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Cacao Bliss Ceremony in Retiro Maya by Avaka Draka

Cacao Bliss Ceremony in Retiro Maya by Avaka Draka

It has always been my belief frequencies of beauty are frequencies of love. That our senses provide us with more than just information, that they in fact attune us to the many strands of co-created and pre-existing energies in our world. When we see, hear, feel, and smell we are taken on a journey through the life of the very things we are sensing. We do the same when we taste.

As far as medicine goes ceremonial cacao is by far one of the most pleasing to the senses. Brewed with cayenne, cinnamon and honey– This powerful healing agent brings to mind childhood holidays more than it smarts of spiritual rituals, but that comfort is in part what makes it so powerful.

What does it take to truly open your heart? For some it’s a beautiful song, or a deeply moving piece of poetry. For others it’s a, a sunset, a rainbow or a painting that brings us to tears.  In our modern culture we pull things apart in order to understand them. But the ancient cultures of Central and South America, knew that true comprehension comes from drawing things together.

On May 7th 2014 Retiro Maya hosted Roman Hanis and Cynthia Robinson of the Paititi Institute. They specialize in the preservation of indigenous cultural wisdom, and were able to provide a different experience from most cacao ceremonies. Such events have been popping up in public venues, and private residences all over the world.


Why? This cacao ceremony enhanced through the practice of traditional Tibetan breath work, and sacred drumming.

It’s no surprise cacao and breath-work are paired so well in tandem. Cacao is known to increase blood flow to the brain. Blood carries oxygen, facilitating our brain cells to breathe as deeply as our lungs do, during the process.

Through the employment of different methods of breathing…from deep and vibratory originating in the chest and lungs, to shorter staccato pulses, requiring the participation of the diaphragm–the body and mind are sired to a point where our deeper emotions are allowed to surface.

The drumming holds the space aligning us with the primordial rhythm of earth, and acting as a representation, and hopeful as a transmutation of the pulse of life itself. The breath-work aids in activating the cacao, while the cacao opens up the body to receive the emotional energy released through the breath-work.

It’s the combination of these 3 elements that allow the participant deeper access to their inner resources. A vast well of awareness, of their relationship to the internal and external world arises. What we do with this energy and information is of course our choice. The ritual simply makes those choices available.

During ceremony I was able to safely feel into deeply wounded spaces in my own continuousness. Recognizing old stories that were ready to be released—

I was able to feel into more loving, heart centered alternatives, to circumstances and events that had previously troubled me. Roman and Cynthia’s sensitivity and strength provided a safe space, enabling me to feel connected to, and supported by the group. Not only could I feel my own heart, but also those of the half dozen participants as well.


Each persons experience was completely unique.

Some profound, some subtle, many beautiful, and a few seductively painful. The unifying factor was that every story was real.

Working with the spirit of the cacao plant brings us back into our senses which in turn anchors us back into the present. While the mind may drift… calling us toward thoughts or memories… coaxing us into a cerebral dance through the infinite probability field of existence– The plants always return us to the room. Here we are seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and ultimately touching the deepest places within ourselves, and sharing warmth and softness with others.


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