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Cacao experience | Ceremonial cacao | Lucid dreaming

Cacao and the Art of Conscious Dreaming

If you have had any experience of Ceremonial Cacao, you know its power to create a mild euphoric effect and a sense of connection with self and others. A sacred gift and a natural entheogen, we know it has been used ceremonially for thousands of years by indigenous peoples of Central and South America. A lesser-known fact is that some Central American tribes also used Cacao to facilitate a type of collective dreaming - drinking Cacao to "go to sleep" and journey together in subtler planes of existence to do their shamanic "dreamwork."

The practice of shamanic dreaming allows one to become conscious and lucid while asleep. As we bring consciousness and awareness into our dream state, dreams no longer just "happen" to us. The benefit of that can be life-changing! 

We often dismiss the dreams that come to us when we're asleep as random and incohesive thoughts. Researchers still don't entirely agree on the purpose of dreams, but for sure, our subconscious can hold much more than initially meets the eye. Some theories suggest that our dreams may be ways of confronting emotional dramas in our life. Others believe that dreams help us store essential memories and things we've learned, get rid of unimportant memories, and sort through complicated thoughts and feelings. Another theory is that dreams facilitate our creative tendencies. In any case, the practice of lucid dreaming has been used for centuries to better understand and navigate our dreams as well as our waking hours. 

What Does it Mean to Lucid Dream?

We are lucid dreaming when we become aware that we are dreaming, experiencing our dream almost as if we're awake while remaining completely asleep. This not only makes our dream feel real but also gives us some control and agency over our actions throughout the dream. We have all experienced waking up feeling shaken up or confused by a dream. Sometimes dreams are gratifying and beautiful, and as we awake, we have to come to grips with the fact that, in reality, we're not basking in the sun on some Caribbean island! Other times dreams can feel uncomfortable or alarming, leaving us feeling sad or resentful upon waking up and needing to process experiencing a tragic event, a loss, or heartbreak. 

If we accept that these dreams come to us for a reason, by facing them head-on, we're able to seek resolution from the inside out. That is why lucid dreaming has been used both as a method of self-control and as a form of therapeutic healing to help overcome challenging thoughts and deep-rooted trauma. By practicing lucid dreaming, we have a chance to re-evaluate our emotions during these dreaming moments. Knowing it's not reality, but just a dream, allows us to engage with the moment from an isolated perspective. 

The extraordinary sense of awakening within the dream can provide us with an understanding of the continuity of self between waking and sleeping. As we develop and practice our ability to lucid dream and significantly influence what happens within the dream, we can use this practice to confront our fears and release trauma from past experiences. Lucid dreaming becomes a powerful tool for greater awareness, heightened creativity, spiritual awakening, and communication with the vast interconnected web of cosmic consciousness.

Cacao: the Great Facilitator!

"A dandy facilitator for lucid dreamers! I get many thank-yous for this one!" ~ Keith Wilson

Cacao is such a great ally in creating a powerful gateway into the realm of lucid dreaming. Not surprisingly, given the combination of its calming, stimulating, and euphoric effects! The magnesium in Cacao is instrumental in sleep as it is a natural relaxant that helps deactivate adrenaline. Cacao also has tryptophan, an amino acid that, when ingested, gets turned into the neurotransmitter serotonin and then converted into the hormone melatonin. The energizing effect of Cacao is primarily due to theobromine, which though a stimulant, does not affect our central nervous system like caffeine. Instead, it is a cardiovascular stimulant, increasing heart function and blood flow. Additionally, the euphoric heart-centered energy of the 'bliss agents' phenylethylamine (PEA) and anandamide give us a restorative and creative boost. It is the combination of these agents and active ingredients that make Cacao an exquisite sleep and lucid dream facilitator.

Since we do most of our dreaming during REM sleep and REM periods increase as the night progresses, one way in which we can help ourselves to lucid dream is by drinking plenty of water before going to bed, so that we may naturally awake to pee in the middle of our sleep time! Alternatively, we can set an alarm clock for 4 am, which is primetime dreamtime. We can drink a small amount of Cacao (try 0.3oz/8.5-10g) before going to bed and have another such small dose ready for when we wake up in the middle of the night. Adding Bobinsana to our Cacao drink can also help. Bobinsana (Calliandra angustufolia) is a lucid dreaming, heart-opening master plant teacher native to the Amazon Basin that has been used for centuries to enhance spiritual and shamanic activities. She is often lovingly called Sirenita (little mermaid) or Doctorcita (little doctor) Bobinsana.

Other techniques we can use to train ourselves into lucid dreaming include keeping a Dream Journal by our bedside to record our dreams the minute we awake and giving ourselves some dream reflection time in the morning before commencing our fresh new day.

Another practice is 'reality testing.' This involves verifying whether or not we are dreaming during the day. For instance, we can ask ourselves, 'Am I dreaming right now?' as we try to make our hands pass through a solid wall. Obviously, the wall will remain solid in real life, but our hands will easily pass through the wall in a dream.

Are you inspired to try this out? Make yourselves a cup of Keith's Cacao tonight and enjoy your dive into the world of conscious dreaming!

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