Cacao Heart Medicine

“Theobroma Cacao”

Cacao is the main ingredient found in one of the most loved and most comforting foods in the world, CHOCOLATE.

“Theobroma cacao” (Cacao) was known by the Mayans as “cacauatl”. It is a tropical tree that produces a fruit of red, orange or yellow colour. This fruit varies in size and consists of a hard and thick but very light shell. Within this shell are many seeds encased in a white pulp. The seed is extracted and brewed into a sacred and invigorating drink known to the Mesoamericans as “xocolatl”. This word in Nahuatl language translates as “Food of the Gods”. Cacao is used to create lasting bonds with people with whom it is shared. It assists the people to establish a deep communication, touching the sacred part within each one.

Traditionally cacao is produced by harvesting, fermenting and drying cacao seeds by hand. These seeds are roasted on an open fire and crushed to produce cacao nibs. These are then transformed on a grinding stone into a paste and then poured into moulds to cool down. This is known as cacao paste which is mixed with water and consumed as an energising and nutritious drink. This is the best and most nutritious way to consume cacao as it is preserves all of its nutritional value.

Other by-products of the cacao fruit are refreshing beverages and marmalades. These are produced from the white sweet and sour viscous pulp. Even the fruit’s husk is used in some regions of Central and South America to prepare medicinal infusions. All left overs are for animal feeding.

The difference between cacao paste, cocoa powder & medicinal cacao 

Cacao is the wholesome and complete form of this most delicious and nutritious food. Cacao paste is a low heated cacao nib or bean that has been slightly heated to preserve all its nutrients. From this dark cacao paste drinks are made. 

On the other hand there is cocoa powder which is a processed form of cacao. In this case cacao butter subtracted and other ingredients such as sugar are added. This is a type of commercial cacao that was adapted by European settlers for a more “appealing taste”. 

Lastly, Ceremonial cacao or Medicinal cacao is raw and the purest form of cacao available. It is made into a paste and later into a drink being mixed with spices such as chilli. Varieties of cacao such as “Criollo” is purer and rarer to find. The communities that cultivate and harvest these, are in connection with their land. They hold with respect and clear vision the use of cacao. This means that they have a broader understanding of the wisdom of cacao. Wisdom been passed on for generations, a deep spiritual understanding of this plant as a wholesome teacher.

Cacao & Ceremony

Cacao was a sacred plant for the ancient inhabitants of Central and South America, a gift from the gods. In several of these communities it was used as a “currency” or barter element as well as a ceremonial drink. Although it is well known that it was a plant of great importance to the Mayans, Aztecs and Incas, little is known about the ceremonial use.

Amongst the Mayan people, cacao is used to create lasting bonds with the people with whom it is shared and to establish a deep communication, touching the sacred part within each one.

Mayan times – artwork

In ancient Mayan times, a cup of kakaw or xocolatl was shared with dear loved ones who came to visit. They drank chocolate together to speak from their heart and create lasting relationships. These deep bonds kept strengthening the people and their community. When one speaks from the heart, one speaks from one’s truth. Only from here it is possible to be at peace with oneself and others.

“When one speaks from the heart, one speaks from one’s truth and from here it is possible to be at peace with oneself and others.”

This magnificent super food indeed nourishes our body; physically, emotionally and spiritually.

What happen when drinking a cup of sacred cacao?

When consumed with little or no sugar it can be of grate benefit. Cacao is charged with minerals and acting as a near modulator that positively influences our state of mind. It is antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, it improves the circulatory system. Full of magnesium, ion, calcium, fibre and many antioxidant, it is mood lifting allowing the release of chemical such as:

  • Norepinephrine – the joy molecule
  • Serotonin – Anti stress
  • Dopamine – Motivation and pleasure
  • Anandamide – The bliss molecule and pain moderator
  • Phenylethylamine – Alertness and attentiveness, it gives the perception of time slowing down.

