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True Happiness, Real Freedom – A Retreat for Women
21/05/2022 @ 18:00 - 26/05/2022@ 17:00
Quinta da Mizarela
525,00 €
Everyone wants to be happy but what is true happiness? Everyone wants to be free but what is real freedom? If you were asked these questions, what would you say? If you are interested in a transformative journey into these questions then you are invited to a retreat for women led by Cynthia Lea Rose.

***********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! *******************​

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


Everyone wants to be happy but what is true happiness? If you were asked what it is true happiness, what would you say? 

Everyone wants to be free but what is real freedom?  If you were asked what is real freedom, what would you say?

If you are interested in these questions then you are invited to a retreat for women led by Cynthia Bampton.

Both women and men play a role in the formation of the culture we live in but are our actions creating and supporting a culture that we truly desire or are we unconsciously participating in a culture that is less than what our hearts are longing for?  Are we living lives of happiness and purpose or are we just trying to get by and survive the challenges of life? As women, do we take responsibility for our lives or do we blame the patriarchal structure we live in for our limitations? So often today we are unconsciously acting out of movements in ourselves that are in contradiction to our deepest hearts desire to be in true relationship with ourselves, with men, with other women, with our family, with all of life.

This 5-day retreat is being offered to give women the opportunity to joyously come together to answer and experience what true happiness and real freedom is. The retreat will include teachings on accessing a deeper dimension of yourself that is always, already free and deeply relaxed and to look into the movement of ego that is in contradiction to this deeper dimension of you.  If you give yourself to this retreat and dare to go beyond any ideas you have about yourself and what is possible, then you will find yourself loving in a way you have never loved and being together with women in a way that is free, joyful, engaged. 

There will be regular meditation sessions. Cynthia will guide you into a deeper dimension of yourself where you will find freedom from the victimization of the movement of mind and emotions.   She will engage everyday with you in a question and answer sessions. Meditating together in the stillness and beauty of Quinta da Mizarela will enhance your seated meditation practice and we will go on walks in nature to facilitate letting go into the mysterious depths of your True Nature.

During this retreat you will learn about the impersonal movement of ego that everyone needs to take personal responsibility for.  There really is only one obstacle in living a more loving and caring existence  and this is the activity of ego that we choose consciously and unconsciously. It is the belief that I am separate and isolated that causes our suffering and  the suffering in the world.  This belief is in opposition to our deepest hearts longing for love, intimacy and peace and until we learn to recognize this movement in ourselves we will never be able to deeply understand our human experience as women or our experience of relationship with others. 

Cynthia will help you to see the root of this belief so you can transcend it in any moment you chose to.


Audios, Videos and Articles by Cynthia

Audio - Talk for women – Manizales, Colombia (with Spanish translation)

Blog post from a women's retreat in 2017

Listen or view Cynthia's Monthly webinars

So why a retreat only for women?

This retreat could easily be for men or for both men and women. But over the years in working with men and women we have found that it is important to have time and space to come together with men and women separately.  Women and men have different biological and cultural conditioning and it has been our experience that when the genders come together separately that a deeper understanding of ones conditioning emerges and barriers and beliefs that hold us back are seen through.  Trust emerges and this creates opportunity and interest in individuals to change and understand all their relationships be it with their lover, mother, father, sister, brother, children and work colleagues. 

So when a group of women come together a love and respect for each other can rise to the surface of our experience.  We can start to understand that whatever we think is my personal problem can be understood by all women, and whatever I am ashamed of is not unique to me. There is power in understanding that I am not small, insignificant or tainted in any way.  There is power to know that who I am at the deepest level has never been wounded or traumatized by anything that has ever happened to me. There is joy in seeing through separation and pure happiness in being with other women in trust, honesty, interest and commitment to a higher level of consciousness in oneself and in supporting this in other women.

The retreat will include:

  • Guided Meditations
  • Meditation sessions 
  • Question and Answer sessions
  • Surprise activities to help you to break out of limiting ideas
  • Walking in Nature
  • Dipping in Waterfalls
  • Fun
  • And more…

THIS IS THE ONLY PUBLIC RETREAT FOR WOMEN in 2021 that Cynthia will be teaching this year at the heart of ALP, Quinta da Mizarela. 

This is a general guideline to the daily program and subject to change. 

7:30        Meditation
8:30        Nature Walk or Spontaneous Movement
9:30        Breakfast
10:30       Morning Sessions of Meditation/Presentations/Activities
13:30       Lunch
15:30       Afternoon Sessions of Meditation/Presentations/Activities
18:30       Dinner
20:00       Evening Q & A/Video
21:00       Spontaneous eruption of Happiness 


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, including 3 delicious vegetarian meals. Because we have limited space we offer a 50 euro discount for the retreat for those who can help us accommodate more people by bringing their own tent.  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: 525 € per person

For people coming from abroad: 625€ Per person

100€ non-refundable deposit per person to reserve your place. Full payment is due by May 10th. No refunds will be given after May 10th unless your spot can be filled by another participant.  Please fill out form on the side of this page to reserve your space.

Financial Help Available (limited offer)

If you would like to come to the retreat but can’t afford the full price please write to us and tell us why you want to come to the retreat and what you would like to pay.  There is a right price for each situation so please look at your situation and don’t offer too much but don’t offer too little.  We will consider all offers and we have a limited number of gift economy spaces so let your heart sing!

Living here for 5 days you will also have the opportunity to experience off-grid living, the wonder of nature, the delightful animals, the cascading waterfalls, bathing pools and silence!

