Let Your Heart Decide Retreat
Macaw Lodge, Costa Rica November 16 – 21, 2024
A retreat for anyone looking to quiet their minds and awaken
the original intelligence of their hearts in order to discover and honor their deepest calling.
This retreat begins with the premise that we humans process our lives in two places simultaneously: in our minds and in our hearts. We know that the heart has intelligence, for it is made up of neurons. Some researchers even suggest that the heart is the primary decision maker of our internal consciousness, but we have been sorely miseducated in the ability to listen to our heart’s voice. Instead, we live in a world of mind-over-matter, of mental-logical-rational dominance over the intricate and mysterious wisdom of the heart.
We have all heard someone say, “Listen to your heart,” but how? How does one listen to the heart? Most of us were never taught, and worse, most believed that it was nonsense to begin with. This retreat is all about reclaiming the ability to listen to the heart, and in doing so, explore the deepest desires of our inner nature as answers to the most sacred questions we carry with us.
Before you arrive at this retreat, you’ll be asked to identify one such question: something you are wrestling with, something that wakes you up in the night and you can’t seem to sort out why. Over the course of our time together, you’ll be exploring that question with the support of the group and the presence and wisdom of the More than Human World. We’ll explore these questions through the use of many modalities including forest bathing, drum circle, sound bathing, breathwork, ecstatic dance, contemplative journaling, story weaving, witnessing and mirroring. Here’s what you can expect:
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This retreat might be right for you if
You’re struggling to make a big decision.
You’re feeling stuck in your life.
You’re having trouble honoring the voice of your heart or can’t hear it at all.
You’re finding yourself overwhelmed with constant thinking.
You’re feeling like you can’t slow down and there’s no time to relax.
About the Venue
Nestled among the hills and lush forests of the Cerros de Turrubares, in the Central Pacific region of Costa Rica, Macaw Lodge is more than just an eco-resort. It is a paradise where you can pamper your senses and discover the genuine natural wonders of Costa Rica.
Around the lodge is a tropical botanical garden of 5 hectares with more than 500 species of heliconias and bromeliads from all over the world, including ornamental, medicinal and agricultural plants. Wherever you look or walk there is something amazing to see and experience! The 264-acre property offers eight acres of cultivated trails where you can stroll through the giant black bamboo forest, hike to the waterfall and take a refreshing swim, enjoy a break in the gazebo overlooking the lagoon or take refuge in the palm forest.
Origin of the Question
We will start our day with a slow and gentle Forest Bathing walk. After this sensory activity that will give you the opportunity to connect to this place in a deeper way, we will gather for lunch. The afternoon will be open for doing some journaling and then bringing our stories together in council.
After sunset, we will discover the night life of the forest
Set in a rainforest, Macaw Lodge is surrounded by wetlands, ponds and rivers rich in amphibious life. In the cool of the night, illuminated by the moon and its lantern, you are likely to discover a large number of creatures such as the rain frog, yellow cricket frog, cane toad and cascading glass frog, among others, as well as reptiles.
Asking the Question
Today we will have time to sit with the land and receive its wisdom and the wisdom of our heart. Perhaps the land and our heart are trying to show us something? Nature holds up a mirror in front of us, allowing to see what otherwise is very difficult to notice.
We will have lunch together and enjoy delicious farm to table food mostly grown on the property
We will have a teacher council in the afternoon followed by a relaxing Sound Healing Session, perfect for incorporating and ending a very insightful day.
Living the Question
The day starts with a gathering where we will prepare you for your 3 hour Solo Wander on this amazing land. Let your body and your heart guide you to the bamboo forest, the pond or the waterfall or simply spend time sitting in the botanical garden. There is no right or wrong way.
You will find your personal ritual or way to start your solo wander and also to end it. After that there will be time to share our stories and be part of each participant’s journey.
The afternoon program is all about chocolate and its origins. Since ancient times, cocoa has been vital to life in Central America. You’ll see the ancient traditions practiced at Macaw Lodge today. The tour takes you through our cocoa plantations to learn about the varieties of cocoa trees, characteristics and the fruit, as well as all that’s involved in the process of bringing this beneficial fruit to the table.
Answering the Question
Our day will start with some breath awareness practices to be fully in our bodies and tap into our most inner wisdom. We will take time to listen.
And then we will release all that beautiful energy in an energizing drum circle, celebrating the awakening and arising of that knowing. Drumming is all about tapping into your inner unique rhythm, and letting yourself go into that flow.
The afternoon is free.
