Meditation Made Simple with Holiday Gourmet Chocolate

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Instead of images or visualization, use the awareness of taste to still the mind, says gourmet chocolatier Oliver Kita. Tasting chocolate is a wonderful meditation for beginners, and a delicious easy one to enjoy daily, during the hectic holidays.

Oliver Kita Chocolate Tasting Kit ideal for meditation with chocolate

"The chocolate meditation begins with the first aromatic breath of cacao," said Oliver Kita, artisan chocolatier."Take the time to taste, breathe in the chocolate as it melts slowly and superbly on the tongue."

It’s definitely a holiday treat when something good gets even better and better. That appears to be the case with dark chocolate which researchers say can reduce blood pressure, relieve pain, raise the good cholesterol, promote alertness and absorb free radicals. Add to that recent research which claimed eating dark chocolate may lower levels of stress hormones. And now chocolatier Oliver Kita is promoting mindfulness meditation with chocolate.

“Tasting chocolate is a wonderful meditation for beginners, of course, we’re all beginners no matter how long we have been meditating,” said Kita. “Taste as a type of guided visualization can become a mindfulness experience—a practice in becoming fully present— by focusing on a specific taste. I use the taste of chocolate because it is so easy to introduce to everyone.”

Here’s what Kita recommends. “Begin with the first inward breath, allowing a small piece of chocolate to melt on the tongue. Focus on the taste and stay fully present in the moment, as the chocolate melts and the taste develops. Breathe in the aromatic fragrance of the cacao and concentrate on the sweetly bitter and intensely dark flavors as they develop. Become fully present and aware while flavors develop, appreciate what you have, and where you are right now.”

The next step, according to Kita, completes the meditative moment. “Allow the thoughts about the tastes of the chocolate to drift away. This will leave an empty space in the mind, and as the taste diminishes, don’t allow a different thought or anything to replace the awareness of the taste. The mind will want to jump back in so quickly with its own chatter. Remind yourself to focus, return to the taste that was just present on your tongue to maintain awareness of the moment. Hold the thought about the chocolate taste for a moment, then release, and let the mind back to nothing.”

Kita meditates daily with slim dark chocolate squares in varying percentages from 64% to 72%. He has a Tasting Kit of chocolate squares perfect for meditation. Also his Original Woodstock Chocolate Buddha comes with a gift note describing the chocolate meditation.

Kita said, “Meditation with chocolate is easy to do and it can help everyone achieve the next level of meditation, without using chocolate. It’s a stepping stone…a delicious one.”

About Oliver Kita
Oliver Kita is an award-winning Chef and Caterer who turned his artistic culinary talents to creating hand-made chocolates. A Culinary Institute of America graduate, Chef Oliver Kita received diplomas from L’Ecole Lenotre in Paris, L’Ecole du Grand Chocolat Valrhona in France and Academy du Chocolat, Barry-Callebaut, Montreal. “Appreciating chocolate every day can change your perspective on living,” said Kita. “Take the time to evaluate and enjoy what you have, where you are now, and chocolate every day is a part of that experience.” Visit his website at http://www.oliverkita.com.

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Joan Schuman

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