of drinking. Breathing out, releasing any regrets of what has come before this moment. Breathing in, relaxing with your drink, and breathing out, letting go of any anxiety of what’s to come. Breathing in, and breathing out.