When people talk about mindfulness, there is often a lot of mystery and confusion. Luckily, the reality is both incredibly simple and frustratingly complicated at the same time. Here, we’re going to talk about the simple path.
For this exercise, find yourself a bite-sized chocolate candy, one that will fit comfortably in your closed mouth. I think it works best if you have something that has layers, or some sort of flavored center. I’m fond of Lindor Truffles, but they can be a bit too large for some people. In a pinch, REESE’S Minis are kind of perfect. Should I link those to an Amazon purchase page? Also, please put some images in the post, if you think they would improve it.
So what exactly are we doing here?
- Find yourself a quiet, comfortable place to sit for a couple of minutes.
- Put a piece of chocolate candy in your mouth and close it. Don’t chew!
- Pay attention to the way the candy feels and tastes in your mouth as it melts.
- Congratulations! You have just experienced mindfulness!
So what does chocolate have to do with mindfulness? It’s just a tool to help you directly experience mindfulness in a quick and easy to understand way. Let me explain. Or, better yet, get a piece and find a comfortable place to sit for about 5 minutes then put the candy in your mouth.
VERY IMPORTANT! You’re not going to chew this piece of chocolate. You’re going to let it melt in your mouth. As it melts, you’re going to pay attention to the sensations in your mouth from beginning to end.
Some kinds of chocolate (like the Lindor Truffles) have different textures of chocolate: One is the shell and one is the filling. Reese’s Minis have the chocolate on the outside and the peanut butter in the middle. Other kinds of chocolate candy have different flavors of stuff on the inside.
I prefer to close my eyes for this, since it helps cut out some distractions. After you put the candy in your mouth, what is the first thing that you feel? What do you taste? Does it make you smell anything in your nose?
Be aware of what changes you experience as it melts across your tongue. Does the texture change? What do you notice about the flavors that you taste? Even be conscious of whether you feel the urge to chew, but try not to. Even if you do end up chewing it up, you can always start again with a new piece of candy.
This is a quick, fun little exercise that will help you discover how much you can experience when you pay attention to what’s happening. There is no wrong way to do it, other than not paying attention.
That, friends, is the core of mindfulness: Making a conscious choice to give your attention to something. Try it out and leave a comment letting me know how it goes!