In the fall of 1997 I began studying Chinese Medicine through the California State Tutorial Program, an apprenticeship pathway vehemently opposed by state governmental agencies and the Acupuncture Colleges. The centuries old method of transmitting knowledge, skill and expertise was saved by a large group of Chinese Masters practicing in San Francisco.
My preceptor and I spoke about numerous sub-topic related to health and healing during those 3 years I studied with him in Santa Cruz. One day I had a cup of coffee in my hand and he an herbal tea of some sort. We sat at the dining room table of his clinic, really a home converted into a Healing Center. My teacher was sipping on his tea while I sat trembling with a case of the caffeine jitters.
“Good old-fashioned speed,” he said in a matter of fact way. Startled by this, I smiled, gulping down another large swig of the organic Guatemalan Antigua infused brew which was coursing through my blood stream and lighting up my nervous system. And much like Thomas Edison’s Direct Current of the late 19th century, my java dividends were minimal, though had I know the side-effects were similar to Edison’s street light explosions, I might have discontinued the coffee pastime much sooner.
The truth in my preceptor’s simple and forward comment struck me. He was comparing coffee, caffeine and the various cousin constituents contained with the coffee bean, to: Meth, Cocaine, and other illicit amphetamines. We launched into a lively conversation and I was enlightened and astonished, further awakened from society’s socially-accepted trance and vice.
Like many beverages consumed my humans, the detrimental effects of coffee far outweigh any so called benefits. We are programmed to continue our addictive-abuse of this particular caffeine substance, the coffee-drug, because we are still believing in thoughts, such as:
“How will I be able to accomplish all of the tasks, duties, and jobs I’ve set before myself…I need this in order to….I won’t be able to do it unless…”
These types of mind-based rationalizations combine with body-centered addictive responses: we are hit both psychologically and physiologically.
My sensitivity to caffeine has only increased in the 23 years since that momentous discussion. Even a small amount of weak green tea is enough to cause an inflammatory response in my central nervous system.
Millions more are ravaging their body and increasing restlessness of mind but have no idea that their Morning Joe is wreaking havoc in so many ways. The worldwide addiction continues to grow.
Another new coffee shop just opened in Santa Cruz and was instantly a packed house. The only business cropping up more often is the next Cannabis Club. People are so revved up these days that our local highway 17, the thru-way between Silicon Valley mayhem and the calming Ocean tides, is thought to be the latest 24 Hour at Le Mans Training Ground. We spend our weekends talking like chattering chipmunks, discussing whatever thought comes in, following the overstimulated and restless mind and body processes, each of us fighting to be the one who talks. All the while sitting down in a noisy cafe in the guise of relaxation.
Really, drinking coffee in American today is one of the preferred forms of relaxation. It is an amazing statement but true. Throwing down 50 grams of sugar-infested, high gluten wheat and 150 mg or more of caffeine is our way to peace and calm?! Yep, good old-fashioned, socially-accepted speed. And the 75 billion dollar Coffee Empire continues to use manipulated scientific trials and put out bogus propaganda, such as:
“Coffee is the leading source of antioxidants in our diet.” And of course coffee is being promoted as the latest drug that can help you: “Increase your fiber intake…protection against cirrhosis of the liver…lowers the risk of Type 2 Diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.
And of course, everyone knows that coffee: “Reduces suicide risk and depression.”
Does anyone really believe this?
What are we really searching for or trying to obtain with our Speedy-Lives?
Once we understand that our need for speed in all things comes from an agitated and restless mind, a light goes off, habitual tendencies fade, thoughts are no longer followed and we come into a slowdown phase.
Eventually stillness is found. We realize that what we having been searching for is already within us. There’s nowhere to go, no place to get to quicker. We can relax, centered and calm, and be at peace.