Long story short, I attended my first cacao ceremony with a “sound bath” last weekend. Not knowing what to expect, I looked up a couple YouTube videos, and proceeded to get slightly freaked out over the whole thing…what IS a cacao ceremony, you might ask?
Basically, cacao is the purest form of chocolate, that comes from the cacao plant in South America and West Africa. The difference between cocoa and cacao is that cocoa is processed with high heat. Cacao has many health benefits, including being chock full of antioxidants, magnesium, iron, and “phenylethylamine (PEA), which is sometimes known as a “love drug.” Although PEA cannot technically make you fall in love, it is associated with elevated mood and higher energy levels. This is thought to be due to the interaction between PEA and the neurotransmitter dopamine, which regulates the brain’s reward response (Menato, 2016).”
So, in a cacao ceremony, you drink a cup full of pure chocolate, wait around 20 minutes for the absorption to start, and have a wonderful heart-opening experience. This can be done by yourself or in a group. Supposedly, a group setting will help enhance the loving experience by combining the energy of everyone around you, who are also feeling pretty nice.
In longer ceremonies in South America, they can take several hours to drink, dance around, and sit meditatively in order to keep the good times rolling….we had 2 hours for everything. That being said, we hopped around the room for about 5 minutes, got situated on our yoga mats with lots of pillows and blankets, and prepared for the “sound bath”.
This was actually the best part of it for me, because for a full hour, one of the practitioners played her collection of huge crystal bowls in different sizes. Along with drums and native American rattles, this combination of sound imbedded my brain and put me into a relaxed, elevated state. It is from this state of meditation we may be able to access higher consciousness, connect with spiritual guides, or just drift away into a blissful state.
Click on the above to get an idea of what crystal bowls look like.
Basically, the most active ingredient in cacao is Theobromine, which is like caffeine, but doesn’t cause the jitters, just alertness and focus. It also causes vasodilation, lowering the blood pressure. I feel it was a good combination with the sound bath, but I have to say I did experience dehydration from it. The next day I felt listless and tired, but finally figured out it was caused from dehydration. I started drinking a lot of water and the feeling went away. Good to know for next time.
Would I recommend a cacao ceremony? Absolutely. It’s not like you’re taking a mind altering detrimental drug. It just will leave you feeling happy, mellow, and focused. The sound bath definitely adds a lot to this experience. I have the opportunity to participate in this once a month in my town, and I plan on going back.
Please let me know if you have been part of a cacao ceremony, or a sound bath. Let’s share our experiences in order to educate people on meditative activities. Have a wonderful week, and please follow me for more “stuff”. Cheers, Deb