Good, you’re reading this. Chocolate. Does the very word send you somewhere off on a dream? Are you aware of feelings of desire, or craving? Or guilt, and thoughts of losing weight?
When you do eat chocolate, do you sit down and really taste every piece? Or do you walk along the street mindlessly munching, avoiding everyone else who’s also in a hurry, swallowing it as fast as you can?
Newspapers are telling us now that bacon is unhealthy. We’re told we should be eating more fresh food, organic food. All well and good, but when it comes to mindful eating, you can’t just think about it; it really is a practice.
If you want food to be part of your daily meditation practice, I recommend starting with chocolate. As someone who appreciates good chocolate, in particular that made by the French chocolatier Valrhona, I believe you’ll enjoy it even more if you choose really good chocolate.
It’s up to you, of course. Whatever kind you do choose, imagine it’s the first piece of chocolate you’ve ever tasted, or perhaps also the very last piece.
• So, start with two or three deep breaths, bringing you right here, right now.
• Think about the chocolate, appreciate it. Where was it made? Examine what it’s made of and imagine what would the ingredients listed on the packet might look like in their natural environments.
• Pause and become aware of how you feel. Are you feeling anxious, or naughty, or perhaps excited?
• Slowly remove the chocolate from the packaging and spend a little time exploring it. Look at it, what odours do you notice, how does it feel to your fingers?
• Are you itching to take a bite? Wait! Break off a small bit but resist biting or chewing. How does it feel on the tongue, in your mouth? Become aware of texture, temperature. How does it taste? Bitter? Sweet? Creamy? Let it melt gently, moving it around with your tongue.
• Finally, sit back, relax, and really enjoy eating some delicious chocolate, mindfully.
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