Media ResourcesPress ReleasesHeartFire Presents a Rare Mayan Cacao Ceremony with Tz’utujil Elder Nana Marina Cruz at Naropa University

HeartFire Presents a Rare Mayan Cacao Ceremony with Tz'utujil Elder Nana Marina Cruz at Naropa University

BOULDER, CO, UNITED STATES, October 13, 2023 — Naropa University and Heartfire Productions are excited to announce a unique opportunity to experience an authentic Mayan Cacao Ceremony with Tz’utujil Elder, Nana Marina Cruz. Nana Marina will be guiding the cacao ceremony at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, on October 27th in honor of Dias de Los Ancestros (“days of the ancestors”). The ceremony will delve into the ancient wisdom of the Mayan tradition, combining indigenous practices, sacred teachings, and the medicinal power of Cacao.

Nana Marina Cruz is an esteemed Ajq’ii (ceremonial leader and spiritual guide) from the Tz’utujil tribe of Lago Atitlán in Guatemala. Her deep-rooted knowledge, passed down from her father, Tata Pedro Cruz, another great Maya Elder, makes this event a rare chance for local residents to be in ceremony with a Maya Elder.

The Mayan Cacao Ceremony will pay homage to this seasonal transition, a sacred time when the boundaries between realms is thin. Participants will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the rich tradition of Cacao, a sacred teacher-plant revered for its healing properties. The ceremony will also celebrate ancestral connections and explore the energies and signs of the Mayan calendar.

Cacao, known for its healing qualities, serves as a conduit to nourish the body, open the heart, and activate the mind and spirit. Participants are encouraged to approach the ceremony on an empty stomach to fully embrace the transformative experience.

HeartFire Productions is proud to partner with The Keating-Schachter Center for Interspirituality and Naropa’s Department of World Wisdom Traditions to bring this authentic indigenous ceremonial practice to an accredited university setting. This event marks the beginning of an ongoing partnership that aims to host continued opportunities with distinguished guests.

Co-founder and Producer of Heartfire, Yasha S. Wagner, explains, “There is now a rapidly growing interest in consciousness research at Naropa University and many other schools, from Johns Hopkins to Stanford. However, modern research is often in dire need of more direct inner transmission from the ancestral lineages that steward the ancient knowledge of sacred consciousness research. Our new initiative will ground and upgrade that modern research within the context of tradition through these amazing experiential learning opportunities.”

This event is expected to fill up quickly due to its limited capacity, so attendees are encouraged to register promptly to secure their spot.
Event Details:
Date: October 27th, 2023
Time: 5:45-9:15pm
Location: Naropa University, Boulder, Colorado
Register here

For Deeper Studies: For those seeking a more in-depth exploration of Cacao and the Mayan Cosmovision, additional opportunities are available during Nana Marina’s week-long visit to Colorado. Two-day in-depth training and a special Cacao Ceremony are being offered at Sanctorum Ecovillage near Colorado Springs.

For more information and to stay updated on upcoming events, sign up for HeartFire Productions’ mailing list.

Sponsors and Collaborators:
HeartFire Productions
Charis Foundation 501(C)3
Naropa University
Worldchangers Organization 501(C)3
Sanctorum Ecovillage
And other affiliates

For media inquiries, please contact:
Cassandra Smith
Director of Marketing & Communications
Naropa University

About Naropa University:

Naropa University, nestled in Boulder, Colorado, was established in 1974 by Tibetan Buddhist teacher Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Drawing its name and inspiration from the teachings of the 11th-century Indian Buddhist sage Naropa, this private university stands out distinctly among America’s higher education landscape in its effort to integrate eastern wisdom with traditional western scholarship. Recognized as the pioneering force behind contemplative higher education and the start of the modern mindfulness movement, Naropa University is the sole institution to integrate a university-wide contemplative pedagogical approach. At Naropa, education transcends the ordinary; the institution embraces the entirety of its students—mind, body and spirit—augmenting traditional methodologies with practices like meditation. Since receiving its accreditation in 1986, Naropa University consistently upholds the exacting standards for quality and accountability set by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Learn more at

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This is where experiential learning meets academic rigor. Where you challenge your intellect and uncover your potential. Where you discover the work you’re moved to do—then use it to transform our world.

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Naropa Campuses Closed on Friday, March 15, 2024

Due to adverse weather conditions, all Naropa campuses will be closed Friday, March 15, 2024.  All classes that require a physical presence on campus will be canceled. All online and low-residency programs are to meet as scheduled.

Based on the current weather forecast, the Healing with the Ancestors Talk & Breeze of Simplicity program scheduled for Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday will be held as planned.

Staff that do not work remotely or are scheduled to work on campus, can work remotely. Staff that routinely work remotely are expected to continue to do so.

As a reminder, notifications will be sent by e-mail and the LiveSafe app.  

Regardless of Naropa University’s decision, if you ever believe the weather conditions are unsafe, please contact your supervisor and professors.  Naropa University trusts you to make thoughtful and wise decisions based on the conditions and situation in which you find yourself in.