My First Cacao ceremony

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.

Tibetan meditation bowl

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

Miracle healing hands

Do you believe you can be healed of illness or chronic disease by a miracle? Do faith healers turn you off? I can imagine most of you are nodding your head “yes” to this right now. In the West, faith healing began in the Christian faith as a belief that through the holy spirit of Christ, some people can heal other people with the “laying on of hands”, or simply by prayer. People often pray for each other in an attempt to rid them of current conditions that are affecting them negatively. But, is faith healing just a Christian concept, or do other people and cultures around the world also believe in healing faith?

Last night I ran across a YouTube video about a guy who’s dad was so sick he could barely walk. He heard about an Indian man who practiced Ayurvedic medicine, and could apparently feel your pulse, diagnose you, and heal you. Anything was worth a try, so he dragged his father to this guy, and you guessed it….he diagnosed him, told him how to cure himself, and he is a healthy, happy camper today. You can watch the Ted Talk here:

Seeing this video about a master healer made me think about faith healers, and how the faith/skill ratio really works. In this case, the healer made recommendations, and the patient had to actively choose to be “healed”. In other words, no sudden event, just effort applied to the situation determined the outcome.

In religious application, there have been “miracles”, or sudden improvements in condition in all major religions. Jesus gets the most publicity, because believing in the powerful healing magic of Jesus is one of the tenants of Christianity. But why don’t we recognize other miraculous healers in other traditions? Probably because they don’t get the publicity. Take for example Paramahamsa Yogananda, who was an exceptional Yogi of modern India. You can read his story in “Autobiography of a Yogi”, which I am currently reading. Even if you don’t practice yoga, you will appreciate the unique experiences (some of which are miraculous) in this book. Recorded here are miraculous events from his teacher,  Sri Yukteswarji, who did a lot of cool stuff, like being in two places at once, dematerializing, and healing Paramahamsa Yogananda himself. Pretty awesome stuff.

I particularly love how the book merges yogic consciousness with Christ consciousness. In answer to why Jesus turned water into wine, P. Y. said, ” Jesus was able to command the vibrations of life energy to assume different forms”. He stated that once a person can surpass delusionary realms, he will enter the state of Unity and become Omnipotent. He had the idea that Saints suffer physically, because the fate of the body is unimportant to an enlightened individual who is “absorbed in the Lord”.

I guess what I am trying to convey is that I am convinced all people hold within themselves the power to overcome this “delusionary realm” and be healed to some extent. I’m not saying we all have Christ’s power over nature, but I feel that the root of his message was to emphasize that you have to embrace the Universal Consciousness, God, or Oneness that we are all a part of. His short time here on Earth should encourage us to meditate, or pray….to unite with the ultimate in order to place our inner selves a little bit before our outer selves. The message was about love, the power of love, and universal divinity of love. Love the Lord with all your heart and soul and mind. Be love and kindness, and embrace it above all the other trivial rules and regulations you might come up with. Love rules us all.

In the end, I do believe some people have conquered the minor physical restraints we experience as humans, and have become proficient in healing other people, if not with deeds, then also with words. When you hear about a faith healer, don’t immediately poo-poo the notion something miraculous might be going on. Miracles, or alterations in our understood physical realm, are possible. The thing you have to watch out for are people who use that as their only talent. In the words of P. Y, “Arouse in men the love of God. Don’t draw them to you by displays of unusual powers’. If I walked on fire and water, and filled every auditorium in the land with curiosity seekers, what good would come of it? See the stars, the clouds, and the ocean; see the mist on the grass. Can any miracle of man compare with these essentially inexplicable phenomena? Even so, few men are led through Nature to love God—the Miracle of all Miracles”.

Here’s to healing! Have a great weekend. Follow for more stuff! Cheers, Deb