Last Monday I had the chance to be part of a Sacred Cacao Ceremony here in Ubud Bali. It was a great warming event with a large number of people gathering for the full moon, honoring the earth and the community. We shared some delicious raw cacao drink with cinnamon (none of that sweet processed stuff), only pure raw cacao straight from cocoa beans fresh from the island.
Biggest full moon in over 30 years
We all sat in a circle and it felt special. People had dressed up and we all smiled at each other like we knew one another. It’s so strange here, the Balinese smile all the time and it feels very authentic and positive about their lives. One think is the Balinese, but I find that foreigners are closer to each other here than in other places. People you don’t know smile at you in a warm way. Every day I have people I don’t know saying hello to me in the street. Whether that might be to/from the yoga class, or in a restaurant.
It was quite a “hippy-ish” event but it smelled good, the vibe was nice and there were this tension and energy in the air. The full moon of course, but there was also something else. For about two hours we listened to beautiful live music, exotic instruments, singing, and dancing together whilst giving our prayers to the earth being grateful. Not your average Monday. I saw people who maybe never had paid attention to the moon before. Suddenly they were dancing as looking at it as it was the first time they saw it. A beautiful experience.
An invitation to emotions
It was a different feeling than Christmas. Events like that we mostly spend with our close families. This was all people who didn’t know each other, yet we felt so connected. If you think about it, we humans are horrible. We just take, exploit, and use our environment never being thankful or compassionate. After maybe 10 minutes I started to have this wave of really strong emotions coming up. Not sad or so, just very strong of happiness, togetherness and emotionally touched by the beautiful voices, music, inclusiveness and feeling of family.
I have this idea that in society we are being “bred” to become cold, strong super humans. We go through life, studying, working, sometimes repressing our feelings apart from the people close to us because we need to “stay strong”. How often haven’t you heard that boys don’t cry? Or girls/women who lock themselves in the toilet to cry?
Maybe it’s time to really invite our emotions to the surface, let them flow and feel every inch of it. Sadness, anger, happiness, we need all of this to be balanced. It was so liberating to be part of this beautiful event. One woman felt so free and enjoyed herself so much that she stood up and started to dance (on her own), only in her underwear. No judgements, no right or wrong, just beauty of full immersion of feelings.
Maybe it’s Bali where I see people doing offering at the house, in the streets, at the shops several times per day. They do offerings to the spirits, to the gods, for good weather, everything. It’s just a beautiful thing to do and to do it with other people makes a strong connection. It makes me think that in society, and in most big cities, we have lost that.
We have lost our senses of feeling what is good for us, what nature has to give and to be grateful together with other people just celebrating life. Not New Year, Easter, or other traditions, but just life. To be healthy, live on the planet and maybe give something back to nature. I even saw a paralyzed man who got help from two people limping to be part of this beautiful ceremony.
The singers and musicians were all from South America and this made me think of the Inkas, the Mayas, and the Aztecs. I’d love to go there to experience this in these lands. Maybe it doesn’t have to be that difficult? Maybe people would feel better if we had bigger gatherings of this kind in more places? A group of musicians, you can choose if you want to sit, sing, or dance, all in a very free way. Or maybe just give a bit more thought to the next cup of hot chocolate you drink.