Have you always wanted to try mindfulness meditation but didn’t know where to start? Here’s an example of the practice — using everybody’s favorite, chocolate:
Take a small piece of chocolate.
Hold it gently or have it nearby so it doesn’t melt.
Make sure you’re sitting comfortably and allow your body to relax and feel supported. Notice the sounds in the room or outside the room, and gradually bring your attention inward, to your breath. Take a few moments just breathing and being aware of how it feels to be here, now.
Next bring your attention to the chocolate in your hand. Notice the weight of the chocolate and its texture. Is it warm, cool, soft, hard? Notice any urges you feel to gobble it up, but gently bring your attention back to the sensation of the chocolate in your hand. If they are closed, open your eyes and look at the piece of chocolate in your hand. Notice its shape and color, and any responses you have.
Now smell the chocolate. Slowly bring it to your nose, noticing when the chocolatey scent first connects with your senses. When it does, just sit for a moment appreciating the aroma. It might be mixing with other smells that you hadn’t previously noticed. It might have a stronger scent than you expected. The urge to gobble it may be even greater. Notice these things and enjoy the feeling of sitting comfortably, taking in the smell of the chocolate.
Allowing your attention to soften now, so that you still have an awareness of the feel and smell of the chocolate, bring the chocolate to your mouth and take a small bite. What is the first taste of the chocolate like? How does it feel on your tongue? Notice any flavors and sensations, however anticipated or unexpected.
Now, place the rest of the chocolate in your mouth, enjoying the tastes and flavors, subtle and strong. Hold the chocolate in your mouth for as long as possible, letting it melt, letting your tongue explore its textures and tastes.
Finally, when the chocolate is gone, bring your attention back to your senses. Notice whether there is still a residual taste in your mouth, whether the smells you notice have changed. Bring your attention back to your breath and to the your feelings. Rest for a moment, just breathing, and being aware of how you feel. Is it different in any way than how you felt at the start of the meditation?
Bring your attention back to the rest of the room, the sounds you can hear, the weight of your body on the chair, and your feet touching the ground. When you’re ready, slowly open your eyes.
Chocolate photo available from Shutterstock