When my Qigong teacher, Joyce Virani, told me that we would be starting off class with a Chocolate Meditation, I was intrigued. Both chocolate and meditation are fabulous on their own– But together?
Joyce explained that Chocolate Meditation was an idea brought to her by Nadine Kerstan, from Artisan Nutrition. Nadine is a holistic health coach who has a passion for wellness and nutrition, coupled with a strong love for chocolate.
Nadine invented the practice of Chocolate Meditation, which makes eating chocolate an experience by mindfully evoking the senses while enjoying the delicious treat.
My first experience with this meditation was with my Qigong circle of women. Joyce passed around wrapped bars of chocolate made by the Dutch company Tony’s Chocolonely. While we admired the vibrant packaging of these chocolates, Joyce explained the mission of Tony’s Chocolonely.
Unbeknown to most, lots of big-name chocolate companies source their chocolate from slaves in West Africa, many of whom are children. Tony’s leads by example through producing 100% slave-free and tasty chocolate. Understanding the mission of what you are consuming is not only crucial to eating mindfully, but it helps you gain a sense of appreciation for the effort put into what you are enjoying.
As we unwrapped the chocolates, we felt the weight of the chocolate in our hands, examined the irregularly shaped pieces, and enjoyed the blissful aroma. We began to break off pieces, listening to the satisfying snap and hiss.
Joyce instructed us to blindfold ourselves, to help greater awaken our senses. As we held the chocolate in our hands, Joyce read aloud a monologue written by Nadine, which set us in scene of the rainforest. We listened to a soundtrack of the beautiful rain and pictured the spirited forest as Joyce read aloud. This part of the meditation stimulates your visual sense and builds anticipation for when the time comes to enjoy the treat.
When Joyce told us the we could finally go ahead and taste the chocolate, my senses were blooming and my excitement was at its peak. The chocolate was absolutely delicious, but even more so because I took the time to learn and experience the chocolate sensually.
Chocolate Meditation taught me that doing things mindfully and sensually can turn simple, menial tasks into an experience. So next time you take a shower or eat a piece of cake, take the time to do it with all your senses and give yourself the opportunity to truly enjoy it.