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.
Mothers and Survival by Chocolate
On the Chocolate Trail, I found amazing stories of mothers and chocolate from World War II. Immigrant Lisa Hoffman reminisced about how her mother insured she had the skills, including chocolate making, to survive. “I carried inside of me all of the lessons my mother had worked so hard to get for me. I could makeRead more ›
Chocolate Trail Broadens: “Semi[te] Sweet: On Jews and Chocolate” Travels
I am very excited that the NYCs Bernard Museum exhibit, “Semi[te] Sweet: On Jews and Chocolate” based on my book, On the Chocolate Trail, will now be forging new paths as it travels around the country. We selected On the Chocolate Trail as the book title for a number of reasons. First, it evokes the diffusion ofRead more ›
Talking Chocolate in February
Recent media featured projects on the chocolate trail in celebration of Valentine’s Day and “Semi[te] Sweet: On Jews and Chocolate” at the Bernard Museum, NYC. Of course, Florence Fabricant’s mention of the exhibit in the New York Times was a highlight. Now, these stories just within the last two weeks: In The Jewish Love AffairRead more ›
Warm Up: 3 Historical Drinking Chocolate Recipes
As temperatures drop, these three historical recipes for drinking chocolate beckon with rich warmth. Bicerin: This very unusual, rich, layered drink of chocolate, coffee and cream, a specialty of Turin, Italy, connects us with memories of the earlier days of women drinking chocolate at the time of Mass. Bicerin is still served at a caféRead more ›
Some Previous Posts
(in alphabetical order)
- Announcing Second Edition: On the Chocolate Trail
- Bat Mitzvah Wants Fair Trade Israeli Chocolate
- Book Optioned: Museum Exhibit
- Bringing Buckeye Candy to Experts
- Chocolate Exhibit Hits the New York Times
- Chocolate Expo
- Chocolate Made My Lunch: Nashville
- Chocolate, Coffee, Tea and Me
- Election 2016: Winning Fudge Brigadeiros
- Hunting for Chocolate: Fancy Food Show, NYC, 2016
- Labor Day in our Chocolate
- Local Chocolate in the South
- 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
- Seriously Tasting Chocolate
- Super Food Chocolate for Super Bowl Sunday: Three Recipes
- That Time Jews Smuggled Chocolate to France — and a Recipe for Basque Chocolate Cake