Caffeine (coffee) revitalized my meditation practice

Advait Childers, modified 6 Years ago.

Caffeine (coffee) revitalized my meditation practice

Posts: 16 Join Date: 2/10/15 Recent Posts
Hi All,

Just want to share what's been happening recently with my practice. I meditated for years (mostly in the early mornings) and about a year ago lost interest in practice. Some Dark Night stuff going on and probably some subtle negative karmic energies coming up. About a month ago I thought about trying to meditate in the afternoons. Usually when I meditate in the afternoons I get real sleepy. I could take a hit of caffeine but then I may find it hard to get to sleep (I usually go to sleep around 9:30pm or so and I'm a little sensitive to caffeine). But I decided to try it. 

Also plain silent meditation had become very boring for me so I decided to combine the caffeine (coffee) with some guided meditations (GMs) that I enjoy. There's a series of really nice GMs from the "Children of the Sun" foundation and from "Radiant Rose Academy". I think most people reading this forum would not like these kind of GMs (they have some Christian terminology and imagery and are quite "new agey"). But for mysterious reasons I've got a soft spot for new agey stuff and I resonate with the deeper meanings of Christ's message underneath all the dogma and church power trips. And these GMs have some nice devotional imagery that I really like.

(You can gather that I'm a rather lazy practitioner without much discipline. I do admire those hyper-masculine Zen types who can meditate many hours a day in total silence just staring at a wall. I wish I could practice like that; perhaps in a future life...)

So the bottom line is that (at least for now) my meditation practice has been wonderfully revitalized. 

I drink down some strong coffee (with stevia, spices and a little coconut oil) around 4pm (that gives enough time for the caffeine to metabolize before my beditme at 9:30pm). Then I sit on my trusty crescent zafu, put on my Bose noise-canceling headphones, start the GM and descend into a nice caffeine buzz. The positive devotional emotions inspired by the GMs combined with the caffeine really help me to stay focused and enjoy the meditation. And the positive emotions are a good antidote to the dark moods I'm feeling as I go thru this Dark Night phase. I've got some bhakti in me so the positive emotions nicely compliment the discipline of sitting still.

This is the first time in a long time that I've actually enjoyed medtation. For years I did it out of habit but without any real enjoyment. A long time ago I would get these remarkable blissful feelings during meditation but that hasn't happened since 2003.

So (for now at least) I'm looking forward to my daily afternoon meditations. Usually I sit for an hour but sometimes I'm feeling really good and will go for 90 minutes.

And I've read various studies that show that all the natural chemicals in coffee have a lot of health benefits. Since I've been drinking coffee it seems my overall mood throughout the day has lifted a little. Nice! Anything that takes the edge off the Dark Night I'm going thru is fantastic.

(The meditation purists in these forums probably cringe at my sloppy practice but hey, it's working great for me.)

I'm sure in time my practice will evolve into something else, but for now I wanted to share how I was able to restart and revitalize my practice.

Reflections and comments appreciated. 

May All Be Well and Happy,

finding-oneself, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Caffeine (coffee) revitalized my meditation practice

Posts: 56 Join Date: 1/7/14 Recent Posts
Hi Advait. I enjoyed reading your post. You might want to look into other caffeine containing plants too, sometimes they offer something a little different. Yerba mate and "ceremonial" cacao beans contain only a small percentage caffeine but are abundant in theobromine, a cousin of caffeine. It's different than caffeine forsure but it works just as well, if not better. I love the stuff for meditation instead of coffee because it's jitter free. Lot's of clean energy.

Kind regards,

C P M, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Caffeine (coffee) revitalized my meditation practice

Posts: 219 Join Date: 5/23/13 Recent Posts
I'm a big coffee fan, and burn through a lot of cups in the morning. It gives a nice boost to my mood.  But I recently discovered the nice effects of cacao.  I started putting 20 grams of powder in protein drinks for flavor and because of it's nutritional profile. I wasn't expecting any neurological impact, but it's a nice smooth energetic effect. 

I sometimes give up coffee and switch to green tea.

In the past, I've meditated first thing in the morning without coffee, when I'm at my worst as far as alertness and concentration.  It's difficult, but after some weeks, it does seem to boost the effectiveness of the afternoon sits.