Quiet Mind Meditation

This is a quiet space .. designed to inspire, nurture and support your meditation practice so that you might find your own quiet mind

Monday, 7 July 2014

International Chocolate Day Meditation

I just heard .. it is International Chocolate Day .. really and truly! 

And so to honour the occasion, I have re-posted one of our favourite meditations .. Eating Meditation is actually an ancient practice, found in many traditional schools of meditation .. and a wonderful introduction to mindfulness (which is why I always include this practice in our group meditation classes!).


.. 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 an ancient practice that invites us to pay attention to the act of 'eating' .. being witness to the full range of tastes, textures, smells, movement, colour and design of our food, our presence to the meal, our body and mind's involvement in the meal .. and the full experience of the body eating.

Eating mindfully can be a beautiful and quite moving experience .. I fondly recall attending a one day Zen Sesshin and experiencing the most beautifully presented meal .. visually exquisite, I could smell the aroma of the food as it was being prepared in the kitchen, and the honourable way it was brought to the table for us to share, and I totally relished the 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 a small square of chocolate can be, how satisfying, how intense the experience.

Chocolate (Mindful Eating) Meditation

• First, close your eyes, check your posture, take a few deeper breaths

• Pay attention to your breath for a few moments to slowly settle the body and mind

• When you feel that you have found that quietness (body and mind) open your eyes and observe the appearance of your piece of chocolate .. examining like a child might, entranced and excited

• Bring the chocolate to your nose and smell the aroma .. cocoa, sugar, milk, oils .. what can you notice, and are you aware of how the sense of smell affects your body? 

• Check in with your heart .. what do you desire to do right now, are you hungry, bored, thankful?

• Take a moment to consider all the people involved in bringing this chocolate to you, all the labour, care and attention. Notice where your mind is in this moment, are you ready to pounce on that chocolate, feeling hungry, calm, distracted?

• Close your eyes and slowly move the chocolate towards your mouth .. pause to smell again, then try running the chocolate across your lips .. can your notice your mouth watering in anticipation?

• When you do place the chocolate in your mouth, refrain from chewing and just allow a few moments to feel the shape, texture, weight of the chocolate in your mouth.  Savour the moment.

• When you decide it is time to chew – know that you are chewing and pay attention to each and every movement and taste as your chew, notice what happens to the chocolate as you bit it

• Notice the slow disappearance of the chocolate and how the flavour changes

• See if you can be fully aware to the process of swallowing, mindfully observing the act of preparing to swallow, and then swallowing

• Continue to observe the chocolate in your mouth, just resting with the slowly fading flavour until the chocolate has completely gone.

• Notice how you feel once the chocolate has gone.  What would you like to do right now?  What would you habitually do in normal circumstance?  What has this practice shown to you?

And finally, be grateful for the opportunity to enjoy this piece of chocolate for the sweet joy that it has brought and for the lesson in being mindful.
Happy International Chocolate Day!

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