By William Blackmon | Submitted On April 19, 2012
Cacao, Right Livelihood, & EcoActivism:
I am glad Sirius mentions right livelihood in his ProHippy interview. It is something the Buddha spoke of, and it is an issue that all upcoming World movers and shakers have to look at sooner or later. What does right livelihood look like for me? How can I generate abundance for myself and community and honor my values as well as my moment to moment feelings?
It’s a tough one. And every individual has to find a proper relationship with this notion, lest they be plagued by the stereotypical mid-life crises scenario that is often the product of a lifetime spent towards pursuits that filled ye olde pockets yet left the heart-mind-soul devoid of any deeper meaning or feelings of fulfillment. Well, there are many solutions to this unsavory scenario, this state of being that arises when we ignore the right livelihood question.
Many beaming, entrepreneurial youths these days are finding their livelihood niche through the great abundant Mother that is Cacao.
I know many people who have leveraged tasty, healthy, chocolate items as a part of their restaurant or perhaps as an addition to a vendors booth at a festival. I have several friends such as Sirius and Jessalynn who have committed themselves to be full time chocolatiers, specializing in delectable, high grade chocolate treat—truffles, bite sized bars, herb-infused pastes, etc.
I have friends as well that have land in Costa Rica and beyond, where they manage the more farmy, harvesting, processing, shipping side of things. And I have buddies who have brought the two together, traveling and sourcing beans of the highest quality and then creating gourmet chocolate products that they ship all over the world. My good brother Gregory with Nova Monda Cacao & Chocolate embarks on Central and South American adventures to personally source the highest quality, ecologically produced cacao that is then made into artisan quality chocolate. I
love it. I have friends, too, who are leading Caca Ceremonies all over the Planet, bringing people together through the intentional use of Cacao as a sacred food. More on that below
Anyhow, the common theme between them all, whether chocolatier, eco-farmer, importer/exporter, or shaman, would of course be to utilize the demand for chocolate to support socially sustainable (fair-trade), ecologically viable livelihoods for themselves & others.
The nature of the way cacao is being grown in many places now is forming healthy jungle ecosystem management with social sustainability in terms of community food and wealth, followed by world-wide distribution that allows people in other countries to start companies of their own, all ideally sourced from people forming companies with high ideals and practices to begin with. The possibilities for a wonderful synergy are present and being utilized by a growing number of people, balancing economics with ecology, community with ceremony, nutrition with fun, art with science, & so on!
Chocolate in Ceremony: It’s the Heart that Matters
So far as I’ve experience in life, any article, rant, rave, or video that mentions cacao without touching on the ceremonial possibilities is not touching on what is to me the greatest aspect of this amazing food. High quality Cacao can literally guide you through transformational experiences in a group setting, meeting every individual where they’re at inwardly, while weaving an amazing synergy between the group.
By now I’ve sat for half a dozen ceremonies or so, some seeming like something from an ancient Mayan ritual, others amounting to something more reminiscent of a group of joyful beings engaging in heart-felt play, dance, music, and laughter. And some are somewhere in between, serious ritual invocation with herbs and altars and such, spliced with laughter, play, and a general silliness that the spirit of cacao evokes in people.
I love these things, Cacao Ceremonies. I really do. It definitely fulfills a deep need I missed as a youngster–communal circles created in an intentional, sacred way for the sharing of wisdom, release, story, & simple. open-hearted listening, etc. And can you imagine a more fulfilling, enjoyable pretense to gather than to sit in circle with family and laugh, cry, share, play, express express express! I can’t recommend it enough.
If you’re curious about finding a ceremony, monitor the waves in your local area. I know from Massachusetts, to Colorado, California, down to Guatemala, and beyond, really everywhere, all the sites I see online–the Cacao ceremony is definitely ubiquitous as of April 2012.
If you haven’t had the joy to experience one yet, link in with locals in your area and find people already doing it, or score some awesome medicinal grade cacao and put on a ceremony yourself! Since my favorite ceremony of all time was with the superhero Cacao Shaman Keith (which for me was an explosion of laughter and tears), and I also feel Keith is a right on brother who is in it for the mission and not the money, I would definitely have to recommend his website for the in-sight he has both in acquiring medicinal grade beans (which they offer, and I stand by, any day), and using cacao for ceremonial purposes.
One of the main bits of wisdom that Keith and other legit Cacao Shamans offer is that Cacao doesn’t act like other psycho-active plants–it doesn’t confront you with your dark side or take you some place you don’t want to go. It just presents a door for you, and you decide if want to walk through or not. It empowers you, but requires that you take reigns of the experience. Honestly, to know what I mean, you just have to sit and allow it to happen. My experiences have all been really wonderful and positive (though they often point to things I need to release, which can be a challenging process), and I definitely look forward to a time when cacao ceremonies are more popular than booze-parties. Can you imagine?
The Food for the Shift: CaCao & Global Evolutionary Culture
There is definitely a shift taking place on the Earth today. There always is, right? Things are always changing, & a wise man once said that change is really the only thing we can count on. The change I speak of today is on every level: ecological, political, social, technological, spiritual, cultural. One of the main purposes of the Professional Hippy site is to document and present some of these changes as they occur for people all over the World, how people today are responding to all the obvious changes within themselves and their surroundings.
The cacao culture that is emerging on the planet today is indicative of a rising current of conscious beings who want to retrofit the old paradigm ways of wealth extraction and social slavery with healthy, inter-dependent systems that contribute to ecological regeneration and social well-being. Cacao Shaman Keith more or less coined this “Food for the Shift” phrase, and I reckon’ that’s about the most succinct way to encapsulate everything that cacao offers us, nutritionally, ecologically, economically, methodologically, culturally, & so on.
When we begin to seek balance and harmony in all things, realizing our interconnection, as cacao helps us to do, we will be finding alignment within ourselves to navigate the inevitable changes of our shared-reality.
The World is sacred, Cacao is sacred. Our communities, our homes, the Land is sacred. Our churches, temples, mosques–all sacred. People are sacred. Every heart is sacred, and my prayer is that Cacao can help bring sacred relationships into the forefront of human consciousness, so that we may form a New Millennial Culture based on sacred living, where all beings are respected & supported to live and be. And drink chocolatey Cacao elixir!
William Blackmon is a Holistic Health coach and Wellness educator living in the Nevada City area of the Northern California Sierras. He draws on his experience from his many passions in life, such as gardening, yoga, meditation, community living, and nutritional education to deliver simple perspectives and tools that bring more vibrancy and peace to people’s lives.
To receive a free Holistic Health consultation or check out the latest resources related to the fields of Health, Wellness, & Nutrition, go to [http://www.VibrantLivingHolistics.com], or email VibrantLivingHolistics@gmail.com directly for your first free consultation. Blessings~
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