People are longing for a connection with something greater. However, as we as a society outgrow religious dogmas, most people feel lost in the void. A modern seeker must look for an individual path, through which spirituality can be experienced at a personal level.
Vlada de Sousa, Bliss Body Journeys’ Founder & Spiritual Teacher, is guiding people all over the world to discover how the Divine can support and be a guiding force into a more meaningful life.
After spending one year in Hong Kong, you are now launching a new program in Europe. What is the intention behind it?
“Heart of The Divine” is a 7-day meditation retreat in Tuscany that was designed by me with the purpose of taking people out of their mundane routines, and exposing them to all the beauty life can offer.
Every day we miss seeing the mysteries around us because we are too busy looking at our phones, watching TV, or burning at work. I want people to remember that we actually live in a world that is absolutely magical.
Helping our guests observe the sacredness in every small thing around, and remind them that life is much more than a set of never-ending tasks.
And how do we get to this place of receptivity?
For us to be able to see Divinity, we must first get out of our headspace. The reality is that we usually interact with the world through our two eyes, through the things we see and the subsequent mind chatter.
But if we approach life only through our rational mind, we will not be able to perceive and sense what our brain cannot reach, we will not be able to process what exists beyond the material world.
The rational mind is a very dry place, where everything feels like black and white. So my intention is to help people disengage from their minds, so they can rediscover a new color palette that life and spirituality can provide.
At the retreat, I aim to bring guests into a heightened state of consciousness, through practices like breathwork and meditation that can open the gates to our subconscious parts in need of healing or liberation.
So breathwork, energy healing, meditation, yoga, vibrational therapy, and many other practices will serve as tools for this expansion of consciousness.
Every day will be an exciting journey of reconnection through various spiritual practices. Every day will feel like an expedition to find the Divine in all places: within ourselves; within other people; within all the living beings and nature elements. And by day seven, it will feel like we are not living in the grey area anymore.
You’ve been offering retreats all around the world ever since 2016. How do you choose the destinations for these journeys?
I pick the locations for Bliss Body Journeys’ retreats in a very intuitive way. It might be the best property in the world, the most beautiful, convenient, or luxurious, but if it doesn’t feel right, I won’t take it. Our journeys are sacred, so they must take place in special locations.
For the “Heart of The Divine” meditation retreat, I chose Tuscany, in Italy, also in an intuitive way. Later on, I discovered that the space was built on top of a volcano crater, carrying potent energy that is exactly what we need to boost our spiritual growth and endure transformation.
Also, this venue offers a nature immersion: there are animals all around, you will see donkeys, dogs, and horses, and they are all free. I really like to have breakfast while watching the animals running around. It feels like we are in the Garden of Eden.
There is just something magical that happens in that place. So it becomes the perfect container for our sacred retreat. I’m very looking forward to enjoying the beginning of Summer there.
You call this meditation retreat a heart-awakening experience. What exactly does this mean?
I really like to use that expression but I understand sometimes it might sound a bit vague. Truth is when you have a heart-awakening experience, you cannot confuse it with anything else. It is really something to experience for yourself.
But what I can say is that heart awakening is when we truly go from head to heart, and start perceiving reality in a different way, bringing more attention, focus, and energy into our spiritual center, which is our heart.
When we do that, we stop being limited by rational thinking and start expanding our perception, so we open ourselves to experience the energies of the Divine
So heart awakening is the moment when something opens inside of us, and we don’t feel contracted anymore. We start feeling a sense of spaciousness that brings a deep understanding that we are free and unlimited. That we are not only the body and that there is way more to this life experience than what we can see through our two eyes.
With meditation and other spiritual practices, we can tap in, again, and again, into this heart center. That is what I will be doing in the “Heart of The Divine” meditation retreat.
It is not easy to open ourselves, that is why the environment of the retreat is so important. At Bliss Body Journeys, we carefully design programs that can gently take guests through this path, holding space and creating a container where it is safe to explore and go beyond the known.
It sounds beautiful and transforming. Would you say this meditation retreat is suitable for first-stage meditators?
In reality, I mostly work with people who have zero or very little experience in meditation and spirituality. And I love being able to introduce people to this different perspective on life. That is my biggest passion.
So these practices are not just for beginners or just for advanced practitioners. They are simply invitations, and the only thing that person needs to have is curiosity and willingness. That is more than enough.
To have beautiful spiritual realizations, you don’t have to have any other experience, you just need this openness to find something you haven’t found before.
Vlada de Sousa works as a meditation teacher, energy healer, and spiritual mentor, helping people all over the world on their path to self-realization. The new program she designed for her brand Bliss Body Journeys is being launched this June in Italy. Learn more about it here.