prelude: at the coffee shop

Early in the morning, we gather at a certain cafe.  Drawn together by the bonds of coffee, daily routine, and mutual humanity, we assemble peacefully, nodding and smiling, exchanging ritual signals of trust and benevolence.  People gently become acquainted by repeated, light contact, even before learning each other’s names.

I sip from my own cup of sacred stimulant, watching the colorful dance.


The coffee shop is a wonderful movie, providing countless examples of all kinds of people interacting in endlessly diverse ways.  Here are people open and closed, wise and ignorant, shy and bold.  People bring their lives into the cafe, wearing them in their faces, clothing, and behavior.

When several of the regulars sit together, sometimes there is a special kind of harmony.  Laughter and inspired ideas bounce off the walls.  New friends are drawn in by the celebration, introducing themselves and joining the party.  Everybody is laughing today!

At other times, life has been difficult, and the mood is more serious.  People listen to each other’s stories.  Understanding brings greater peace, and acceptance diminishes self-hatred.  People seem to feel better, and maybe they see a little more clearly.  In a natural and unforced way, the family rebalances itself.

Each time the experience is different.  Always there are new people to meet, with unique, subtle shades of being.  Each day, the regulars show different colors.  Each person’s essence shifts and flows in complex ways.

There are few expectations.  If someone wants to be alone, solitude is granted.  Some regulars never speak to anyone, but even the loners find comfort in familiar faces.  A simple nod or smile is enough to renew connnections.

Can I taste the true flavor of the divine? It is what the Sufis call “the wine of God.”


Next in Enneagram 101: nine facets of love

…or return to contents.

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