Once ingested, cacao has an effect in the body after 30 to 45 minutes of drinking it. One can feel a heart rhythm accelerating which allow a greater flow of blood throughout the body. The brain receives a greater amount of oxygen and a feeling of openness and clarity follows. Space opens in the chest, here where unprocessed memories and feelings are hidden. Most likely our heart has turned this area into a shield, being affright to feel. This is a wide and beautiful point of discovery towards listen what is truely inhabiting ones heart. In this way with clear mind and open heart one can connect with deep knowings. Stored wisdom within the temple of the being; the temple of intuition. 

Cacao carries the capacity to assist us to come closer to our own heart, our inner teacher. When used in a mindful, respectful and harmonious environment, cacao becomes an allay, a vehicle that carries us. It can give the strength to look inside and learn how to relate truthfully within and with others.

“Stored wisdom within the temple of the being; the temple of intuition”

My personal experience

In my personal experience I have come to establish a beautiful and sacred relationship with cacao. When I was a little girl I did not like the taste of cacao at all. Later as I grew older I came across pure dark cacao which changed by whole view of cacao. Later in my journey of learning Mandala weaving I became more curios. All ancient traditions spoke about the heart as the most important aspect of ourselves. In 2018 I visited my much loved homeland Colombia. I had the opportunity to visit Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Here I began discovering more about cacao and its traditional use as medicine for the heart. I felt so much gratitude for the opportunity I had to strengthen the connection with my own heart, long-forgotten.

As I built a relationship with this plant I became more familiar with the energy of my own heart. I learned to recognize the joy and acceptance when living and moving from the intuition of my heart. To this day I continue to integrate this self discovery process. My heart has taught me to strive for a life with no separation; but a life of loving acceptance and gratitude. Today part of my work is to offer a save and sacred space for the expression of the self. Through Mindful Crafting and Sound Healing. I invite you ti read What are mindfulness workshops?.

“My heart has taught me to strive for a life with no separation; but a life of loving acceptance and gratitude”

In one of my latest explorations in 2021 I came across a beautiful teacher from Colombia, Laura. She studies cacao and its history and journey through the Americas. While traveling in Guatemala visiting museums, she came across a Mayan Cacao Pot from “Rio Azul” The Lost city of the Mayans. This ceramic piece has been dated to the late fifth century A.D. This pot was very particular as it has a hermetic locking top lid system for transportation of cacao. This has been a fascinating and most humbling experience. The next step is to fire this piece, I look forward to sharing the results.

The cacao that I have shared in Sound Baths and cacao circles is crafted in the “Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta” in North Colombia. Specially crafted with loving intention by the indigenous communities;  Kogui, Arhuaco, Kankuamos and Wiwa. 

(In the photo a woman roasting cacao beans while carrying her child on her back.)

My dear friend and ethical cacao advocate Jaime from “Haba Cacao” in Colombia is committed to working with a cooperative that supports all these indigenous communities in the region. This is the source that you would be supporting.

Cacao is available for purchase, please send me an email for any further questions or inquiries on purchase and delivery. In 2022 I look forward to creating once again Sound Baths and Sacred Cacao circles. If you wish to receive notifications on these event next year please join the WhatsApp group by clicking here.

Thank you for reading and I hope this article has brought some new light and understanding on sacred cacao.

Adriana Perez J.

Bibliography & images

  • National Geographic Magazine – Vol, 169, No.4 – April 1986

What is a Sound Bath?

A Sound Bath which is also known as a “Sonic Massage” is an experience in which subtle sound frequencies re-tune and re-balance your body, mind, and soul. In this article, we will describe and explore what happens in a sound bath.

What happen in a sound bath?

Adriana holds small groups of a maximum of 15 people. Before coming for a session you are asked to either bring your own yoga mat or use one available at the premises. After a brief introduction and sharing about the event’s topic and intention, each participant lies down on their individual yoga mat or sit down on a chair if there are back problems or any other mobility condition.

The session begins with a simple breathing exercise to invite a deep state of relaxation, this initial stage is usually guided by Adriana in a very soothing and gentle manner.

