Ingrid Goff Maidoff - Tending Joy

"What do you court, worship, gather to hold dear? In my mind I'd like to kiss you, but I'd ask these questions first." ~Ingrid Goff-Maidoff ~ One Thousand Evenings More

The nirvana cafe

by Ingrid Goff-Maidoff


"Between the worlds of awake
and sleep are welcoming inns and
cafes where travelers can rest and
acclimatize. At such places, wayfarers
often connect with a wise one,
or simply bask in the music of the spheres
before continuing on their way."

I once dreamed that I was sitting at a beautiful and casual café on a sunny hillside, and it was the most pleasant and harmonious place. The patrons all seemed familiar- as if they were friends I had yet to meet. They were drinking tea, conversing, meeting and greeting each other in friendship and community. Each of them seemed to glow with the knowledge that they were One both with each other and with the Divine. Some call the gift of this knowledge Christ Consciousness, while others call it Buddha Consciousness. It is a splendid state of grace.

Nirvana means, literally, "blowing out." In Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, it is the state of enlightenment in which one has transcended or extinguished fear, desire, hatred, and other illusions of separation. It is a state or place of peace, harmony, and pleasure. It is heaven on earth.

I believe that there well may be such places all around the world- whether street cafés, schools, workplaces, spiritual centers, or even homes. Anywhere we find rest, harmony, and pleasure may be a Nirvana of sorts; anywhere we meet and greet each other in friendship, trust, and love. Nirvana isn't necessarily a distant place ~ it is a state which may be slipped into at any time; a place of truth; of connection with the eternal divine.

I've begun to venture out into my days with a feeling of cheerful optimism: At any moment, anywhere, and with anybody, I might come upon a Nirvana Café. I hope that I am awake enough to recognize it.


The soul in sleep gives proof of its divine nature...~Cicero

Join TENDING JOY Email List

Copyright 2011/12 Ingrid Goff Maidoff, all rights reserved.

Ingrid Goff-Maidoff is a universalist poet, mystic, celebrant of beauty and encourager of spirit who lives on the island of Martha's Vineyard. Her work appears in numerous anthologies, and she has lovingly created dozens of books and gifts that help deepen intimacy with the sacred. Her blog, her inspirational offerings, and her popular Joy Postcards Newsletter all are found at