Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Proliferation of Mint

Mint seems like such a tasty herb to plant, but how many people have i warned? "Don't plant it!"

Mint is a spreader par excellence. When i started my herb garden, i wanted a mint of every type. But then i seldom used them. I actually prefer apple mint, which has a fuzzy leaf, to make iced tea with. Someone gave me chocolate mint, and that's a nice addition, but i think the apple mint has overrun it.

My method of keeping the mint patch under control is to make mint iced tea every day. On these hot days, i "pick" mint in the afternoon, which is to say i pull it up by as much root as i can and clip off the root. When i have a big handful of stems, i rinse them under the faucet and stuff them into a half-gallon glass pitcher. Add boiling water, and let it cool.

Put the pitcher into the refrigerator by evening, and the next day, you have cold mint tea all day long to cool you and refresh you.

This is how we work with our hindrances too. Sense desire, ill-will, sleepiness, anxiety, or doubt will proliferate and overrun our lives. We apply mindfulness every day. One by one, we pull back on desiring, expressing a zinger, collapsing, worrying, or doubting. We take a close look at the presenting circumstance, and in this way, we clip the root of that momentary hindrance.

We ourselves are refreshed and able to relax into the next moment. Maybe with a glass of cold mint tea in hand.

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