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Katja Schläfli

Over 4 years ago I arrived at the Quinta, not knowing it would completely change my life. I thought it was a permaculture community project, where they practice meditation. Even though I was about to go through the intensive course of the project, I took it lightly.  On a superficial level, I just wanted to experience living in community and learning about meditation. Of course, on a deeper level, my Heart was longing for something more than that: for Intimacy, real Love and heartfelt Wisdom. And: This is what I found there. I found people who are interested and willing to experiment together with what it means to live a life in unity and in realness and stand for that. So instead of 2 months, I ended up staying for over 2 years. ( :

A journey began and it took me from Portugal to India and now back to Switzerland. It’s an adventure. A journey that has turned my world view and my life upside down in a good way. The Heart starts to be felt. I start to express more who I really am by knowing less who I am.

Life becomes more and more surprising. It’s a mysterious process. To not know becomes exciting instead of scary. Even in hard times, everything is part of it. There is a perfection in this journey. To live this with other people, who also want to live and express who they really are, is the most beautiful dream coming true.

I’m inspired.

Stillness appearing.

In the waves of thought, emotions and sensations

Nothing left

But Pure Presence

Past gone, future not here

Never it was

A silent excitement

What comes next?


Not knowing

Clear direction



And the Heart is full




I want to also  write about my experience of going through a period of complete not knowing on a lot of levels in my life -


At first, even with no job and no clear indication on what to do next, I didn’t stop doing and wanting to know. I wanna to know something! At least, I wanted that I get well again as I was struggling with some health issues. And I was thinking and thinking. What to do next? Planning my next steps. Analyzing my emotions. Every new symptom, a problem at first. With that came fear and confusion. In the midst of that, my past was very present in my experience. I wanted to let go of the past and yet I was clinging on to it:

But the funny thing is: Everything around the past is arising now. And Now. I was clinging on to thoughts around the past. I was making them real. Like it would happen today. I was holding on to thoughts, like, I can never get over this or that. Get over what? A thought? It makes me laugh!

By writing, I became aware that it all sounds very simple and self-explanatory. But how many times, did I forget this simple truth? The so called past does not exist anymore. It is only thought. And yet we make a very big thing out of the past. Our past. It gave me so much security and safety. To know something, to have an identity, even though it was heavy to cling on to this identity.  

To recognize and to embody it are two different things. Integration takes time. I don’t know, how much I’m still identified with the past. I just know that something seems to lift. Like a fog, which was around the Heart. If I want to change something, I can. I can change and act different now. This way, the past changes too. By acting in a different way now, the so called past changes. It blows my mind, but it is happening.

Katja Schlafli, Switzerland




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About the project

The Awakened Life Project is situated in a beautiful and wild ecological reserve in the mountains Central Portugal. We offer volunteer programs, courses, events and retreats to support the liberation of the human spirit in a context of evolutionary emergence and communion with the ecological web of life.


Quinta da Mizarela
3305-031 Benfeita
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