Friday, December 31, 2021

Your 2022 Resolutions

Instead of writing personal resolutions for myself this year I decided to write resolutions for you. Here are eight impersonal resolutions guaranteed to make you a better person and the world a better place.

  1. Acknowledge that goodness is already your nature and that the world's nature is goodness as well. There is no need to strive, to resolve, to make better.
  2. Nurture someone/something else. With all the care-giving you already do, accept another object under your care. A person. A pet. A plant. A highway median. In this way you will learn that your care is boundless.
  3. Disappear from yourself and your obligations/preferences/habits. This might be tricky if you haven't done it before. Start out disappearing for an hour. Work up to disappearing for a day. Or two. And never ever tell another soul where you went and what you did. This is your most precious gift to yourself. Treasure it.
  4. Cultivate unconditional forgiveness and love. In that order. Especially for yourself.
  5. Challenge yourself, your thinking, your talents. Push yourself. Not to be better but to stretch beyond your comfort. There's plenty of other opportunities to be comfortable.
  6. Practice seeing every cherished object broken and every cherished person gone. Feel what that feels like without feeling it. Hold those things and people more dear than you did before. Repeat. Forever.
  7. Divest from evil corporations. All corporations are evil, but some are more evil than others. Stop spending money at at least five corporations that harm the goodness of your world. There are a few apps and web sites that can show you where corporations spend money and which politicians and policies they support.
  8. Spend money and time on a political campaign. Spend money and time on a nonprofit organization. Share your goodness and the goodness of the world with others.

And a bonus resolution, because people like bonuses: Notice when resistance arises and then resist it.

Happy 2022.

Monday, December 20, 2021

My Chemex Recipe


I've been making my own Chemex for the past few years. Originally I was curious about the process, but soon it became another way for me to slow my morning or afternoon down and to ground myself in the present. Here is the recipe that I currently use. It's a blend of a couple of different recipes from various sources, one of them being Blue Bottle, which offers some good advice regarding technique.

Supplies

Coffee beans (I suggest light or medium roast.)
Water (filtered), 1 liter
Grinder
Chemex carafe
Chemex filter (unbleached)
1-liter goose-neck electric kettle
Kitchen scale (metric)
Timer
  1. First a prayer: Acknowledge the Native lands you are living on. Acknowledge the slave labor that your practices and purchases support. Acknowledge the environmental destruction that results from this cup of coffee. Express gratitude to all who allow you to live your life as you do.
  2. Boil water. In the meantime, grind your beans to the coarseness of sea salt. A little finer than sea salt is also okay. I recommend starting with about 41 grams of coffee beans. As you get used to the process, you can adjust the amount to taste.
  3. When the water is ready, set the filter on the Chemex carafe (the filter's 3-layer side lays over the spout) and pour a small amount over it to dampen it. Pour that water out. (Remember, it's hot!) Set your Chemex with a damp filter on the scale. Reset the scale to zero. Dump your ground coffee into the damp filter. Shake the coffee to level it. Confirm the coffee amount (41 grams). Reset the scale to zero.
  4. The Bloom. Begin your timer. You'll pour twice the amount of boiled water (82 grams or milliliters in this example) over the coffee in a spiral motion, making sure that all the coffee is wet. Let the water drain through for about 45 seconds. During the bloom, the wet grounds will look like they're breathing. Enjoy the aroma. Remember to breathe yourself because this process is to slow you down a bit in order to enjoy the time you have at present.
  5. Second Pour. At 00:45 pour 200 grams of boiled water over the coffee in a spiral motion. Let the water drain through for about a minute. (Scale should read 282 grams. Don't worry if you're off on your pours. Just adjust on the next pour. You're not going to ruin your coffee if it's a little off, either during the brewing or at the end. Experience being here and being now.)
  6. Third Pour. At 1:45 pour another 200 grams of boiled water over the coffee in a spiral motion. Let the water drain through for about a minute. (Scale should read 482 grams.)
  7. Fourth Pour. At 2:45 pour another 200 grams of boiled water over the coffee in a spiral motion. Let the water drain through until the timer reaches 4:30. (Scale should read 682 grams.) All the water should be drained at this point (in the bottom of the Chemex carafe as coffee). If not, then you may need to adjust the grind of your beans: finer coffee will allow the water to flow through more quickly; courser coffee will make the water flow more slowly.
  8. Pour the remainder of the boiled water in your coffee cup(s) to warm. (This serves the same purpose as chilling your cocktail glass for a cold beverage.) Dump the water and pour your velvety Chemex coffee into your mug(s) and enjoy. You should have enough for two people to have 2 medium-sized cups of coffee, so be sure to share your time and experience with a friend.
  9. Compost the filter and coffee grounds in your garden.

Let me know if you have any questions. When you come to visit, I'll make you a fresh cup of coffee.