Last night in meditation class we were discussing Mindfulness practices, and I included one of my favourite meditations on mindfulness .. the chocolate meditation!
There is always a giggle, a look of disbelief .. and then simple joyful surprise .. when I unveil a platter of tiny squares of lindt chocolate .. how can this be a meditation?
Mindfulness is the practice of cultivating a clear and non-judgmental awareness of what is going on in the moment .. and moment after moment. When we are engaged completely in what we are doing .. with no judgement or commentary .. a whole new world opens up to us and we shift internally to a sense of calmness and balance.
Mindfulness of Eating is the practice of paying attention to the act of 'eating' .. the tastes, textures, smells, movement, colour and design of our food, our presence to the meal, and the full experience of the body eating. Mindfulness of Eating is a beautiful and quite moving experience .. perhaps you can remember a sublime moment when a particular meal or dish brought all your senses alive. I fondly recall attending a one day Zen Sesshin and experiencing the most beautifully presented and tasty meal .. visually exquisite, I smelt the food as it arrived to the table, and sacredness of eating a meal in silence .. each mouthful an invitation to be present.
We are surrounded by flavours, textures, aromas and appealing colours and designs in food, however we very rarely take the time to notice. We tend to rush quickly through the purchase and devouring of our food, forgetting or simply not noticing that we have this opportunity to slow down and enjoy the moment - this is what life is all about!
Chocolate of course makes this experience just a little more fun .. a little more indulgent .. and the most common comment I hear after the practice .. is how amazing that small square of chocolate was, how satisfying, how intense the experience. Its great fun!