I just got my mindfulness box in the mail (unboxing video coming soon), and this one came with a handful of meditation suggestions. Being that I’m a sweet freak, the one that caught my eye was “Chocolate Meditation.”
Um, sign me up!
The better news was I could do it right. then. because my box came with a piece of chocolate – smart move!
What I got out of this meditation was not at all what I was expecting.
So, the meditation goes like this:
“Before you pick up the chocolate, take a couple of slow deep breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth. Allow the body and mind to settle a bit and to be present with this activity. As best you can, try to mentally leave behind whatever you’re doing.
Take a moment to appreciate the origins of this piece of chocolate. Where has it come from? What’s in it? Try and imagine the different ingredients in their natural growing environment and even the types of people who might have grown the cocoa beans.
Slowly unwrap the chocolate and take a good minute or so to explore it with your eyes, nose and hands. Look at it closely, smell it carefully and touch it to see how it feels.
By now you’ll be more than ready to taste it (understatement of the century). Take a small bite, but try to resist chewing. Notice how it feels in the mouth, the temperature and texture. Also become aware of the taste – whether it’s sweet, bitter, creamy. Try to allow the chocolate to melt in the mouth by gently moving it around with your tongue rather than chewing it. Slowly swallow the chocolate and simply enjoy the lingering “aftertaste” of the moment.”
What I went into this thinking: Ooh chocolate, it’s an aphrodisiac so I’m excited about where this will take me.
What I came out of this thinking: I have never in my life appreciated any of the other chocolate I have ever eaten.
To elaborate: This process really makes you slow down and think about what you’re eating, where it came from, what kind of work went into making something like this, the care and the effort, the thought behind what flavors would best meld with this glorious cacao bean that has been gods gift to mankind for years.
The chocolate being the smaller than a fun-sized hershey bar that one might get on halloween, took me ~10 minutes to eat, broken up into pieces. It showed me how impatient and greedy I’ve been, where all I wanted to do was eat the whole piece of chocolate in one bite, chew, and swallow, and experience the typical “man I wish I had more chocolate” moment that always happens.
“I miss the cupcake *snivel*” – GIR, Invader Zim
Through the process of slowing down and not chewing, which was a lot more of a conscious decision than I thought it was going to be, I really started to think about how I treat not only my eating habits, but my life. We live in a society that is very impatient, and I’m absolutely a part of that demographic. Instant gratification.
“I’d like a cheeseburger – where is it?” – Jim Gaffigan
The fact that I had to consciously sit, smell, feel, not chew and patiently enjoy this chocolate forced me to live in that moment. A moment that social media cannot exemplify. A personal moment with you and the flavors in your mouth, the imagination you have around where this chocolate came from – whether it’s like a starburst commercial or a starbucks commercial.
This meditation makes me want to be more patient and more conscious of the decisions I make. It makes me appreciate the extra time it takes for something special to be made. To maybe also not shovel food into my mouth, and take the time to appreciate it for everything its worth.
I fully recommend trying this. Pick a small piece of chocolate, or a square from an organic flavorful candy bar (which is a serving size that I can actually get behind after this process) and take the time to yourself in a quiet place to really experience this process. I say organic because there are more earthy flavors that might harken back to grounding yourself in something, and lend itself to imagining how incorporating a nut or a fruit flavor into your chocolate can really enhance the enjoyment of your sweet. I hope that you get something similar out of this and that it gives you that “aha” moment like I’ve had.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go impatiently wait in front of my TV for Supernatural to premiere tonight.