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Meditation Retreat: A Journey into Pure Being - MAY
30/04/2021 @ 18:00 — 2/05/2021 @ 18:00
Awakened Life Project, Benfeita, Arganil
250,00 €
If we want to be free, if we want to live a life of profound wholeness and purpose, then we need to discover and become grounded in the source of our Being. In this weekend retreat we will dive deeply into the experience of meditation, not through a technique, but through discovering our natural state...

***********Due to the Corona Virus situation we are living in uncertain times now.  We are planning to go forward with all of our events until we find out that it is not possible.  If you would like to reserve your space please inscribe and pay your deposit.  If the event does not happen we will be happy to return your deposit.  We will cancel at least 7-10 days before the event so you know ahead of time.  Let's hope for the best and see what happens!  We hope everyone is doing well and staying safe.*******************​

"The way Peter speaks and transmits ultimate Truth is deeply touching and leaves you in a state of awe and bliss. I never thought it's possible to 'see' Reality just by listening to someone speak about it."

Discounted price available for those who have their own tents to offer - see below in pricing section.

This is an opportunity to put aside the routine of our everyday lives and give ourselves completely to spiritual practice in a supportive collective context.

If we want to be free, if we want to live a life of profound wholeness and purpose, we need to discover and become grounded in the source of our Being. In this weekend retreat we will dive deeply into the experience of meditation, not through a technique, but through a direct discovery our natural state.

Experiencing awakened consciousness and sharing that discovery with others is the most fulfilling and liberating experience we can have. When we discover direct access to our inherent freedom we find ourselves in communion with Life, fearlessly open to the future, and able to respond with clarity, creativity and spontaneity.

The radically simple yet profound approach to meditation that Peter shares is a direct doorway to this miracle of Spiritual Awakening. The instructions are so simple that anyone can begin without any previous experience. At the same time, the subtlety that is revealed about the nature of mind and the truth of non-duality offers infinite depth to even the most experienced meditator.

The retreat will be held in silence except for teaching periods and question and answer sessions. No previous meditation experience is necessary and people from all faiths and spiritual orientations can benefit.

Listen to an interview with in which Peter shares some of the highlights of his own spiritual journey from almost ordaining as a Buddhist monk to co-founder of The Awakened Life Project, how we understands and teaches meditation and what happens on his meditation retreats. Click on the image below...


In this video in English and Portuguese you can hear from participants and get a sense of what it is like at Quinta da Mizarela...


This retreat will include a daily session of qi gong in the mornings with Peter. What the Chinese called Qi and the Indians called Prana is the subtle life force energy that emanates from pure consciousness. Qi can be understood as arising in the space between formlessness and form. Therefore the cultivation of Qi can help us to embody our formless spirit in and through our individuality. 

Peter will guide you in some simple qi gong postures and movements that are very relaxing and energizing. Some are silent standing postures and some are flowing movements of improvisational dance that we will do to soft, inspirational music. Many people find that the qi gong is a perfect compliment to the meditation practice.

If the weather is warm enough we will do the qi gong barefoot outside on the grass.


Peter will give you contemplations to read on such subjects as the nature of thought, emotion, body, time, space and creation. These contemplations have the power to illuminate conditioned patterns of thinking and perceiving that keep us trapped in false and limiting ideas and beliefs. 

In combination with meditation, these contemplations can open you to the direct perception of non-duality or oneness. Many participants have experienced life changing revelations and understandings as a result of this combination of meditation and contemplation, together with the opportunity to explore the contemplations further with Peter in the question and answer sessions.



7am Meditation

8am Optional Qi Gong 

9am Breakfast

10 -1pm Meditation Sessions

1pm Lunch

2-3pm Free Time

3-5pm Meditation Sessions

5-5.30pm Tea Break

5.30-6.30 Meditation

6.30 - 8pm Dinner

8 - 9.30pm Question & Answer


We offer a discounted rate for Portuguese to reflect the different economic reality here compared with Northern Europe and America. Price includes everything for the retreat. Because we have limited space we offer a 50 euro discount for the retreat for those who can bring their own tents.  We have 4 rooms available for those who need them and also we have tents for those who don't have their own.​

Regular Prices:

For Portuguese and Spanish Resident: 250€ 

For Foreigners and Portuguese living outside of Portugal: 300€ 

If you have a sincere desire to participate in this retreat but you have financial difficulty and need a discount in order to attend please write to us and tell us why you want to come to the retreat and what price you can afford.

Prices include three delicious vegetarian meals every day, including vegetables and wild greens harvested from the Quinta.

