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How to Practice Mindfulness with a Chocolate Meditation

Mindfulness is a very ancient practice, but in recent years its benefits have been celebrated far and wide. And for good reason! Mindfulness has been linked to improved wellbeing, lower stress levels, creative thinking and so much more.

But what is mindfulness? 

Mindfulness is based on paying attention to your present experience, whether this is thoughts, feelings or sensations, without judgement and with kindness. It’s also about building a better sense of connection with yourself and the world around you.

Now more than ever this is vital.

A sense of mindfulness can be developed through formal meditations and more informal exercises. The most delicious way to explore it is through tasting, especially with something full of flavour like good dark chocolate. 

Mindful eating, like most of the modern mindfulness practices, has roots in Buddhism. It’s a lovely way to use something we to every day as a simple act of contemplation. When we taste we actively use all of our senses so it’s a great opportunity to build focus and connection.

And why chocolate? Chocolate, especially the dark stuff, is one of the most complex foods when it comes to flavour. It’s even more complex than wine. You also get the most from chocolate when you taste slowly, which is why tasting chocolate professionally is very similar to a mindful eating meditation.

If you’d like to try a chocolate meditation, take one or two pieces of good dark or milk chocolate, and find somewhere quiet to sit with your chocolate on a plate in front of you. Take a few gentle breaths to settle yourself, then slowly work through the following steps: 

  • Start by looking at your chocolate, noticing the details of its shape and colour
  • Lightly touch the chocolate; you might even like to pick it up to feel (if it melts try not to lick your fingers!)
  • Lift the chocolate to your ear and break off a small piece, listening to the snap
  • Take this piece to your nose and breathe in, noticing what you smell and how it makes you feel 
  • Put the chocolate on your tongue and, rather than chewing, let the chocolate melt as you move it around your mouth. Notice how it feels, and any flavours or tastes that stand out

Once your first taste of chocolate has slipped down your throat, pause. Notice how you feel, what you taste and maybe any thoughts that spring to mind. 

Repeat the steps until you’ve finished your chocolate. Sit for a minute or two with your eyes closed, enjoying the stillness you’ve created.

Meredith is the chocolate making founder of Food At Heart. She trained as a meditation teacher with the British School Of Meditation and runs meditation and slow tasting workshops, using chocolate to bring mindful eating and living to life.

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