Unexpected side-effect of meditation

Late last year I decided to make a proper go of a daily meditation practice, in order to try and cure or reduce an already fairly mild case of OCD that I’d had for a while. I had tried meditation before, but always got bored and gave up quickly. This time I stuck with it: half an hour every morning of concentrating on my breathing and bringing my mind back to my breath when it wandered – which was a lot.

It didn’t do much for the OCD. It did, however, do something else: it took away my appetite for chocolate. At some point, I can’t remember when, I not only stopped wanting to eat chocolate but felt vaguely queasy at the thought of it. Ditto all other candy. I hasten to add that I didn’t lose my appetite for cookies, cake (including chocolate cake), or desserts in general; just the highly concentrated sugar hits of chocolate and candy.

This effect was entirely unexpected. I wasn’t a chocoholic beforehand, but I certainly liked chocolate and had some most days – usually a couple of mini bars. I didn’t see this as a good habit, and I’m not complaining about losing it, but as I said, I was looking to change something else.

I gave up the meditation after two or three months, but my appetite for chocolate hasn’t come back. I’m currently staying with my parents, with access to the chocolates in their pantry. I haven’t even felt tempted.

I have no idea what actually happened. I figure something must have altered in my brain – but what, I don’t know.

Anyway, just putting this out there as an anecdote. Would be interested to know if others have had similar experiences. I know that meditation and spiritual practices can cause people to lose interest in meat, but I haven’t heard of it happening with chocolate!



Shoedibranchs, which are also reviewdibranchs, as promised. They turned out blue with pink interiors, but I think it’s fine with them:


Posted in Art |

“Beach Rubble” review at The Black Letters

Emera at The Black Letters recently reviewed Beach Rubble, a story reprinted in my collection That Book Your Mad Ancestor Wrote. It’s a lovely review, and it makes points that send me into reflection on my own work. It’s always a treat when a review shows me things I hadn’t noticed about my writing — in this case, amongst other things, how much I use the element of water. I haven’t been writing much lately, but perhaps I should try mentally slipping into some kind of wet environment and see if I can’t find something there…oddly, what I see first at the bottom of the pond or river I dive into are a pair of embroidered satin shoes, tea rose pink, laid neatly side by side and even stuffed with paper as if they were in a wardrobe. The paper is quickly gone and replaced with a fleshy interior, a foot with a waving turret of tentacles, a nudibranch, shoedibranch – imagery, not narrative, but thank you water – I will draw them of course!


Gary to caster

Or, the last remake of Gary…

I gave the Bauta ring to the jewellery caster today, and also gave them Gary. He’s a small, fiddly piece more suited to the jeweller’s equipment than a foundry’s, and while it will be more expensive I think the result will be worth it. He’ll be bronze, and I’ll do the patina myself. I’m heading back to Australia soon, so they should be waiting for me when I come back.

In other news, I’m now the proud owner of a mini trampoline. It’s better exercise than I expected, and of course less jarring than working out on a hard surface. And it’s fun. Probably the closest I’ll ever get to having my own bouncy castle.