Mantra & Medicine weekend ~ Voice of the desert
Can you sense the fragrance of spring? An early morning walk through the forest, celebrating the full return of light and warmth as spring starts to turn into summer. On this day we gather for a weekend of connection, healing and transformation in one of the most beautiful retreat centres of Brabant. A space to silence the mind, connect to the wisdom and spirit within, a beautiful place in nature where you can breathe and be.
⍙ Cacao & Microdosing ceremony
Cacao ceremonies originate all the way back to Mayan and Aztec traditions in central and south America. Cacao opens the heart and allows for a deeper, authentic love based connection with yourself, others, the earth and all of life. On this night we combine three beautiful tools for transformation: Cacao, Mantras and microdosing Magic Truffles. The microdose that will be offered to you in this event contains between 1 and 2 grams of fresh truffles. You will be free to choose in the moment the amount that calls you most, because it’s important you feel comfortable.
⏁ Mantra circle ~ Voice of the Desert
Pleuni Apollonia will guide this ceremony together with Robert Tolenaars. They are both musicians that have crossed paths years ago. Together they perform devotional music from all over the world in singing circles, cacao ceremonies and concerts. With a combination of vocals, guitar, shruti box and the medicine drum they offer a unique depth to any journey. They use the power of sound and music as a way to inspire and heal, while guiding you through the light as well as the dark.
Every culture on the planet has their unique type of music. Even though each culture is unique, music unites all races, and has been used throughout history in rites, ceremonies and prayers. The theme of this weekend is: Voice of the desert. With our music we will take you to the dry desert lands of the Middle Eastern world, under the twinkling starts of the Arabian sky. We thereby want to welcome the energy of the Middle Eastern regions, right on the cusp of summer; warm, sensual and mystical….She conquers all ages and lets you plunge into the aroma of the coniferous forests of Turkey, mountainous landscapes of Morocco, drifting sands of Egypt and the warmth of the endless sea….
We have carefully searched for songs and prayers that fit this theme. When we sing with others, blending our voices, we start listening more attentively, feeling the energy of the group trying to find harmony. As everyone synchronises their breathing, and thereby the beating of their hearts, singing in unison, a bond forms and feeling of completeness surrounds the group. By chanting these both ancient and modern words we invoke the fire within ourselves and let our heart bloom.
For the cacao ceremony on Saturday evening we want to invite you to put a bit of extra effort in your outfit, inspired by this Middle Eastern theme. We love creating space for self expression, so this is your chance to wear that amazing dress you never wear, or to borrow something nice from someone. Make sure you feel both beautiful and comfortable. This is a sacred ceremony. Just like we create an altar, and decorate the space, we also give some love to ourselves and make sure we fully show up. In this way we seal the space from the influence of the outside world and enter a different world in which you can fully submerge yourself. In the book; ‘King, Warrior, Magician, Lover’…this is called ‘sacred space’.
⏀ About Cacao
Theobroma Cacao, (Latin for ‘Food of the Gods’), has been used for centuries in spiritual practices and rituals. Cacao contains many beneficial minerals. It is really high in magnesium and chromium. It also contains a high amount of calcium, zinc, iron and sulfer. Another amazing fact: it makes us happy. Cacao contains neurotransmitters already present in the brain such as:
~ Norepinephrine (joy)
~ Serotonin (wellbeing)
~ Dopamine (motivation, pleasure)
~ Anandamide (bliss, painkiller)
The ceremonial cacao that I use in my ceremonies comes from Nicaragua and is ethically sourced. To protect all the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are naturally in cacao, it is NOT heat-treated and processed like cocoa or chocolate, and nutritional benefits aren’t reduced.
