Minding Our Chocolate
How does chocolate help you?
For me a piece of chocolate here and there smooths transitions from one project to another, one task to the next.
At a congregational visit after the Senior Rabbi blessed the Associate on her last Shabbat, someone said, “we need chocolate for our stress at her departure.”
At other stops On the Chocolate Trail several people have shared their approaches to using chocolate for meditation and mindfulness. Here are a few:
From Michelle Lalouche Kadden:
As a psychologist, I do a mindfulness eating exercise with a piece of chocolate. This can be useful for people with eating disorders or for anyone who wants to increase mindfulness. In a relaxed and slow pace, take one morsel of chocolate and slowly unwrap it, smell it first, then take a tiny piece into your mouth and allow it to melt on your tongue. Become aware of feelings that arise, or sensations, thoughts memories, even fears. Continue to slowly and mindfully become aware of your senses as you consume a piece of chocolate paying attention to all its qualities. It is helpful to talk about the experience after and notice whatever arises from it. This is a good exercise in a group as well.
Ellen Silverstein Levitt mentions:
I used foil wrapped candies with my ESL students when they were learning about senses. First, they looked at the wrapped candy, then they slowly unwrapped it and looked at it. Then, they smelled it, touched it and finally were able to eat it. Probably taught them some patience as well – all of life isn’t instant gratification!
Michael Shefrin writes:
Encourage your participant to breathe, get comfy in the chair, seek stillness, come to where they are.
Place in front of them a wrapped piece of chocolate (I love doing this with individually wrapped [pieces] with foil !! Take a moment to really look at the package, notice the colors, the ingredients, logos, size, the weight, pick it up – engage all senses (except taste).
When ready, open slowly, hear it, smell, notice the change when the chocolate enters the air, where did it come from, who brought it to you, is there some significance that needs to be accompanying this exploration?
A Bracha/blessing would occur here if someone so chose to …
Slowly put in mouth, noticing each bite, does it stick in your teeth, is it melty, other elements & tastes, what are the sounds in your head, what are the sounds that someone else might hear, chew slowly, dissolve it on the roof of the mouth, feel the impact on individual teeth, swirl the tongue around in the gooey goodness …All senses should be engaged, close eyes, concentrate on the squishing in the mouth, don’t be in a rush to finish it …
When there is no more tangible chocolate, stop and continue to sit for a minute afterwards to notice the aftertaste, explore the surroundings, what do you do with the wrapper, are your fingers dirty, was there someone else in the room that joined you, what is their facial expression, etc ..
When ready … thank the One who brings forth Chocolate !!!
The manager of a fancy French chocolate store in Manhattan confessed:
She confessed that she has a metaphysical response to eating an intense 99% French chocolate just before she studies from the mystical text known as the Zohar.
Please feel free to share how minding your chocolate works for you.
A Chocolate Cake for October’s Tricks: Devil’s Food
Heading into October and its culmination in Halloween, I find myself hankering for Devil’s Food Cake, despite its initially derogatory name. Supposedly in 1690 Pilgrims traveled to Plymouth Rock via Amsterdam. They stayed in a house near the city’s biggest chocolate houses and called that chocolate “the Devil’s food.” Later, a chocolate cake, perhaps simplyRead more ›
How About Some Mindful Chocolate Tasting?
These days comforting chocolate seems more necessary than usual. You could just grab a bunch and stuff yourself to help (maybe?) you feel better. Of course, you could add the chocolate in to your cookies, cakes, and ice creams. Or, you could taste chocolate with a mindfulness that focuses your attention solely on the chocolate,Read more ›
Celebrating Ice Cream Month with Chocolate
When needing a new word for ice cream for the revitalized Hebrew language, Eliezer Ben Yehudah turned to the Torah. Actually, he opened the Aramaic translation of the Torah by Onkelos to Exodus 16:14. There the Aramaic uses “glidah” in the passage that describes how manna fell in the desert like a fine, flaky frostRead more ›
Choco-dar first erupted on our multi-country circuit of Europe in a VW van. That adult onset, self-diagnosed radar for chocolate experiences led us serendipitously to many wonderful chocolate discoveries and surprises. In the process I learned some chocolate travel tips. Chocolate travel generated the book and the website that I came to call On theRead more ›
Some Previous Posts
(in alphabetical order)
- Announcing Second Edition: On the Chocolate Trail
- Book Optioned: Museum Exhibit
- Celebrating Ice Cream Month with Chocolate
- Choco-Travel Tips
- Chocolate Exhibit Hits the New York Times
- Chocolate Trail Broadens: "Semi[te] Sweet: On Jews and Chocolate" Travels
- Chocolate, Coffee, Tea and Me
- Election 2016: Winning Fudge Brigadeiros
- Hunting for Chocolate: Fancy Food Show, NYC, 2016
- Jews on the Chocolate Trail
- Mothers and Survival by Chocolate
- No End to Chocolate Exhibits Part III: Visits #3, 4 & 5
- Of Chocolate Exhibits There is No End: Part 2
- On the Chocolate Trail in Brooklyn
- Super Food Chocolate for Super Bowl Sunday: Three Recipes
- Talking Chocolate in February
- That Time Jews Smuggled Chocolate to France — and a Recipe for Basque Chocolate Cake
- Warm Up: 3 Historical Drinking Chocolate Recipes