What is a Cacao Ceremony? My Experience in Costa Rica
A cacao ceremony is a gathering of people into a sacred circle where music and ceremonial cacao is shared. They are helpful for getting clarity, setting intentions, doing healing work, and inner-processing. On our recent film production in Costa Rica at Vida By Selina, a retreat by Remote Year, one of the night activities was a cacao ceremony.
Drinking cacao is a way to cleanse the mind and body as research shows that eating raw chocolate can reduce stress, boost overall mental and physical health as it contains antioxidants, and increases the number of good bacteria in the gut. Scientists have done studies that show that the bacteria in your gut is linked to your overall mental health as well.
Our yoga and meditation teacher for the retreat was Aris Alexandra Seaberg and has practiced the ceremony with teachers in Costa Rica, explaining how her teachers native to the land taught her to share the cacao with others and it was not her sacred land. She said we must respect the land and the many generations that came before us.
This ceremony’s purpose was to open the heart chakra. There are 6 powerful circles within our bodies that hold different energy. By opening up the heart chakra, we can be able to show gratitude and love for one another.
We started the ceremony with mindful breathing and setting our intentions for the ceremony. She began to serve us cacao one by one and we sat back down to give gratitude to the drink. Once everyone was served and we sat in silence giving thanks together, we began to drink the cacao with intention. Tasting this bitter chocolate mixed with a bit of sweet sugar was like dark-roast coffee mixed with hot chocolate.
Feeling a bit buzzy from the cacao, Aris explained that she will be giving us a question prompt. We would then walk around the circle and lock eyes with another person, and give the body language to sit down and talk. We would each talk for 3 minutes without any interruption. The goal was to create space for the other person.
The first question, “What I’m currently feeling is…”
The second question, “What I desire most is…”
The third and final question, “One thing I’m healing in my heart is…“
After the ceremony, everyone talked to each other for over an hour before heading back up. We opened up. We laughed. We hugged. We cherished the present moment and each other.
It was a magical experience next to the Vida Tree with beautiful people inside and out that I will remember forever.