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Ricardo Gonçalves

I consider myself to be very fortunate! Not just because I was born and raised in a balanced and loving family, but also in a peaceful country with good values such as Portugal. I am very grateful to my parents, brother, family and friends for all the shared experiences, for all that I was taught (and still am) and for all the care...

Although I have always had much more than what I really needed, I think there has always been a part of me that wanted "something" more. Looking back, I see that I lived a good part of my life as if somehow I was asleep, mainly doing what I was expected, by culture, society and family. And as often happens, it was when I went through a situation of suffering that I felt a great need to look at that part of myself and try to understand it...

There were times in the past when I thought about leaving the country, to follow a more "traditional" spiritual path, but the truth is that I kept staying and trying to combine both worlds. Gradually, while working in a laboratory of Molecular Biology in Porto, I went looking for answers in the teachings of the ancient East (Ayurveda, Buddhism and others) as well as in the testimonies of some more awake people in the West and of our time (like Krishnamurti for example)...

Until one day, while visiting Casa Brahma website, I found the Awakened Life Project (ALP) and immediately felt a huge resonance not only the project itself, but also with the testimony of each of its members. I felt like a part of me was present in each one of them! (And the truth is that it really is :-) Meanwhile, inspired by what was being created at Quinta da Mizarela, as well as the unconditional support of my partner of many lives (Teresa :-), I finally decided to leave my old job and devote more seriously to spiritual growth and evolution. For over a year and a half of close contact with the ALP, I have participated in the Evolution of Consciousness course, meditation retreats and talks that have helped to broaden my view of who I am and what my purpose in this world is. Thanks also to the bigger availability of time, Teresa and I spent an intense month at Quinta da Mizarela as volunteers, where we not only learned a lot about ourselves and about the different dynamics of a community, but we also strengthened our relationship together. The fruit of this relationship is now completing his maturation in Teresa’s womb and that makes us want to evolve even more and have confidence in the Universe ...

I have learned through my experience that there is a part of me that limits, conditions, fools and prevents me from growing and evolving. That part of me that makes me feel separate from everything and everyone, can be called ego and I see it more and more as an impersonal force that if I allow it, can completely take control of my life. But what I also discovered, again in my experience, is that it only depends on me to liberate myself from this force, taking full and absolute responsibility for all my thoughts, feelings and actions, past, present and future! To do this, I need to be absolutely clear in my intention, at all times, assume all my responsibilities and accept things as they are. For someone so controlled and controller, as I have been throughout most of my life, it’s a very big challenge, but I accept it with humility, respect and an eagerness to grow and evolve…

I am grateful to the ALP members, particularly Pete and Cynthia, for the dedication with which they share their experience and the patience they have dealt with my advances and setbacks! I want to support the best in everyone, as you have done with me!

I am grateful to the spiritual brothers and sisters who I have found along the way, for the strength, strong intention and support in this wonderful journey of reencounter! It’s good to know that we are increasing, since this change only makes sense if we are together!

I am grateful to Casa Brahma for allowing me to "come home" and continue to share and learn so many good things!

I am grateful to Teresa, for the joyful way she shows me every day that life is a wonderful gift and that we should be thankful and accept it with a smile! For the unshakable confidence right from day one, for the everlasting patience and support, courage and clarity in my darkest moments! Thank you for growing our son with so much Love!

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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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