Listening to the sound vibrations of an array of harmonic instruments becomes an expanded embodied experience. A Sound bath does not involve water, however, this name is given to it because the sounding experience is felt throughout the whole body, similar to when having a shower and water is falling. Or perhaps even being under the rain.  

Adriana works with instruments such as Crystal Singing bowls, Tibetan singing bowls, drums, gongs, chimes, and her favorite instrument, her own voice. Her voice opens your heart, softens, soothes, nourishes, and replenishes.

The session usually lasts 50 to 60 minutes however it can feel like only 5 minutes have passed. This effect occurs when we enter into the heart space, where time is perceived differently. When the session finishes, there is enough time for you to stretch and have a few moments of silence. Adriana uses this time of sacred silence to offer a cup of tea and open the space for any sharing that anyone may feel to gift to the group.

What are the benefits of a sound bath?

– Immune System Boost

-Pain relief

-Reduces anxiety and stress

-Improves attention and concentration

-Improves memory

-Increases energy levels

-Reduces fatigue and depression 

– Assist in regulating sleeping disorders

Cultivates self awareness and caring love in oneself

Thank you for reading and being curious about this wonderful ancient science. Learn more about Sound Therapy or any current events.

13 Mindful Exercises for daily life

Mindfulness is composed of relaxation techniques that allows us to recognize, know and have control over all our emotions and reactions to life. One of Its purposes is to transform and integrate emotional states such as anxiety, worry and frustration in our daily life. Mindfulness teaches how to live more present and alert in our bodies rather than letting the projecting mind to rule our day. If this sparks your curiosity, here are for you tips that will help you become familiar with mindfulness practices that are so simple, yet very powerful. Below you will find 13 exercises that you can do in life without changing your routine, but rather changing the approach that you have towards it.

What is the difference between formal and informal mindfulness practices?

A formal practice is a discipline that is carried out in total stillness, sitting or laying down on the ground. This practice encourages us to stop any body movements for a specific amount of time. The aim is to calm our mind and body through the breath. 

Throughout this practice, people in general learn how to recognize the thoughts and emotions that constitute their life. Some examples of these practices which are popular in the west such as Vipassana or Brahma Kumaris, come from places like India, Tibet, Nepal and Burma.

On the other hand, informal mindfulness practices are those actions that are present in our daily life. Some of these activities are eating, walking, greeting someone and many more. You may want to make a list of your daily activities and routines. All of them can be transformed into mindfulness practices.

A MINDFUL DAY
13 Exercises in 24 hours

🌅 IN THE MORNING

Waking up in the morning 

While still in bed, before moving your body, spend a few moments in stillness. Ask yourself; How was my sleep? How am I feeling? Do I remember any dreams? This is a practice that will help you integrate the evening rest and prepare you for daily tasks and duties. 

Attentive Shower

From the moment you enter into the shower bring your attention to your feet as you step in and feel the temperature of your body. Observe how water runs through your head and along every part of your body. Feel any changes in you, any sensations or feelings. Bring your attention to your sense of smell and perceive the scent of the soap and shampoo that you are using. In this way you will engage fully your senses into the present experience instead of letting your mind run through the schedule of the day, keeping you away from being present.

Combing your hair

When brushing or combing your hair, feel the texture of your hair, see its colour and its length. Engage your sense of touch, smell and sight. Feel and focus your attention in any sensations on your scalp as you pass the brush.


Be attentive when brushing your teeth

When placing the toothbrush in your mouth, focus all your attention in the movements of your hand. Observe and feel the different positions of the toothbrush as it adjusts to the shape of your mouth. In the same way pay attention to the sensation in your teeth, gums, tongue and palate.

Heighten your senses by simply preparing a hot drink 

Walk to the kitchen and notice if there are any sensations in your stomach. Proceed to prepare yourself your favourite or usual morning drink; either a coffee, a tea, or simply lemon water, listen to what your body is needing. Fill up the kettle with water while focusing your attention on the sound of the moving water. Turn the kettle on and notice the sound it makes while gradually heating up. Be attentive when preparing your ingredients, awaken your sense of smell by focusing on the aromas. Finally enjoy your drink while sipping slowly, feeling and tasting the liquid in the whole of your mouth.