⏃ About Microdosing
A microdose is about 1/15 of a full trip dosis, and therefore has a subtle effect. It doesn’t come close to the psychedelic effects of a ‘normal’ dosis. The aim here is to help you fully experience everything that is alive in you, so you are able to process. Rather than mind-altering, the effects of Microdosing are best described as mind enhancing. There have been numerous studies utilising psychedelics like psilocybin (the psychoactive ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms and truffles) and they have shown that it has positive effects on depression and anxiety. Although everybody responds different to psychedelics, some of the things people describe are: “positive energy”, “increased levels of creativity”, “focus and flow”, “deeper connection with yourself and others”, “open heart” “heightened senses”, “(suppressed) emotions coming to the surface”, “new ideas and insights”.
⏁ About mantra chanting
A mantra is a sound or a vibration that becomes very powerful when you repeat it. Singing the ancient words with subtle intentions help you to reach a deep state of meditation. By simply repeating the mantras, you can disconnect from your thoughts. The mantra becomes more abstract so it can lead you into a place of pure consciousness. Each mantra with its different sound has another effect on the human psyche. The sound vibrations penetrate every cell of the body. When we sing these mantras together in a group, often a profound sense of unity and connection arises. The harmonious sounds created by everyone, are felt deeply within and help you raise your vibration.
⏄ The team
Robert Tolenaars: Musician, teacher and mystic, amazing guitarist, co-facilitates the cacao ceremony with Pleuni. CHECK HIM OUT!
Pleuni van Hulten: Organizer of this weekend, Yoga teacher, Mantra chanter, Soundhealer, Cacao addict.
Marjolijn van de Ven: Vegan cook, co-owner of Hamara Retreats in Portugal CHECK HER OUT!
Theresia Hofmaier: Breathworker, Massage therapist with a magical touch, CHECK HER OUT!
⎑ About the location
AVANI means: ‘The good earth’, and stands for grounding within yourself, ground with each other. Being in contact with yourself and the earth. This retreat and training center is surrounded by trees, and a newly planted food forest. The beautiful architecture, the natural light and all the indoor decorations make you feel at home right away. At the ground floor you will find 100m2 of space in which we hold our circles and ceremonies, as well as a huge modern kitchen and 2 main bathrooms. Upstairs there are 2 dormrooms, each with 6 wooden beds with linnen bedding. And 2 private rooms with ensuite bathroom. There are also 2 brand new yurts with a fireplace located on their land in which there will be space for 6 beds. We are not offering the option to camp in your own tent this time, only if you have a campervan.
The location is very close to the “Loonse en Drunense duinen” in Helvoirt. Take a look on their website.
Time schedule (open to change)
⌾ 15.30 onwards arrival.
⌾ 16.00 opening circle
⌾ 17.00 free time to enjoy the forest and connect (there will be tea and snacks)
⌾ 18.00 start ceremony
⌾ 22.30 end ceremony and late night dinner
⌾ 9.00 Breathwork session guided by Theresia
⌾ 11.00 vegan brunch
⌾ 11.30 free time to enjoy the forest and connect
⌾ 12.00 closing circle
⌾ 13.00 leaving time
Your ticket price includes
⌾ Mantra circle with ceremonial Cacao and a microdose of magic truffles
⌾ Delicious snacks and tea
⌾ Vegan dinner Saturday night
⌾ Vegan brunch Sunday morning
⌾ Guided breathwork session
Sleeping and other extra’s:
AVANI retreat has some beautiful dorm-rooms, private rooms and yurts available. Camping isn’t an option at the moment. ticketprice and you don’t have to book a sleeping spot.
- Private room with bathroom for 2 €75
- Bed + Bedding in a 6 bed dorm-room €30pp
- Bed without bedding in the 6 bed yurt €25pp
Book your spot HERE
NOTE: Refunds for cancelation will depend on ticket resale availability. There usually is a waiting list, but please bear in mind that the closer to the event, the less chance we have to resell your ticket. 48h before the start of this event we are not available anymore to help you sell your ticket, due to preparations. You are however more than welcome to resell your own ticket. Please inform us though 😉