After earning his MD in Texas, John moved to NYC to complete his residency training in psychiatry at Mount Sinai. He practiced in New York as a clinical psychopharmacologist for many years, treating a wide variety of mental health disorders....
The Awakening of Consciousness, A Sacred Medicine Retreat
This retreat is a unique + powerful offering to our community, as we will explore Sacred Medicine in conjunction with deep breathwork, meditation, and movement, to create profound shifts in participants lives.
This retreat is for those who want to connect with source, to expand their consciousness, and to do transformational personal work to peel away deep seated trauma and fear.
On this retreat we will be working with toad medicine, the venom from the Sonoran Desert Toad or Bufo Alvarius which is a vital part of many shamanic ceremonies. Its active ingredient (5-MeO-DMT) is also known as the God molecule. This medicine is smoked with the guidance of our facilitators. Our goal is to facilitate profound healing in a safe, compassionate, and supportive setting. The cornerstones of this retreat is soul integration through deep healing on all levels: physical, emotional, psychological, energetic, and spiritual.
Participants can expect 2-3 ceremonies in total. They will be a mix of one-on-one and small group sessions, combining shamanic practice along with a therapeutic approach. The medicine is used as a tool to access one’s subconscious mind, process trauma, and release emotions stored in the body. We offer the framework for participants to access to their true self through the process of inquiry, preparation, and intention. The role of our facilitator is to support the unfolding of the individual experience and evoke curiosity rather than guide or direct, maximizing the inward experience catalyzed by the medicine.
Due to the nature of this retreat, we have a robust application process for this program. Interested applicants can expect to fill out a detailed application form as well as have a phone call with one of our facilitators prior to being confirmed for this program.
We offer Sacred Medicine Ceremonies only in countries where use of these medicines are permitted. We offer a ceremonial context for this work and do not distribute or provide advice related to obtaining substances. The use and application of these medicines are at the attendee’s decision, responsibility and risk. We reserve the right to use our discretion to refuse anyone that we deem to be unfit for these experiences.
About Awakening Consciousness
Portugal’s beauty is subtle and understated - the magic here is witnessed only when you slow down. Portugal's beauty is lived + experienced.
The area were heading to is called Coastal Alentejo, and you probably haven't heard of it (that's a good thing). It's far removed from the coastal tourist culture of the rest of Europe. The beaches are windswept and untouched. As you move inland, golden rolling hillsides give way to a rugged coastline, traditional whitewashed villages, and majestic medieval towns.
Traditional farming here is a way of life. Cork production still continues. Even at our property, the eggs come from our chickens, the cheese from our neighbors sheep, and olives from an olive grower down the road. The birds here are some of the most majestic you'll see, and the walking paths, like the Costa Vicentina, are world renowned.
The Retreat Center
Cocoon is a 275 acre farm and dedicated retreat center on the Atlantic Coast of Portugal, offering inspiration + community for the modern traveller. It's also pure magic, where between the oversized hammocks and the freshwater lake, you'll start to lose track of time. The kind of place where each morning is a celebration, practicing under the canopy of old growth pines, but so is each evening, with incredible farm-to-table meals and elevated dinner conversation. The Guardian recently rated Cocoon "One of the Top 20 Yoga Retreat Centers in the World" and Yogascapes voted it "Top 10 Retreat Centers in Portugal."
Check out this gorgeous 90 second video of Cocoon, which was actually filmed during one of our programs!
Cocoon is situated on the breathtaking Atlantic coast of Portugal, near the charming fishing village of Vila Nova de Milfontes, in the Alentejo region, which is known for its long stretches of untouched coastline and charming white-washed villages. From Lisbon, its roughly two hours drive south, entirely dependent on how many espressos you’ve had. The ocean, with bluffs, trails, and sandy coves, is a 15 minutes drive.
There are two yoga shalas at Cocoon. The pine shala is nestled under the canopy of old growth pines, with the occasional sheep or goat roaming around nearby. The pine shala is a dream for morning mediation and practice, especially as the morning fog rolls in. The indoor shala is lightfilled, with high ceilings and traditional hand-made Santa Catarina tiles, which are a joy to practice on
Expect three healthy, lovingly-prepared meals each day. Strong coffee (yes, coffee) and herbal teas are available throughout the day. For breakfast, expect homemake granolas, greek yogurt, local honey, homemade jam, frittata, chia pudding, fresh local fruit, and slow-rise breads. Lunch is typically lighter, like a bowl of ancient grains. Dinner is served family style, expect things like curry, ancient grains, salads, and soups. Our menu is always changing, depending on what's available. Local Portuguese Wine is available for purchase at a reasonable price. We fly in a different chef each year, and so the menu changes according to their personal style. The menu items listed above are just to give you an idea!
