Mantra & Medicine weekend ~ Voice of the desert

For those of you who have been at our Mantra & Medicine weekends before: This is a longer full weekend edition. Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

Can you sense the fragrance of summer? An early morning walk through the forest, celebrating the full return of warmth and light. In this weekend retreat we gather to reconnect to the wisdom and spirit within. For healing and transformation in one of the most beautiful retreat centres of Brabant. A beautiful place in nature where you can breathe and be.

Tales from the Middle East: Story & Sound Experience
As you arrive at our Mantra & Medicine weekend, we welcome you with a sound-experience, to start your journey with a sense of wonder and relaxation. Our aim is to bring back the feeling of the المجلس ‘Majlis’, which translates to “a place of sitting” or “gathering” in Arabic. It traditionally refers to a space where people come together to share food, connect with each other, play music, tell stories, recite poems and discuss things. It’s a space where the bonds of community are forged and where guests are welcomed with warmth and offered food and refreshments. In this special opening session where you will be invited to sit or lay down in a relaxed way, we blend the soothing resonance of our instruments and our voices with the captivating art of storytelling.

Silent sitting
In this collective morning meditation, we join together as one, creating a powerful and harmonious energy field. The shared stillness invites us to hear the language spoken by our soul as we allow ourselves to be fully present.

Movement practice: Serpent power
It’s known to many cultures and mystical traditions all over the world that there is a universal life force. Our life force can get activated and awakened under certain conditions to strengthen or purify us and bring us into a higher consciousness. In the Yogic tradition this force is called; ‘Prana’. In the Taoist tradition ‘Chi’. In Christian mysticism ‘Incendium Amoris and Photismos’. In the shamanic traditions of the Inuit people it’s called ‘Quaumaneq’ and within Islamic mysticism (Sufism) it’s referred to as “the fire of separation,”. It is associated with ‘baraka’, a spiritual blessing in Islam. Baraka is believed to initiate the awakening of ‘lataif’ or chakra centers in the human nervous system.
This Saturday morning movement session focuses on energising the body and cultivating a heightened awareness of the subtle energies that flow within. We will explore gentle and intentional movement to open up our system in preparation for the evening ceremony.

Cacao & Microdosing ~ Mantra ceremony
On Saturday evening we come together for the highlight of this weekend: The singing circle. 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. The fusion of singing and altered states of consciousness is a tale as old as human history. Indigenous cultures and ancient civilisations understood that the voice could carry intentions and prayers, to the divine realms. It can tap into the depths of one’s feelings, revealing layers of suppressed emotions or unspoken truths and explore our innermost sensations.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….

You can read more about our Middle Eastern theme to get a feel for it here ⇣
More info

⏄ Breathwork
Breath is the essence of life, an involuntary action that sustains us from the moment we are born. In each of our events, we invite different experts in Wim Hof, Conscious connected breathing or Psychedelic Breath. Breathwork is a practice that harnesses the power of conscious, controlled breathing to influence our mental, emotional, and physical states. It encourages the release of suppressed emotions, offering a cathartic experience. This can aid in addressing unresolved issues and fostering emotional well-being. It also improves your immune system, eliminates toxins from the body and enhances your lung capacity.

The experiences and insights gained on the previous day can stir up emotions and feelings. The Sunday morning Breathwork session provides a safe and supportive environment for releasing any residual emotional blockages and helps you leave with a sense of emotional clarity.


I will guide this weekend together with my partner in life; Robert Tolenaars. We are both musicians that have crossed paths years ago, and since then we 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 we feel we offer a unique depth to any journey in which the power of sound and music is used as a way to inspire and heal. We guide you through the light as well as the dark. 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.


About Cacao
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.
Read everything about ceremonial Cacao here ↓
More info

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.
Read everything about magic truffles and microdosing here ↓
More info

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.

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, in the colours red or black. 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’.

⏄ 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!
Aileen Kennedy: Free spirit, Psychedelic Breath facilitator, therapeutic work for women. CHECK HER OUT!

⏀ Program & Time schedule (roughly)
Friday 12
16.00 onwards arrival.
16.30 opening circle
18.00 story & sound experience
20.00 Dinner and free time
Saturday 13
9.00 Silent sitting
9.30 Gentle movement practice
12.30 Brunch
16.00 Opening ritual
17.00 Start ceremony
22.00 End ceremony & late night dinner

Sunday 14
9.30 Psychedelic Breath session by Aileen
12.00 brunch
13.30 closing circle
 15.00 leaving time

About the location
AVANI means: ‘The good earth’, and stands for grounding. 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. The location is very close to the “Loonse en Drunense duinen” in Helvoirt. Take a look on their website.

Sleeping and other extra’s:
AVANI retreat has some beautiful dorm-rooms (6 beds each), private rooms and yurts available. (It’s also possible to go camping at ‘Minicamping ‘t Hoog’. This is a campsite at walking-distance)

NOTE: We totally understand that life has other plans sometimes and for some reason you are not able to join this event you were so much looking forward to. However, our event planning proces takes precise coordination, budgeting and agreements based on the amount of tickets sold. This is why we decided not to give refunds, because it otherwise simply isn’t possible for us to keep doing this work.
We dó have a few options though:
– You are free to resell your own ticket to someone you know, share it on your social media, or post in our FB event. Please inform us about the exchange, so we can update the name list.
– If there is a waiting-list, we will help you sell your ticket to someone else.
– For exceptional cases please contact us.
*24h before the start of this event we are not available anymore to help you sell your ticket, due to preparations.

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Jul 12 - 14 2024



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AVANI retreat
't Hoog 3, Helvoirt