To read the full article with all pictures please visit One.Oneness. Laura Vendesceour from Paris visited me this winter in my apartment in Berlin. See extracts from the Interview below.
Paris/Berlin. April, 2019
INTEGRATING THE INVISIBLE IN THE HEALING PRACTICES
The first time I stumbled on Alisa’s Instagram, I was immediately fascinated by the world she has weaved with poetry and magic.
Alisa Reimer is a cultural scientist, yogini, curator, facilitator, co-creator of Soneiro Collective and hosts several retreats in Mallorca and Germany every year. In the middle of last winter, I spent an afternoon with her in her apartment in Berlin.
In all your practices and offerings, Art seems to be one of the core values of your work. How do you perceive Art as a tool for healing?
“Healing is a word that is charged with many different meanings. Everybody has a different interpretation and need of it. We can regard healing as the metaphor of the transformation of inner shadows into light. I like this metaphor because it reminds us that everything is inside of us and that energy must flow. The aim of my work is to show techniques to get in touch with the invisible, inner world and to show practices to work with it in a conscious way.”
Which art medium are you mostly using in your practice?
“I work with several mediums of art: sound, music, rituals, movement, poetry and colour. Each artistic practice triggers different inner aspects. I have seen how the resonance of sound helps to shift certain psychosomatic blockages; I have witnessed how color and meditative painting help us to face inner uncertainties, and how we can step out of everyday consciousness through poetry. All of these aspects are individual work. I am also in awe each time I see how a sense of “community healing” can happen in rituals where many people come together. Facilitating these spaces of profound healing is a great privilege.”
How has art played a role on your own spiritual journey?
“My active spiritual journey actually began when I was ten years old. At that age I started to create my own incense blends and little rituals in nature, inspired by books I read about the mythology of Avalon. Later in school, I would do it only secretly for myself until I decided to move to Mexico where I saw that magic is a substantial part of the culture. In 2013 I started to study at the Faculty of Philosophy at UNAM in Mexico City and travelled through the country for one year before doing a yoga teacher training. When I came back to Germany, I started to offer to others what I had begun just for myself so many years before: creating circles, rituals and intuitive realms of creative and artistic expression.
With the project Soneiro Collective I gave myself, other artists involved, our facilitators, our audience and participants the opportunity to connect through art and to be present through art. In our music meditations, which are two-hour long sonic journeys, we guide the participants into a visionary realm, the intuitive world. During the retreats we host, we have the time and space to go even deeper into this practice.”
“ THE AIM OF MY WORK IS TO SHOW TECHNIQUES TO GET IN TOUCH WITH THE INVISIBLE, INNER WORLD AND TO SHOW PRACTICES TO WORK WITH IT IN A CONSCIOUS WAY. ”
You have been curating holistic festival sceneries in the past years with Soneiro Collective. What has been the intention of bringing holistic work to Festivals?
“In 2015 I founded Soneiro Collective with my partner Temple Haze. Since then we are hosting international retreats, festival stages and workshops that are bringing together sound and meditation, ceremony and science and different holistic practices.
One essential part of our work has been to bring more awareness to spaces where it is not yet rooted: we have been sharing a lot of our art at international Festivals, where many people got in contact with conscious work for the first time and others used the opportunity to deepen their relation to it. For holistic work it is important to not just stay in the orbit where it is already a common thing. If we want that spirituality becomes more a part of the collective consciousness, we have to share it outside our own comfort zone.
Our festival curations invite the audience to experience the connection between art and consciousness, between personal development and community. For us, holistic work has to be accessible for different backgrounds, in a language that anybody can relate to and that leaves enough space for people to have their personal understanding of it. Otherwise, spirituality becomes a dogmatic theory, perpetuating regressive patterns that cannot be part of the „awakening“ we wish to see in the world.”
Returning to our inner authority seems always to be the key to stay aligned with who we truly are. What is your vision of the role of modern space holders, healers and guides?
“Spontaneously, there are two things coming up for me: integrity and knowledge. Each person’s work is grounded on different values – or should be.
Integrity is one value that I feel no facilitator should miss. We need a lot of honesty towards ourselves to live truthfully. Questions for integrity could therefore be: how much do I embody the things I am conveying to my audience with my work? How conscious is my way of living? Where do I make a difference in my own life?
We are living in the information age; knowledge that was once kept secret is now accessible to everyone, which is amazing. However, it is important not to lose the humility towards a certain topic or the audience one is presenting it to. Even though information is so accessible, the process of understanding and digesting it is still the same. Deep understanding requires a lot of inner work. I hope that facilitators in this age of information do not stay too much on the surface but dare do dig deep.”
“ IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT WE CANNOT TRANSLATE EVERYTHING INTO OUR LANGUAGE AND WESTERN MINDS: WE MUST LEAVE SOME SPACE FOR THE INVISIBLE AND INEXPLICABLE.”
What advice would you give to someone who is keen to deepen her or his healing journey but confused and overwhelmed by the amount of information and offerings that are out there?
