Why mindfulness is better than chocolate

Posted on August 22, 2015

Michie, a meditation coach and best-selling author of The Dalai Lama's Cat, Buddhism for Busy People and most recently, Why Mindfulness is better than chocolate, begins by inviting the audience to take part in an exercise that requires them to eat as mindfully as they can a Lindor chocolate they all received when they entered the auditorium.

First, Michie asks that everyone "contemplate for a moment how this chocolate connects you to the whole world", in that countless individuals in Africa, Europe, Australia and elsewhere have been involved in its production, distribution and promotion. "He then instructs folk to assume “the attitude of a curious botanist" as they unwrap the chocolate, notice its appearance, feel its weight in their hand, smell its fragrance, and savour its texture and taste.

The upshot is Michie very successfully proves his point that paying attention when we consume a caramel truffle makes for a far more enjoyable experience than when we mindlessly bolt it down. Yet most people are sceptical when they hear the title of his new book, he confides. "People have a bit of a chuckle then they say, 'but it's not true, is it? Mindfulness is not better than chocolate.'"

At which point he likes to cite a certain US study that involved sending 2000 participants at different times of the day via their smart phones three specific questions: What are you doing? What are you thinking? How happy are you? Surprise, surprise, people were happiest when they were thinking about what they were doing.

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Source material from Happy