In a time when many talk about starting a revolution, it was really important to understand that the real revolution that really has to start is the revolution of consciousness, and the strong and deep feeling of wanting to be free. In the emptiness while sitting in deep relaxation I could see the seer that sees all the fake action of my mind, and I understood that we all have what we need to be happy, we just have to make the choice to finally want to be free. Relax, enter into the amazing space that will, not knowing how, change our whole perceptive on life, and then all your actions in life will be different. Do not be afraid what you gonna discover, just let it go! And this changed my life forever.
Frederico Cabral, Lisbon

The retreat starts at 19:00 Friday with dinner. There are 3 meditation sessions in the morning and then 4 in the afternoon and evening on Saturday, 3 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon on Sunday. Every day there are question and answer sessions so that you are fully supported as you go through the retreat.

We ask that people arrive between 17:00 - 19:00 if possible on Friday night so you can get settled before dinner. Dinner is served at 19.30. We have an orientation at 9pm and this is the official start of the retreat. If you cannot arrive by 8:45 please eat dinner on the road and if you can't arrive by 9pm please let us know. 

The retreat silence officially ends at 18.00pm on Sunday. Everybody usually stays for a while afterwards to share the ecstatic joy and unity and enjoy some tea and healthy delicious cakes together.


I have to share with you the feeling of happiness I have been carrying with me since the retreat. It is overwhelming to perceive the difference inside me, despite the shortness of the time we spent together. Yet you emanate such a positive energy that makes it impossible to stay indifferent if one is prepared to open up to your teachings and valuable approach. I feel in balance with what surrounds me. I feel closer to others, to nature, to what is important. I feel closer to the essence of self, which has allowed me to develop more acceptance. I am more inclined to harmony and love and it seems I am discovering certain aspects of life as if I were seeing them for real for the first time ever. I might not have experienced the ultimate state of enlightenment, however I am positive that, with your guidance, I was able to go through a door which will take me to the next stage of consciousness.
Rita Martins, Portugal

A retreat not to be missed! Absolutely transformative and powerful! I never imagined that just stopping for one week to meditate and to contemplate could have such a profound impact on my life. It is one week later and I still have the sense that the retreat touched me in ways I still can not see. Everything is much more meaningful and feels like a new beginning. It was all magical ... the landscapes (including a stroll and meditation on the beach), the delicious food, the unity of the group even in silence, the contemplations on non-duality that Peter gave us, the questions and answers at night. Simply amazing ... no more words to describe it! Ana Fonseca, Porto 



Articles by Retreat Participants:

Meditation opens us to the Eternal One Moment...

My First Meditation Retreat

The Radiance of Being

The Joy of Being Who I AM




I could not believe the simplicity of Pete’s meditation. There was practically nothing to it. But it was deep, and intense. By the end of the weekend, a powerful bond had formed in the group of people. I left feeling energised, and totally empowered! So I did a meditation in the morning, as Pete suggested, and felt great after it. The weekend was an eye opener for me, even if my eyes were closed most of the time!!
Steve Nicholls, UK

I have now been on two of Pete’s meditation retreats, and I found each one incredibly powerful. Being at the retreats was like a clear, strong wind, blowing through all my dusty corners and bringing me to a cleaner, clearer place. I meditate regularly, but somehow Pete’s instructions, and the answers he gave in the “question and answer” sessions seemed to clarify things for me. At both retreats there were people who had never meditated before, and others who meditated regularly. It didn’t matter. We all seemed to go somewhere together. The feeling of stillness and oneness grew steadily through each retreat. Pete’s teaching reminded us that we all have a choice: do we really want to be free more than anything else? The meditation room was filled with the power of that choice.
Mim Elkan, UK


On friday the moment when we went into the silence together really made me realize how I have forgotten to embrace it. It was such a beautiful moment. I still get chills when thinking back to that realization. It was like suddenly an old, forgotten friend appeared back into my life. It made me re-unite with this beautiful emptiness that we all share, and I now am very dedicated to connect with it more and more often. This was a very purifying and inspiring weekend in many ways but I dont know how to verbalize it that much. I’m now meditating daily and the awareness of the space between my thoughts and my being is with me and makes me see myself more stable no matter what’s happening around.
Tiina Arjukka, Finland

The whole weekend was a very beautiful experience. The place, food, nice people and meditation itself. That is why together we could create a very calm, still energy to go into the deepest place in ourselves. I realized how much I try too hard to meditate and work with myself by trying to change my experience and that I can relax more and let my experience be as it is.
Maki Quayle, Japan

In a time when many talk about starting a revolution, it was really important to understand that the real revolution that really has to start is the revolution of consciousness, and the strong and deep feeling of wanting to be free. In the emptiness while sitting in deep relaxation I could see the seer that sees all the fake action of my mind, and I understood that we all have what we need to be happy, we just have to make the choice to finally want to be free. Relax, enter into the amazing space that will, not knowing how, change our whole perceptive on life, and then all your actions in life will be different. This changed my life forever.
Frederico Cabral, Lisbon