Exercise to connect your body and mind

While performing physical exercise we have a great opportunity to practice mindfulness. Place your attention carefully in these three aspects: breathing, postures and transitional movements in-between postures.  For example; if you are at the gym lifting weights, feel the metallic bar and its coolness in your hands, notice the pace of your breath and how it changes, feel your spine column while in different postures, etc. Do not let negative thoughts, worries or tension distract you from your activity. Allow the thoughts to simply pass and return to focusing on what you are doing in the here and now, your bodily experience is your anchor.

🕒 AT MIDDAY

Stretch your body

It is very important to take a break from work, not just for eating but also to move slowly and mindfully. This can fully change how you approach the afternoon. If possible, leave your office or work place for at least 5 to 10 minutes. Go for a walk and stretch your arms as you feel your muscles and skeleton moving. Place your attention on your breath, if possible take a few deep inhalations and exhalations. Notice if there is tension in any part of your body and with your fingertips give yourself a few gentle taps around the area where there is tension. This is a very healthy habit that can be very energising. 

Self-checks

Remember to pause throughout the day to observe your body and mind. Something simple to do is to check your posture.  Bring attention to your jaw and observe if there is any tension or clenching happening. We all have unique patterns of muscular tension in our body depending on our lifestyle –  so becoming aware of yourself throughout the day will help you to learn more about how you are using your body. An easy way to remember this practice is to set a reminder on your phone and to stop for at least 5 to 10 minutes every couple of hours.

Empty your mind

Everyday spend at least 15 minutes to simply sit down comfortably in your favourite place and have with you paper and a pen/pencil. Write down anything that comes into your mind. Without selecting or judging the thoughts, simply write as you think and feel -even if words do not coincide or have no apparent link. This will help clear your mind and will transfer those thoughts, feelings etc onto the paper, making them conscious or visible to a degree and liberating stress and tension in your head. This will further allow a deeper relaxation throughout the evening.

🌙 IN THE EVENING

Returning home

When returning home from work or vice versa, avoid as much as possible using headphones. This is a releasing system that may feel good initially but that if done everyday it can further disconnect you from the attention in yourself. Instead place all your attention in your surrounding area. For example you can listen to different sounds such as; voices, birds singing, children playing, etc.  Enjoy the fresh smell of beautiful flowers and trees that you come across with. 

Clean the dishes with clear attention

Arriving home and perhaps having a lot of dishes to wash may not be very pleasant. However if we approach this task or any other home duty as an exercise of mindfulness – with our full attention and awareness, the “have to do list” becomes an enjoyable process of self observation and learning. Moreover this will increase our attention, focus and concentration in daily life.

Listening to music

Music is a great tool to exercise mindfulness in your daily life. I invite you to select a song that you have never heard before. If there is singing involved in this song, try to focus your attention on the melody only, without giving much attention to the voice and words of the singer. Let all your thoughts and ideas pass-by and simply close your eyes and focus on the melody. Observe where your imagination may take you. Feel and listen with your whole body, rather than just with your ears and enjoy a mindful sound body experience.

Take a minute of deep breathing

Focusing on the breath is the fundamental principle of all schools of meditation and spiritual practices around the world. The breath is the carrier of life. It is with us from the very first moment we are born until our very last moment of life. Nevertheless we often breath mechanically and unconsciously.  This is why it is very beneficial to spend some time in the evening taking some deep breaths. This will strengthen the connection between your body, mind and heart. For this, find a comfortable position where your back is straight. Inhale the air slowly through your nose and deeply into your body, allowing the expansion of your whole abdomen. Hold the air for a few seconds and exhale the air gently and softly emptying your lungs as much as you can, here hold the air for a few seconds before your next inhalation and continue on. Retaining the air will assist in calming your whole circulatory and nervous system.

Apply these simple exercises and you will begin experiencing your day differently. You may start with a couple of practices a day and slowly increase the number of exercises. Enjoy!