Today is a day of celebrating. We will have our party to honor all the answers and gifts we received during these days.
Deciding what to do with the Question
Integration Time. After our insights and new perspectives have settled into our bodies a little bit, it’s time to share our final story and weave them together as a group into a magical colorful fabric.
The Schedule Is Subject To Change: Ben and Manuela work spontaneously and we will adjust the program depending on what we feel serves the group.
It is inspired in the Japanese practice of Shinrin Yoku, that started at the beginning of the 80´s in Japan, due to a health crisis. There was a shift in the economy and people were moving from rural areas into big cities and that lifestyle change caused a lot of stress and therefore an increas of autoimmune diseases and cancer.
Forest Bathing has proven to lower our stress hormones, inrease our Immune system function, increase focus and creativity and give us a sense of general wellbeing. Something we hear very often from participants after a forest bathing walk is that sensation of belonging to nature, to feel at home.
“If you go off into a far, far forest and get very quiet, you’ll come to understand that you’re connected with everything.” -Alan Watts
“Whenever people gather to play the drum, the world is a better place” – Babtunde Olatunji
“Everything is ceremony in the wild garden of childhood” – Pablo Neruda
“We are the weavers, we are the woven ones. We are the dreamers, we are the dream.” – Lorna Kohler
“The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the heartbeat of the Universe, to match your nature with Nature.” – Joseph Campbell
Way of Council
“We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color.” – Maya Angelou
“Beauty lies in nature and reveals, once the artist has perceived it, its own expressive power” – Gustave Courbet
“Nature often holds up a mirror, so we can see more clearly the ongoing processes of growth, renewal and transformation in our lives” – Mary Ann Brussart
“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart” – William Wordsworth
Breathwork brings together the Mind, Body and Heart. Remembering how to breathe has powerful effects on our overall wellbeing.
It nourishes our physical body by oxygenating our cells, promoting healing, and boosting our immune system. Simultaneously, it calms our minds, quieting the incessant chatter and allowing us to tap into a state of deep relaxation and peace.
“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky, conscious breathing is my anchor. ” – Thich Nhat Hanh
The sound vibrations penetrate deep into the tissue. This improves blood circulation and metabolism, regulates muscle tension and deeply stimulates the tissue. Moreover, regeneration and repair mechanisms are stimulated. Sound healing is both activating and relaxing – so it also has a refreshing effect.
Some of the benefits of Sound Healing include less chronic pain, better sleep patterns, reduced anger and reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression as well as an overall sense of relaxation and wellbeing.
“Everything in Life is Vibration” – Albert Einstein
Tier 1 – US $1850 per person
Retreat price per person in single
Tier 2 – US $1650 per person
Retreat price per person in double
What is included?
Transportation to/from San Jose airport (arrival no later than 2:00 pm on November 16, 2024, 5 nights of lodging, all meals starting with dinner on November 16 and ending with lunch on November 21, 2024.
Cacao Tour and Night Tour are also included.
Pre Retreat reading materials and workbook
Special dietary restrictions will be accommodated.
All the described activities in the program
What is not included?
We understand that sometimes life happens and we want to be as flexible as we can be.
Cancellation up to 90 days before the event start: 100% refund Cancellation between 89 and 60 days before the event starts: 50% Cancellation between 59 and 30 days before the event starts: 25% Cancellation 29 days or less before the event: No refund
Register before June 3o, 2024 and receive an early-bird discount of 10%.
Use promotional code – EarlyBirdCR
Can I pay in installments?
What should I pack?
Notebook, situpon, any medications and or prescriptions you are taking, anything else you need to be comfortable. We will share any updates prior to the retreat.
How big will the group be?
Do I need any prior experience?
No, not at all. All you need is to come with an open heart and an open mind. All life experiences are welcome and will enrich the journey for everyone.
What is included and what not?
Will you be able to assist with airport transfers?
What is the weather like?
In Costa Rica, November is a transition month. The weather is usually humid, not too hot and it might get a little cooler at night. We will update you prior to the retreat.
Will I share my room? Are there any single accommodations available?
Some of the rooms are private single rooms, others are shared. Please reach out to us and we will work with you to get you the most suitable accommodation type for you.
The private (single) accommodations are limited and are on a first come – first serve basis.
I have special dietary restrictions. Are you able to accommodate them?
Can I travel with my partner if they don't take part of the retreat?
Is there wi-fi?
Yes, there is free wi-fi available in least the common areas of the venue.
Can I extend my stay after the retreat?
It depends on the retreats availability. Please contact us.