M. snapped the picture of me in Savasana yesterday, I'd fallen asleep and not for the first time it seems, ....in Savasana, in the bath, in a friends Meditation class, "Stay present, stay present, stay... ZZzzzzzzzzzz
I thought the picture gives an idea of the size of the upstairs Shala, only just wide enough. I should probably be running the mats lengthwise, which would be facing east too, might try it for this evenings practice but you know what it's like, once you have your spot....
|In need of Coffee, damned good coffee....|
Best of all though was discovering the Best Coffee in Kyoto, the Kansai region, in all Japan, perhaps..... unless you know different.
I'd ended up wandering from Gion down to the Hoken-ji and the four ( or is it five ) tier Pagoda. After walking all day I was in need of a coffee but to be honest the coffee hasn't been that great thus far. Just down from Hoken-ji though was a fancy looking place that boasted great coffee but looked a little too fancy for it's own good, too much style over content perhaps. Still, it had an espresso machine in the window and sacks of beans, how bad could it be.
Lets jump ahead,
I was given my macchiato in a paper cup, Hmmmmm
....at the first sip, the world dropped away, I can't really put it into words but everything just, well, dropped away and there was this sense of peace, a Samadhi of sorts but lasting I guess only a minute. With the second sip I just smiled and felt as happy as I've ever felt, with the third I almost burst out laughing, " This is great coffee" I said, ".... but you know that". The guy just smiled, he knew.
Perhaps they get that a lot.
Clearly I need to sit more
It was the best coffee I've ever had, surely the best in Kyoto if not Japan, Samadhi for heaven's sake, can it get better than that, really?
It's a one shop company, supposedly the owner asked himself what he really wanted in life and decide he just wanted a simple life and good coffee so bought himself a coffee farm in Hawaii.
In the shop he will roast your beans for you in a special roaster made in Japan that takes five minutes, then he'll grind thebeans for you. Your coffee he'll run through the most incredibly beautiful espresso machine I've ever seen, all metal and wood. It has these beautiful wooden paddles that you can adjust the flow of the coffee, unfortunately it's called 'The slayer' but it's made in Seattle and they know a thing or two about coffee I hear.
The barista is Junichi Yamaguchi, a world Champion I believe, beautiful to watch him work, adjusting this, tweaking that..... well here he is at work on the Seattle Slayer, here in Hong Kong.
Anyway great coffee and made me want to move back to Kyoto within cycling distance of the place.
M.however, is an Osaka girl and perhaps feels a little slighted, she's been sending me links to the best coffee in Osaka.
I cycled across town to one today, Brooklyn Roasting Company in Kitahama. And it was great coffee except that the barista, keen to show off his fancy creme design perhaps just kept pouring and pouring the milk in to my macchiato, ruined. Of course if you like latte then just order a macchiato here and you get a latte on the cheap.
Nope sorry, still moving to Kyoto.
But of course %Arabica isn't going to be open before practice in the morning, I still need my pre-practice brew. I came across this researching coffee in Kyoto. Seems Kyoto has a bit of a thing for the vacuum syphon method and I'm tempted to try it out, perhaps pick one up for home use, some say it's the best method of all.
|Cona Vacuum Brewer|
Update: but for now we've picked up an Aeropress half price, always wanted to try one, what it may lack in romance it supposedly makes up for in flavour.
Going to be a little embarrassing asking for freshly picked, freshly roasted, freshly ground coffee from Arabica for one of the these but still the thing is portable so I can take back to the UK and Moscow in November for the workshops.
Link to Aeropress World Championship. Love how 3rd place went into the finer points of ph balance whereas the winner just chucked some water in shook it about a bit and plunged.
I mentioned that I'll be giving a workshop in Moscow in November, they seem to like the old picture of me playing my flute with my leg behind my head for their flyer's. I tried to explain to my friend Michelle that there was a serious point behind the picture ( Michele, Ashtangi Angel, has a workshop coming up herself in November, in Coventry on Overcoming Fear in Ashtanga Practice. It's also Michelle who painted my Vayu in the Mysore style seen behind me in the picture below). I'd been offered free flute lessons but I couldn't find the time to practice yoga and flute, thus the tongue in cheek photo. However, while setting up for the picture I noticed that it was hard to play long tones without half decent alignment, I started exploring playing some long tones in different postures..... I don't think she bought it, still thinks I was just showing off.
There is no justification at all for making an update with a Shakuhachi but I did it anyway.
|See this post http://grimmly2007.blogspot.jp/2013/04/chanting-or-playing-flute-in-asana.html|