The Zen of Wine
Another poem by Master Nomi
Behold the Zen of Wine
On Pharaohs tables
Blessing the Monastery prayers
Cherishing Kings and Queens celebrations
Observing God throughout the rituals of religion
In a lone Tavern somewhere, another glass is sanctified
And one to many, the Zen is lost
Or perhaps found
Who can say?
Maggie: “But it could be vinegar! I mean, old wine often turns to vinegar.”
Oliver: “Well then, we either have a wonderful glass of wine, or a really expensive salad.”
Maggie and Oliver, Year of the Comet (1992)
Wine is life
Wine is love
Wine is not a human invention
Wine is but a natural synergy of nature
Wine is sunlight
Wine is soil
Wine is weather
Wine is water
Wine is stories untold of sacrifice
Wine is the taste of perfect chemistry
And how is this?
“…how it’s a living thing…. I like to think about what was going on the year the grapes were growing; how the sun was shining; if it rained. I like to think about all the people who tended and picked the grapes. And if it’s an old wine, how many of them have passed on by now. I like how wine continues to evolve, like if I opened a bottle of wine today it would taste different than if I’d opened it on any other day, because a bottle of wine is actually alive. And it’s constantly evolving and gaining complexity. That is, until it peaks, like your ’61. And then it begins its steady, inevitable decline … And it tastes so f***ing good.”
–Maya, played by Virginia Madsen, in Sideways
Because wine is Zen
No, I mean not that we need wine to find our Zen
Wine is Zen.
It is the composition of the forces of the Universe
Of God if you will prefer,
It is Nature or God becoming aware of itself
Through the human spirit
Yes, that is enlightenment
Pure awareness becoming aware of itself
Within the human form
When you recognize that the Universe
Or God if you will prefer
Is aware of itself through YOU
Your ultimate seed potential is found.
And why is this?
“It’s a hard grape to grow. As you know. Right? It’s, uh, it’s thin-skinned, temperamental, ripens early. It’s, you know, it’s not a survivor like cabernet, which can just grow anywhere and thrive even when it’s neglected. No, Pinot needs constant care and attention. You know? And, in fact, it can only grow in these really specific, little tucked-away corners of the world. And only the most patient and nurturing of growers can do it, really. Only somebody who really takes the time to understand Pinot’s potential can then coax it into its fullest expression.”
Miles in Sideways (trying to explain to Maya why he loves Pinot Noirs)
Wine has touched every aspect of Nature
To become enlightened.
It’s enlightenment is its own seed potential,
And not a human creation.
BUT rather it seeks to become its destiny
Using the human mind as its creator
It teases and taunts with its flavorful bounty
And its seductive mind altering chemistry
Its euphoric mysticism
“Let’s be honest: there’s only one activity more satisfying than drinking good wine with good food; and if you’re drinking wine in the right company, the one pleasure, more often than not, will lead to the other!”
–Jay McInerney, Hedonist in the Cellar: Adventures in Wine
It holds us captured by:
It calls to its human creators
To create itself
And to enjoy
Almost as if it had a mind of its own
As if it has tasted itself
A Yogic masturbation of extreme flexibility
Of universal proportions
And what is this?
“You people. You think you can just buy your way into this. Take a few lessons. Grow some grapes. Make some good wine. You cannot do it that way. … You have to have it in your blood. You have to grow up with the soil underneath your nails, and the smell of the grape in the air that you breathe. The cultivation of the vine is an art form. The refinement of its juice is a religion that requires pain and desire and sacrifice.”
Gustavo, Bottle Shock (2008)
Simply…wine is Zen
And Zen is nature discovering itself through human form
And wine discovers itself through human form
But wine has no mind you argue!
Well, Zen has No Mind, I say!
Remember wine is of Earth and Sun
And of the crowning achievement of Nature
Or God if you will prefer,
The human mind.
It’s a synergy of subatomic particles
That has nothing to do with the intention of anyone
“My dear girl, there are some things that just aren’t done, such as drinking Dom Perignon ’53 above the temperature of 38 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s just as bad as listening to the Beatles without earmuffs!”
James Bond, Goldfinger (1964)
But rather the un-intention of Nature itself.
The processes that produce wine
From its growth
To its harvest
To its separation
To its fermentation
To it barreling
To its bottle
Yet it is not done here
For its final destination
Is to become aware of itself through you,
Just as Nature and God do
That is Zen in pure form.
And when is this?
“Wine to me is passion. It’s family and friends. It’s warmth of heart and generosity of spirit. Wine is art. It’s culture. It’s the essence of civilization and the art of living.”
Robert Mondavi, Harvests Of Joy
That is the ultimate Zen question
For in Zen there is only one when,
And that is Now…
Only in the Now can you experience the Zen of wine
It is the perfect mindful experience
Being in the moment with the color of the wine
As the light from the Sun becomes part of its color
The bouquet becomes part of your nose
The taste becomes part of your mind
And then becomes part of your body
As you feel the wine saturate your being
This is a mindful experience
This is meditation
And as you gaze across the vines
You can taste the vineyard in front of you
You taste what you see
You experience the gamut of time
In this moment
The journey the wine made to rediscover itself
Here in this moment
In your awareness
sharing the awareness of the grape
which has Become the wine
yet all awareness always remains the same
…And this is Zen, And this is Wine.
And remember you can still download a FREE Ebook version of my two books, Where’s My Zen? and The Ten Paradoxes…simply click the link above.
Blessings and Happy Valentine’s Day,
Paul Harrison AIA
aka Master Nomi
Architect, Author, Creator of the Zen Advantage Program™ (ZAP)