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

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Mindfulness of Eating : Chocolate

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 quite naturally to an internal sense of calmness and balance.
Eating Chocolate is one Mindfulness practice that always elicits a giggle and a look of disbelief  in class .. how can eating chocolate be a meditation?

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.

Mindfulness of Eating is 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 smelt the food as it made its way to the table, and 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
• Paying attention to your breath for a few moments to slowly settle the body and mind
• When in a place of gentle 'settled-ness' 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, can you notice how the sense of smell affects on the body?
• Check in with your heart .. what do you desire to do right now, are you hungry, bored, thankful?
• Consider all the people involved in bringing this chocolate to you, all the labour, care and attention. Notice how your mind feels in this moment when you are just waiting to eat the chocolate
• Close your eyes and move the item towards your mouth .. try running it across your lips first can your notice your mouth watering in anticipation?
• Place the chocolate in your mouth but refrain from chewing, allow a moment to just savor having the chocolate in your mouth
• 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 the slow disappearance of the chocolate, how the flavour changes
• See if you can be fully aware to the process of swallowing, mindfully observing the act of swallowing
• Then relax and rest with the slowly fading flavour until the chocolate has completely gone.
And 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 Easter!


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