“The easy accessibility of any kind of information makes it very important to never stop questioning what is out there. Be curious and smart and try to distinguish valuable information from distractive nonsense.
I have been researching and writing a lot about shamanism in the last years, especially for my academic work. I often stumbled across literature that is either trivializing or exoticizing this phenomenon. Both is not doing it justice. I therefore feel it is so necessary to generate an approach to it which shows its complexity and richness and stays authentic at the same time. Here, it is important to remember that we cannot translate everything into our language and western minds: we must leave some space for the invisible and inexplicable.
I aim to encourage people to follow their intuition on the path of discovering. Letting themselves be inspired by different practices and teachings but also questioning the obvious and discovering the ambiguous. We should never lose the urge to discover and feed our spirits with interesting thoughts and philosophies but we must be careful which information or offerings to trust. An awakened mind will find its path.”
Philosophy is also an important part of your practice. Can you explain how you integrate this science in your offerings?
“At each retreat, I am hosting “Philosophy Circles” in addition to the yogic, meditative and artistic program. I have been researching a lot about shamanistic practices in the last years during my studies in Mexico and Berlin and in my own research. Sharing insights about indigenous “cosmovision” and shamanistic practices is something I enjoy – and people love to get to this “other side of reality”. I recently submitted my master thesis at Humboldt-University of Berlin which investigates the relevance of an examination of shamanistic practices in cultural science.”
“ WE SHOULD NEVER LOSE THE URGE TO DISCOVER AND FEED OUR SPIRITS WITH INTERESTING THOUGHTS AND PHILOSOPHIES BUT WE MUST BE CAREFUL WHICH INFORMATION OR OFFERINGS TO TRUST. AN AWAKENED MIND WILL FIND ITS PATH. ”
Shamanism is based on the belief that only a fraction of the world can be seen as the rest lies in the invisible. Through that same prism, you’ve studied for a long time, the influence and special connection we have to the Moon.
“The Moon is another topic that I have done intense research on in recent years: observing it, connecting it to the feminine cycle but also academically researching the cultural history of human moon observation. I am sharing my insights during my Full Moon Retreats that I organize several times per year and in my regular women´s circles. I am not an expert in astronomy at all. My aim is rather to dive deeper into the discovery of our minds and spirits through a connection to the moon. In my philosophy circles, I enjoy teaching about moon mythology as well as different cultural approaches to it. I also cover more “practical” aspects, for example how to live with the moon and how to strengthen one’s own connection to the natural world. Moreover, I outline and explain different ways to pass through the cycles of life.”
What are the different projects you are working on this year with Soneiro Collective?
“Like every year we are hosting with Soneiro Collective several Yoga & Meditation retreats in which we are offering a very holistic program, including yoga and meditation classes, artistic practice, creative workshops, philosophy circles and sound meditations. One will be taking place in a traditional Finca in Mallorca in May, another in a nature reserve 90 min. from Berlin in September. In addition, four more women´s retreats will be happening this year; I am very much looking forward to them as I will be able to share a lot about the moon philosophy.
Our Music Meditation Nights in Berlin offer participants the chance to dive into a sonic, visionary world for two hours of meditation. These gatherings are happening every other month. As we also want to enter a creative process with our participants, we launched the Soneiro Laboratory this year, which is a weekend seminar in Berlin. Each Lab is dedicated to a different topic, for example how to work with sound.
You will also meet me and Soneiro Collective on certain festivals where we are curating the consciousness stage; we publish information on that through our social media profiles.
One very special project for this year is that we are working on our first full Soneiro Album: a high quality production of medicine music, mantras and meditative sounds that we want to launch on Spotify.”
And a personal wish or dream?
“Personally, I am looking forward to getting back into publishing in magazines and my own publications. A dream that I have had for many years is to write a book. Literature is one of my passions and my spiritual initiation as a child started when I entered a mystic realm constructed through words. Let´s see what this journey around the sun in 2019 will bring.”
ONE MINUTE INSPIRATION WITH ALISA
Rituals for self-love? Following my intuition and strengthening inner trust.
First thing you do in the morning? Processing the dreams I had.
Favorite self-care routine? Not my favorite but an very important one: saying no.
Rituals to rest and regenerate? In winter: Yin Yoga, taking a hot bath and working with sound. In summer: a weekend in Potsdam by the lake with a book and a drum.
Tools for self-healing? Trust. Being authentic and honest in every instance. Knowledge (reading, talking to knowledgeable people, studying).
One limiting belief or body imbalance you are still working on? Our bodies are a threshold between the inner and the outer world. The more we open our inner world and let it expand, the more challenging it can become to maintain this openness. I am working on letting the body dance through the fire in challenging times rather than letting mental or physical resistance manifest.
Favorite place to cultivate inspiration? Visionary meditations with the music we produce with Soneiro Collective anywhere. Lush nature in general. Going inside myself.
Your Guardians of Vision ? The women in my life and the women in my visions.