Abundance in Being

I have been reflecting on abundance and slowly coming to the understand that abundance is really a state of being in which we accept all the infinite possibilities that exist. This understanding helps me to become open to the wisdom and the will of my inner divine nature. 

I recognize myself as part of the abundance of mother earth, I recognize myself in the abundance of each breath of oxygen which is given at every moment and which keeps me alive and nourished.  Whilst reflecting on this, I have discovered deeply engrained within myself a fake belief that “The more I have, the more I am”. By observing closely this belief and looking at my life I have come to the realization that in the past I have experienced an emptiness amongst the comfort of modern-day life, a secure job, etc.

Abundance is to trust in my own Being, in my inner nature, my inner intuition. This understanding of abundance is vibrating in infinite subtle levels. There is no time or space here, all possibilities unite in one single point. Here I give space to my being to express, to guide me through my intuition. Often, with my mind, I avoid this intuitive sense and I try to control situations from my rational mind which then limits possibilities. This acts as a safety mechanism, however, when I bring this sense of control into consciousness, I come to understand that there is nothing really secure or guaranteed and I am ironically creating just the illusion that “I have control”.

So abundance is about accepting and receiving daily food or daily wisdom.  Sometimes I crave to have more than I have. “I want to know it all”.  However, my Being is the holder of the deep wisdom and knows exactly what I need on a daily basis.  My intuitive heart can see much further than my limited perception of things, so it gives me just the right portion of what I need. It knows which lessons and at which times it is needed. At times I will receive a double portion of food all at once.  This may come in the form of a strong situation that leaves me with no ground to hold onto and I get swept into the unknown.  

Artwork: Tobe Fonseca

So gratitude fills my heart, as I deepen my understanding of abundance. I slowly learn how to digest and be patient with what life presents and realize that abundance is not about having more. It is about trusting that what I am receiving is right to sustain me and help me grow. In knowing this I move away from the belief that more is better. Abundance is a state of Being in which gratitude is the motor because it sees and recognizes the richness in every moment. My clear consciousness recognizes richness in every instant when it fully embraces the present, the being, and its infinite possibilities. So I no longer attach to one single way with specific conditions set by my mind. On the contrary, I learn to trust, to simply trust.

I am mesmerized when I think of all that has brought me to this point in time in which I am standing today, all the forces and influences of life that brought me to this very moment. It could not have been “me” planning this perfection. My mind could never have pictured this reality 14,422 km away from the land in which I was born.

Mother Nature and her creation, every animal, every plant, every being inhabiting her are in perfect order and harmony within this dance of life; birth and death. I reflect upon the intelligence that exists within her and which I have completely underestimated in an abrupt manner with my forgetfulness. And as I tune in with the abundance of being, it invites me to look at this aspect in mother nature which is holding and nourishing me at every moment. I recognize the infinite and absolute intelligence within Creation and I simply surrender to spontaneity, not feeding the battles in my mind and always being in defence mode. 

What is necessary will arrive every day, every moment in the right portion and my heart is at peace.

Thank you for reading

Adriana

Learn more about my work with Sound Healing and Creative Mindful Workshops

Coming up events in the Blue Mountains

Transformative Times

¿What are Mindfulness workshops?

What is a Mandala?

The word mandala means circle or wheel in Sanskrit, an ancient Indian language from the Vedas. A mandala is a representation of the universe; a reminder of the interconnection of all beings, unity and harmony. It’s a cosmic diagram which is found everywhere we look in natures dynamics through its geometry.  

Mandalas have been in history of humanity since long ago as a form to remember and find again the origin. The natural movements of nature and creation are in spiral, concentrical. Observe the shape of a cell, and atom, mother’s womb, an eye, the spiral in a sunflower, the shape of our solar system.

These are some example of how nature create life and we are part of this. In order for us to remember and return to harmony within we required to go back to the source. Mandalas allow us to reconnect with the spiral of life and be reminded of the simplicity of life.  

