Throughout all the vivid memories of life, the sweetest ones I can remember seemed to have had a distinct connection with chocolate. As a child, chocolate was a form of currency. My earliest memory of abundance was being the one clinging tightly to a scrumptious bar of chocolate among a sea of friends who were willing to do just about anything for even a sliver of cacao gold. As soon as the wrapper came off, chocolate was like an edible super power that had the ability to interrupt any tantrum or frustrated emotional state. It had the power to deem anything in my focus at the moment, completely irrelevant as long as the chocolate was being passed my way.
Chocolate, as it came and went in its many forms throughout my life, was a symbol of sweetness. No matter what was happening and how important I believed it to be, the chocolate would appear as a reminder that all is inherently well – and that like the chocolate, at my core, this sweetness is actually what I am.
This realization, of course, would be twenty-eight years in the making, even though the signs were there all along. The fact was that every time I ate a piece of chocolate, it became clearly impossible to focus on the endless thoughts running through my mind, while simultaneously enjoying the chocolate that ignited each taste bud like an explosion of flavor, all at the same time.
The chocolate didn’t seem concerned with waiting around for me to end my thought. It was there in the very moment I found it, and whether it melted in its wrapper, in my hand, or in my mouth, it remained an experience I could always enjoy if I honored it with focus and attention.
As spiritual maturity slowly woke up, I began to see these subtle teaching chocolate had always offered, not only as a symbol of sweetness, but as the sweet truth of life underneath all the noise, goal-setting and finger-pointing.
Chocolate was even revealed as my first meditation teacher, whose disguise was everything it needed to be, gently pulling my attention from the compulsion to change, fix, and judge my experience of life into simply sitting for a moment and enjoying what is here right now.
To anyone else, it might just be an oddly-shaped object or something else to see and touch in this living experience of space and senses. Once you open the wrapper, however, the deeper teachings become available as you hold and taste the distinct flavor life continues to offer, unable to fully immerse yourself in the experience, unless whatever was important a moment ago begins to fall out of focus. It is in this moment when the sweetness of life simply disguised as chocolate begins to reveal itself to you.
The teaching of chocolate showed me how my thoughts aren’t as important as I once imagined. I can look back at all the times I was caught in my mind ranting about someone or something that had unjustly caused suffering in my life and all of a sudden, I was offered a piece of chocolate or as I now see it, life’s funny way of telling me it was time to meditate.
I would eat the chocolate and as I did, the thoughts weren’t there as they were before. Now it was the joyful consideration of how wonderfully the almonds and dark chocolate blended together, as the chocolate pointed to the arbitrary nature of thought by offering me an opportunity to fully enjoy life, just as it is.
The chocolate would soon be eaten and I wouldn’t be able to remember what I was thinking about and even if I did, I couldn’t get back to the same emotional pull that made it so important only a few moments ago. If I was truly meant to keep thinking about it, how is it that it could be so easily forgotten or destroyed by the dharma of chocolate?
Chocolate became the kryptonite my pointless, self-indulgent thoughts could never rival.
One by one thoughts would come and go, vanishing from a mind that once labeled each one as true, vital and necessary to dwell on, and in the end, all that was left was a teacher called chocolate inviting me to be one with the sweetness of life.
The teachings transformed my entire perspective of life. I am truly humbled by this gift of clear vision that now sees a beautiful world, as whole and unique as each piece of chocolate that somehow found its way to me.
© Copyright 2008 True Divine Nature, LLC