This weekend I was given a valuable tool that gave me a more self-knowledge and clarity, in an profoundly experiential way and not just theoretically. I realized what I am not and was gradually able to disidentify myself from of objects of consciousness (material, emotional and cognitive) and thus discover who I am – the Nameless, the Source! When you read the steps to enlightenment as told by Buddha the last of his steps consisted of a long meditation in which he undertook a titanic struggle with Mara (symbolizing his ego) and this final step meant of even letting go of the desire for enlightenment itself to eventually reach and realize Spiritual Liberation. This weekend I realized that the type of meditation that Pete taught us was that which most closely approximates to the descriptions I read about the kind of meditation that Buddha recommended. Thank you, Peter, for these invaluable lessons!
Joao Patente, Lisbon 

Participating in the meditation retreat for the evolution of consciousness was a very interesting experience! The vegetarian food was delicious. Staying in silence the whole weekend and meditating in a group was an experience of preparation for life. I feel I came away from the retreat stronger, happier, more whole. I felt the love and life force! Thanks Pete.
Celia Carvalho, Coimbra


This retreat was a unique opportunity to jump right into silence and have no concerns or distractions, which allowed me to experience almost “heaven on earth”! I could truly enjoy every moment … the beauty of the place, great food and the company of others in the silence, all the conditions were perfect so that we could totally devote ourselves only to be present and be. It was extraordinary to gain more objectivity about the workings of my mind and understand the strategies of the ego to keep me busy. For me, the meditation group and how it was organized was very powerful and after the retreat, I noticed big changes in daily meditations. I feel really grateful to have participated, thank you!
Natascha Leite, Coimbra

For me, the retreat was a unique opportunity to delve deeply into my being, realizing the importance of silence, peace and integration it brings to all aspects of my being in the moment. All the energy and care taken in organizing the retreat made me feel at home, welcomed and protected, surrounded by much love. Inside me, something changed.
Madeline Lucena, Lisbon

Thank you for the wonderful experience I had this week-end, I felt the importance that meditation has to call us to the silence of Being and help us to relativize our problems, realizing that most of them are only in our head. The vegetarian diet was also an important aspect during the retreat, as it gives enough energy without making us feel full, very good!
Luis Miguel Francisco, Lisbon

I had never meditated before and it was a revelation of joy and clarity for me. Knowing ourselves inwardly is simply everything!
Paulo Conde, Braga

This was the first time I participated in meditation and it was way beyond my expectations! First of all the perfect location, away from the hustle of city life, then the wonderful hospitality and best vegetarian food I ever tasted. Then the silence full of energy that we shared…it was wonderful and profound to simply be able to sit still and try to discover who I am, who we are. A week later I’m still integrating everything I felt and finding a way to keep that peace alive in my daily life. This experience has totally changed my perspective on the world and motivated me to be what I really am. Thank you!
Raquel Duro, Porto

It was a wonderful weekend of awakening of consciousness.
Joanna Santos, Porto

The meditation retreat was a challenge very well received. The quality of the hospitality, as well as the guidance by Pete, exceeded my expectations. This was just a starting point. Meditation has proved to be a powerful instrument of change, that we want to dig into in order to expand the positive impact on my life and those around me. It was because I believe that meditation could be a way to strengthen my inner strength that I enrolled in this retreat. What I experienced, as well as what I shared with other participants, reinforced this conviction. Meditation has proved to be an ally in what I consider to be the goal to seek ever more each passing day: the connection between human beings and between them and the world. I returned this weekend convinced that meditation goes hand in hand with love. Thank you to everyone who participated and will continue to participate in this process.
Sara Leao, Porto

I gotta say that I loved this retreat, it was very transforming. I am a different person, and I continue to change, to grow … I’ll do whatever I can to pursue this path because I think we have to join, unite efforts, if we really want to change the world!
Vitor Vasconcelos, Lisbon

Many thanks to you (and your team of angels) for a beautiful weekend. Several days on I am feeling the meditation went deeper than I realised at the time. The simple instructions – “Be still, relax, have no relationship with the content of consciousness,” have stayed with me and arise repeatedly throughout my day whenever I notice identification, or any sort of resistance, and have also integrated naturally in to my existing meditation practise, which is a bit different but seems totally complementary. Much seems to be opening and softening for me at the moment.
Clare Finlator, UK

Thanks Pete for the opportunity. Right now the silence is a gift for me. How much we need to be in silence with our being. It was a discovery, the retreat offered me what I needed. Since then I feel a great need to to be in silence, to meditate. The day after, on the way to work I felt peace, even my driving was calm and nothing stirred. It was an experience which I will be happy to repeat and deepen. I'm following your advice and meditate every day. I feel that creates space, brings more awareness and joy.
Paulo Teixeira, Coimbra





























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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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