Join me on the next Mandala Workshop to learn more and experience the benefits of creating mandalas

Thank you

Adriana

The basis of Sound Healing/ Therapy

The basis of sound healing is that vibration is fundamental to all matter. We understand that the atoms within the body vibrate at a specific speed/ frequency dependant on the area of the body. When this vibration can not occur at the speed that creates harmony this is what we call ‘dis-ease’.

Sound healing also known as Sound Therapy is all about restoring this healthy vibration to the body in order to gain balance again and recuperate the natural vibration of the human body.

Sound frequency impacts our sympathetic nervous system, your brain waves synchronise. The body is so cleaver that when it hears a frequency that it is not in tune with, it will match it, this is called law of resonance.

It is a law – just like gravity – when a vibration is stronger all the other energies in the area will begin to attune to its exact vibration.

Learn more about Sound Healing and the magnificent effect on body, mind and spirit. One to one Session and group Sound Baths can be arranged at any location. Contact us for more information.

Last May in Bellingen

It all began months ago with a simple invitation from my friend Taylor. -“You should come and do some workshops up here in Bellingen”. This was the first time I took my work into far away land. Only 7 hours from the Blue Mountains, but far enough. I took the offer with great joy and gratitude, even quite some fear too.

Dorrigo National Park NSW

We arrive in Bellingen and the next day we had to be at the monthly Bello Market. A huge market place with lots of crafts and beautiful food. People in Bellingen were very welcoming and kind. It was a great start on this adventure.

I did my first workshop on the following day, it was fantastic to share my work with all these beautiful people. Everyone enjoy the introduction with my favourite Tibetan Singing Bowl, taking us all straight into our heart space.

And this is how the day unfolded, full of joy, colours, geometry and of course sharing out but mostly going within, to explore that sense of intuition that I always mention in every event.

I had the opportunity to share a Sound Bath and sacred Cacao from the mother Mountains in north Colombia; Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. We shared in circle, in truth and with heart open.

I finish with a Sunday workshop, a cosy and fun group. Lisa who came to the workshop had been feeling sick all week, she just made it to the venue as she was very keen on this event. She manage to stay most of the day and complete her mandala. So much determination, it was wonderful. On this day I also had the pleasure to meet Tamaryn, a gorgeous drum medicine crafter and teacher who I invited to the Blue Mountains to host a Drum Making Workshop.

So this is how the web of life keeps expanding. We might not see the thread that is connecting us all and only if we keep moving with our internal rhythms we then continue remembering that interconnection. If you want to find out more about Tam’s work and her events in The Blue Mountains during October, visit https://www.spiritdrum.com.au/events

Thank you to all the beautiful people I came across and met in this beautiful land of North New South Whales.

The relationship between Mandalas & woven God’s eye (Ojo de Dios)?

A God’s eye is a weaved mandala They originally come from the Huichol culture in Mexico.

The Huichol believed that crafting an object is a way to get in touch with the spiritual world. For protection from the uncertainties of the future, the Huichol make decorative, ceremonial shields with coloured yarn and sticks. These shields are called God’s eyes because through them the Gods will keep a watchful eye over the person.

The Huichol believed that crafting an object is a way to get in touch with the spiritual world. For protection from the uncertainties of the future, the Huichol make decorative, ceremonial shields with coloured yarn and sticks. These shields are called God’s eyes because through them the Gods will keep a watchful eye over the person.

A God’s eye is also weaved as part of a ritual when there is a new born baby. The center of the God’s eye is weaved just as the baby is born, then every year it will be weaved one more color section until the baby turns 5 years of age. Then the God’e eye is completed and offered in ceremony as is believed that only then the child will start to be more autonomous.

Ojo de Dios in traditional house

Learn more about the Huichol culture or watch this beautiful documentary “Huicholes: The Last Peyote” to understand more about their life and cosmovision.

The world has known the work of the Huicoles for years, and wool God’s eye have developed into intricate shapes. This work is by no means a mass production object. It has an spiritual depth that must be understood and respected. Mandalas help us to understand the importance of acquiring self knowledge.

This is where the answer for the world suffering is, within.