Friday, September 19, 2008

Ovidia: What's with the raisins, anyway?

I've blogged a couple of articles now that offer the raisin exercise from "The Mindful Way Through Depression" as an introduction to mindfulness practice. And frankly, I'm a little puzzled. What's the deal with raisins, anyway?

OK, I'm not that crazy about them. But even so ... other than their cunning little wrinkles, if they're not singing and dancing, there's just not that much to a raisin to recommend it, especially when you're just beginning to explore mindfulness practice.

So let me offer an alternative suggestion: Bliss chocolate. Now THIS is something to be mindful of. For one thing (especially compared to raisins), it's expensive. That in itself is a good reason to pay attention and not just gulp it down. Then they're individually wrapped. If you're in a certain mindspace, it can be kind of enjoyable to take your time unfolding the foil, trying to see if you can get it off the candy without ripping it, noticing if it's folded right-over-left or left-over-right ...

You get it unwrapped and you're left with this fairly heavy square of chocolate. Pop it in your mouth but don't chew. Decide if it's more comfortable to have in your mouth smooth-side-up or smooth-side-down. Read the ingredients on the bag. According to the website, milk chocolate is "A combination of chocolate liquor (not alcohol), cocoa butter, sugar and milk or cream. Milk chocolate must contain at least 10% chocolate liquor and at least 12% total milk ingredients." Can you taste the cocoa butter? The milk? The cream?

How long does it take to melt in your mouth?

Uh oh.

Maybe now is a good time to be mindful of the lessons we learned as children, at the feet of a wise old owl ...
No wonder they don't use chocolate to teach mindfulness.

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