This week our yoga teacher brought us an end of term treat. Chocolate truffles! But instead of mindlessly ramming them down our throats whilst chatting about late night Christmas shopping hours, she guided us through a stunning short ‘chocolate meditation’. Slowing the experience of eating a chocolate down so that it stimulates all senses. An exercise in awareness.
In these last few days to Christmas there is this inevitable rush. My friend today told me she ‘had’ to be at the shops for 8.30am to be in any hope of a parking space. I’m met with the question ‘you all ready for Christmas then?’ everywhere we go. Somehow we as a culture seem to take our normal amount of busyness and increase it 10 fold in order to celebrate. I know it’s maybe an overused saying, but, less is often so much more.
A few years ago Toby and I had Christmas in India. The area was mostly Hindu, and there was no sign of ‘Christmas’ anywhere. Not the usual music, decorations or Santa hats! And yet strangely, we experienced the most purest Christmas spirit by exchanging simple gifts and singing carols with friends in the dark whilst sharing insect repellent on a warm night. A totally unconventional Christmas for us both, yet by having and doing so much less we both agreed we enjoyed Christmas so much more.
Huge thanks to my yoga teacher for sharing this meditation with our class. If you’re anything like me, chocolates near to you may disappear at an alarming rate at this time of year, but in the interest of doing less and experiencing more, I passionately recommend you trial this meditation. So, go and dig out that box of chocolates (you know exactly where they are) and REALLY allow yourself to enjoy!
Steps follow below.
1. Lay out a napkin or towel in front of you. Sitting crossed legged and breathing evenly, focus on the chocolate. How the light affects it. The colours, textures (ensure the chocolate is out of its wrapper.).
2. Slowly pick it up. Notice the weight of it. It’s texture. Rotate it. Observe the shape and colour.
3. Bring the chocolate up to your nose, and inhale deeply. Notice what thoughts come to you as you do this. Let the thoughts come and go.
4. Place the chocolate in your mouth without chewing it for a few moments.
5. Then slowly bite down and chew. Notice the flavour, richness, and texture. Be aware of it’s after flavour.