Mindfulness With Chocolate

Introduction

 

We tend to spend so much time in our heads, caught up in endless repetitions of the same thought patterns, that we often miss what is happening right in front of us. In this way, much of our life passes us by without us experiencing it or truly living it. For example, how many times have we been so absorbed in our own little world while walking in the park that we have missed the sounds of the birds or the sight of the pretty flowers?

 

Mindfulness, or mindful awareness, is an ancient Buddhist technique in which we turn our attention completely upon what is happening in the present moment. We observe and note all the sensations, thoughts and feelings arising within us without judging them or labelling them.

 

Mindfulness also has other benefits. For example, it trains our minds to catch any possible negative thought patterns before they spiral out of control and take over our life. We also take a step back and begin to see the world more clearly as a detached observer, recognising that we are not our thoughts, or our emotions, etc, which are transient phenomena which will not last forever.

 

Mindfulness-Chocolate“Mindfulness With Chocolate” technique is based on the book, “Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World” by Mark Williams and Danny Penman. It encourages us to become fully aware of every type of sensation associated with eating chocolate so that the experience is much richer.

 

This represents an example of how we can get so much joy out of the simple activities in our daily life, such as taking a shower, drinking a cup of coffee or going for a walk. Carry out such activities as mindfully as you can: deliberately ensure that you are not doing other things at the same time or occupying your mind with other thoughts. In this way, the quality of our everyday life can be vastly enhanced, without having to make any drastic changes

 

Technique

 

  1. Open the chocolate wrapper and pay full attention to the aroma that is released. Spend sufficient time on experiencing the aroma.
  2. Break off a piece of the chocolate and look at it very closely, turning it over and taking in everything you see.
  3. Place the chocolate into your mouth, close your eyes and gently allow it to melt on top of your tongue. What different flavours can you sense?
  4. Let the whole piece melt completely. If your mind wanders, then gently escort it back to the present moment.
  5. Swallow the melted chocolate very slowly and deliberately. Observe the sensation of it flowing down the back of your tongue and down your throat.
  6. How did that feel? Did you get more mileage out of that piece of chocolate compared with eating it quickly?