The rooms are clean, bright, and simple. Cocoon has 10 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms.There's different options for different budgets. You'll have your own bed in either a shared double or triple room, your preference. You can have a room with an en-suite bathroom, or share a bathroom between two rooms. Please keep in mind this is not a resort - it's a Portuguese farmhouse. If you are looking for a JW Mariott with staff, central AC and turn-down service, this is NOT the retreat for you. If you appreciate understated beauty, barefoot adventures, a freshwater lake, peacocks, pine forests + salty air, then this PERFECT for you! The property is so spacious, with many places to relax, chat or study - and that from our experience people really only use their rooms to sleep.
How To Arrive. Fly into Lisbon. Rent a car, and enjoy the two hour drive to Cocoon. Stop at Camporta Cafe for a fabulous lunch and a swim, and check in anytime after 2pm. If you don't feel comfortable renting a car (or just don't want to), we can pair you with someone else arriving at the same time, so that you can drive together. Renting a car in Portugal is extremely easy & affordable. If you have time before or after the training, we highly recommend a couple nights in Lisboa!
8am - 10am
A deep morning practice with Anton. Morning practice will be a mix of rigorous intentional movement, breath-work, and meditation.
10am - 11:30am
Enjoy a healthy breakfast. Expect local fruit, greek yogurt, eggs from our chickens, slow-rise bread, homemade jam, and strong coffee.
11:30am - 2pm
Chill out by the lake, adventure to the beach, or take a nap on one of the hammocks.
2pm - 3pm
A light lunch.
3pm - 5pm
We will offer Sacred Medicine Ceremony three times during the week. Each ceremony is completely optional.
5pm - 6:30pm
The afternoon activity really varies. Most participants enjoy immersing themselves in nature, whether at Cocoon, at the beach, walking along the bluffs, or writing.
7pm - 9pm
Local farm-to-table dinner. Local wine is available at a very reasonable price.
Sleep, stargaze, skinnydip
When not standing on his hands, most of Anton’s adult life has been spent travelling the world, with the common thread linking his varied life experience being a search for the extraordinary. From founding a sustainable footwear brand, to working...
Allison Sloan discovered her yoga practice while studying philosophy in the mountains of Santa Fe, instilling in her a sense of calmness she has carried with her ever since. In 2014 she completed her 200 hour training in New York...
I've been to Tuscany and Costa Rica with The Sacred Fig and cannot thank Anton enough for spiking my interest in yoga retreats. First of all, his teaching style is genius; technical and fun. The co-leaders he selects bring valuable contributions to the retreat. It's been a year since Tuscany, but I'm still using Amber's Nidra (physic sleep) download if I can't get my eight hours of sleep in NY. Grace helped me not only learn yoga but both her and Anton were the perfect mentors when we went horse-riding in the beautiful & wild Costa Rican jungle. There is never a dull moment on these retreats, I only wish they were longer! Personally, I have enjoyed every moment. I've learned how to make Tiramisu in Italy, and Tamales in Costa Rica. Yoga away from routine life provided me with a new perspective, it has opened my heart and calmed me down... it's just what these retreats do. I cannot wait to experience another new country (and new poses!) with The Sacred Fig - the best!
I find that when you meet a spirit with an exceptionally radiant, guiding light, you feel the desire to surround yourself with their presence. And if you’re fortunate enough to find this light source, it’s a gift. Anton Brandt, founder of The Sacred Fig, has a sparkle that exudes from an authentic place of ease and happiness deep within.
I took off the day after Christmas to head to Costa Rica for my first Sacred Fig retreat... AMAZING doesn't begin to describe it! Being on a Sacred Fig retreat was simply the best medicine for my soul. The location was magical. Even being a beginner yogi, I immediately felt very comfortable, and Anton was the best teacher I could have asked for. I highly recommend joining a Sacred Fig retreat!!
what you get
- Accomodations for the duration of the retreat
- 3 farm-to-table vegetarian meals per day, for the duration of the course, including spring water, coffee and local teas
- Access to the entire 275 acre property, including lake, bicycles, animals, and wifi
- One or two yoga classes each day with The Sacred Fig faculty
- Two private, guided Sacred Medicine ceremonies
All inclusive of the above:
USD $1800 (Single bed in shared triple room w/ ensuite bathroom. Full payment due by June 8th, 2020.)
USD $2000 (Single bed in shared double room. Bathroom is shared between two rooms. Full payment due by June 8th, 2020.)
USD $2400 (Single bed in shared double room w/ ensuite bathroom. Full payment due by June 8th, 2020.)
USD $3800 (Private Room w/ shared bath. Full payment due by June 8th, 2020.)
USD $4000 (Private Room w/ ensuite bath. Full payment due by June 8th, 2020.)
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