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Meditating on a piece of chocolate – what could be better?

Wednesday 8th June 2011

Today was one of those day’s where I just needed some chocolate. You know that feeling! Rather than wolfing it down, I thought I’d run through our ‘Chocolate Meditation’. This has often been imitated by other teachers – and we’re glad that we’re adding to the sum of Mindfulness knowledge.

In the interests of full disclosure, my PhD was focused on the biochemistry of a disease of South American cocoa crops and was funded by the chocolate industry. And yes, I did get free chocolate from time to time! Gorgeous stuff too….


The chocolate meditation

Choose some chocolate – either a type that you’ve never tried before or one that you have not eaten recently. It might be dark and flavoursome, organic or fair-trade or, perhaps, cheap and trashy. The important thing is to choose a type you wouldn’t normally eat or that you consume only rarely. Here goes:

  • Open the packet. Inhale the aroma. Let it sweep over you.
  • Break off a piece and look at it. Really let your eyes drink in what it looks like, examining every nook and cranny.
  • Pop it in your mouth. See if it’s possible to hold it on your tongue and let it melt, noticing any tendency to suck at it. Chocolate has over 300 different flavours. See if you can sense some of them.
  • If you notice your mind wandering while you do this, simply notice where it went, then gently escort it back to the present moment.
  • After the chocolate has completely melted, swallow it very slowly and deliberately. Let it trickle down your throat.
  • Repeat this with one other piece.

How do you feel? Is it different from normal? Did the chocolate taste better than if you’d just eaten it at a normal breakneck pace?

This meditation can be found in our book ‘Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World’ by Professor Mark Williams and Dr Danny Penman. The book comes with a free CD of guided meditations based upon Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, which was co-developed by Mark at Oxford University.

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