The past week left me feeling overwhelmed. I just survived my first week of graduate school while managing my business and a seemingly endless to-do list at work.
Before attempting to write this piece, I made a quick trip to the convenience store and grabbed a medium-sized bag of milk chocolate candy. I had a plan in mind.
Twelve years ago, around the same time I discovered the art of mindfulness, I also learned the perfect excuse to consume sweets – chocolate meditation.
Chocolate meditation is a form of mindfulness activity that uses the treat as its main subject. Chocolate and its different parts that appeal to the senses become the focal point of the mindfulness act.
In case you missed it, mindfulness means getting into a state of complete focus and awareness of one’s present moment. It also means welcoming the different sensations, thoughts, and sounds as they occur, allowing free flow and releasing any judgment.
While there are many ways of performing meditation, this indulgent kind is like hitting two birds with one stone. One can claim the health benefits of chocolate (depending on the type you will get!) and meditation simultaneously. Here are the steps I developed through years of merging different ones taught by an acquaintance and online tutorials. I made up this guide using the acronym CHOCO.
C – omfort. Find a comfortable spot like a chair or a mat. Situate yourself in a place of relaxation, away from all possible distractions. You may close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and consciously relax and release all tension from your head to your toes.
H – old. Take a piece of your preferred chocolate (a tiny one like a piece of the classic Pinoy peanut milk chocolate will do!) and place it on your hand. Take a moment to feel its weight, inspect the packaging, read the label, and appreciate the design.
O – pen. With much care and attention, unwrap the chocolate. Pay attention to the crinkling sounds, aroma, and the little treat’s appearance. Take note of its color and fully engage your senses of sight, smell, and sound.
C – elebrate. Create a party inside your mouth by tasting the chocolate. Feel a piece of the sweet treat by taking a bite. Be mindful of how it touches your tongue and introduces different flavors. Indulge. Savor the taste and let the melted piece travel down your throat.
O – bserve. Using the piece of chocolate as the point of concentration, allow thoughts and memories to come and go. If there’s a sudden influx of thoughts in your head, try to get a grip and mentally organize them by redirecting every thought to the piece of chocolate. Be in the moment.
I repeat the steps as needed to enjoy the calming benefits of the activity. An essential part of the challenge is also being mindful of the amount of chocolate you will consume. Wink, wink.
Note: This meditation is best matched with journaling or doing a brain dump on paper to detoxify yourself of overwhelming thoughts or concerns. In case of health problems, using the meditation process using sugar-free or savory food items also works wonders.
Please let the author know if the meditation also works for you. Please share your thoughts by dropping her a note at [email protected].