It is interesting that I have noticed how I look forward to this little ritual every morning, and never thought much more of it. I would just then sit down and enjoy it. But this morning, I thought that maybe I ought to try to taste the pleasant flavour of the tea 'in and of itself', that is, without the usual accompanying greed that goes along with it. I recall this:
"There is the case where a monk remains focused on feelings in & of themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world."
The first thing I noticed was little objection from the mind: "But this is one of the few pleasures you've got left, do you really want to give up even this little enjoyment?" Then i contemplated, well, I never said I would not fully experience the flavour of the tea, but only that I would experience it without any accompanying movement of the mind towards it if pleasant, or away from it if unpleasant. But I just noticed that my mind's initial objection proved this to be correct:
The passion for his resolves is a man's sensuality,
not the beautiful sensual pleasures
found in the world.
The passion for his resolves is a man's sensuality.
The beauties remain as they are in the world,
while the wise, in this regard,
subdue their desire.
The mind doesn't merely want to taste the tea, it wants to enjoy the tea as well. Just tasting it without the "ooh yeah, I'll have more of that!" factor in the mind seems not to be as much 'fun'. It seems that I've been actually attached to craving for things. I am beginning to see this now.
But, I decided to try this out, treating it as a meditation of sorts. With every sip of the tea, I tried to 'just taste' the pleasant flavours without the 'ooh yeah' factor, the accompanying craving for more. It is harder to do this than I thought. What ended up happening was, I would notice the pleasant taste, mixed with the movement of the mind towards it - the relishing. But it was very hard to just 'taste' the tea without being really 'into' it. I do not think I was able to separate tanha from vedana as I had aspired to.
So, I am interested to try this again, and with food as well. If anyone has some advice about this practice I would appreciate it. But, this is a part of the practice is it not?
To eat and drink calmly, thoroughly tasting every morsel yet not trying to 'get off' on the pleasant flavours, but rather, just experiencing 'pleasant flavours' - yes?
Thanks for reading