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A Mindfulness Sommelier?

On February 29-- leap year day-- the WSJ  (weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal),Off Duty section contained an article entitled, "Just How Far Can We Stretch The Definition Of 'Sommelier'?". As noted by the author of the article, "[T]he sommelier title is hot. But should it be strictly reserved for restaurant professionals?". Good question!

Los Angeles (of course) has a woman who describes herself as a Yogi Sommelier. Philadelphia Cream Cheese recently introduced a television commercial featuring a cream cheese aficionado known as the, "Schmelier" (a take-off of "schmear"). Why not a mindfulness sommelier, or a meditation sommelier?

Granted, the word is most frequently used to identify someone who is a wine expert (particularly, in a restaurant setting). But if we get right down to it, the connotation of "sommelier" is "expertise" coupled with a dash of "passion" and a pinch of "insight" or "creativity"-- coupled with a talent for pairing particular wines with particular foods.

What about a woman or a man who couples mindfulness, meditation or other well-being practices with particular professions? Can we stretch the definition of "sommelier"that far? Of course we can. Do we want to? That's for us to decide, but the name or title is completely secondary to the impetus behind the nomenclature.

Taking mindfulness and meditation seriously-- and taking the legal profession seriously-- doesn't mean that we can't have a little fun with either, or both. Quite to the contrary, I believe that pairing mindfulness and meditation with the legal profession is a particularly good thing to do-- among many other things, we can learn to take what we do seriously, without taking ourselves too seriously.

A mindfulness sommelier-- why not? The self-important thing only gets in the way, and usually gets us into trouble!




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