So if you are interested in coming together with other women, diving deeply into a dimension of yourself that is already free and learning to go beyond limitation and separation of biological and cultural conditioning, under the guidance and experience of Cynthia Bampton, then this retreat is for you.  You can register for this retreat by filling out the form on the side of this page.

Here are some testimonials from previous retreats:

What is my experience of the retreat? Spechless. Wonder. Colors, from black to white to green to pink to yellow to mint, thousands of colors! Awe. Intensity of feeling. Non intensity. Lightness. Surprise. Love. Everywhere love. Relaxation. Be myself. Reality. Recognition of the Reality. Walking on the ground. Being. With you and you and you. And the plants. And the dogs and the cats and the insects. The magic of the dragonflies. Detoxification. Seeing. Feeling. Smelling. Hearing. Listening. Breathing. Living! Yeah.

Thank you everyone, thank you Cynthia!

 KATJA – Switzerland

I experienced something new - everything was a mystery.

Silence, laughs, deep conversations, bliss, love, exercise, forest walking, quotes, clay, music and powerful energy.

It opened and expanded my heart, blew my mind

I felt the mystery of trees
I felt the mystery of flowers
I felt the mystery of water 
I felt the mystery of tea 
I felt the mystery of the sun 
I felt the mystery of the unknown 
I felt the mystery of life


Love love love

BEATRIZ – Colombia

Sitting at a food plaza inside a shopping centre in Porto, I would not imagine this to be an inspiring place, still my body and heart are dissolved and sailing through this space and people as One.
I cannot be in any other way than with it all. I catch the intimate gazes between lovers, the many frowned faces, children munching ice cream, people hurrying and I sit in awe with a melted heart for all I see, feel, for all there is.

The retreat brought me (and us) a very clear and sober acknowledgment of reality which we lived in communion for 5 days. The reality is the on going mystery of creation, of interconnectedness, of diversity, of the absolute manifested in all things, beings and in the space between them. The invisible becomes palpable and overwhelming.

The mystery of life, the mystery in life, staying in the mystery. I sense that falling in love with the mystery is embracing fully my humanity and divinity as a creator, traveller, explorer and builder of the world. Permanently being with what is, as a careful listener curious about what life and all of its many expressions want to bring forward.

I’m finding a different quality in this “being with what is”, one that is more sober and humble, opposite to the ecstatic drunked-ness of love and amazement that I often got from retreats. “I got from…”. Because this time I’m not getting anything, I just acknowledge the mystery and fall deeply in love with it.

The complexity continues to hold hands with simplicity. The soberness with the ecstatic drunkenness. Everything comes and goes.

Deeply Here and Now.  Thank you Cynthia for an amazing retreat!

SARA S – Portugal

This retreat was an explosion of intimacy, of unity, of joy. It was an expression of our devotion to the Mystery. Through the whole retreat we were standing strong in the truth of being always already free - no matter what. We didn't reach to create a better world and we didn't try to evolve as human beings. We didn't reach or try anything because we just lived it! 
I could see it in everyone’s eyes and sense it with my whole being: we were creating the new culture together all the time! What was a vision in the past comes into manifestation right now. Through the devotion to the mystery that we were all committed to!

I can't possibly find words for my deep gratitude of being part of this group and being together with such wonderful, beautiful and inspiring women. Each one of you is with me as if we would still sitting in the circle meditating or talking or singing. I love every unique expression of the Divine that we are. Seen in our bodies, our ways of being and expressing ourselves. And at the same time the connection that I’m talking about isn’t about the differences. It’s about recognizing myself in you and recognizing you in myself. As there is only one consciousness, which animates all of us. Which brought us together to live the truth of unity and access our unlimited potential.

The retreat came to an end but my willingness to devote myself didn't. I stepped into the holy fire and all my wrong ideas are still burning in its flame! I am with what is as this is the only way I want to live. As I realized that I am always already free I started a new chapter in my life. One in which I don't wait anymore, one in which I'm simply myself with all my imperfections but without any problem. Devoting myself to the Mystery is obviously the greatest gift I can give to myself and everyone else. And this realization will stay with me as well as the deep connection I discovered with all the women.

Thank you Cynthia and thank you all for this adventure! With all my love,
MIRIAM – Germany


Since the Retreat there is such a quiet continues happiness and love coming through this body. It is not called, it is here. No fear to lose it. There is nothing to lose, its mine, its me, this Mystery which has no name and yet is everywhere. This river called life, fresh, like a child running through the rocks, playing with soft sand, gives liquid to who needs it and is refreshing in the most surprising moment. What a life, what a gift, what a joy. It’s weaved with golden thread, its weaved with you, weaved with light. One blanket in all colors, no one is missing . You are me and I am you. What can i say? I am in awe!

Thank you Cynthia for the clear guidance that flowed throughout this retreat.  You brought depth and clarity and pulled depth and clarity from all of us! Thank you!

JUTTA – Germany

We are already Free
We are the Mystery
We cannot know ourselves
even as we deeply love each other

Beyond our need to know is the purest happiness
Let us live there!

I embrace you as I embrace myself as I embrace the mystery that there is no-one to embrace!


It was a joy to be with all of the women on this retreat.  We went somewhere together that we could not go by ourselves.  Cynthia guided the process with a soft hand and also with very strict rules that helped us to relax deeply in a way we wouldn’t without the rules!  A perfect balance!

LAURA – England

Life is really overwhelming! Bliss, amazement, contraction, anger, marvelous, quietness... All part of one great whole that is ever present, ever pulsating as a muscly juicy heart!

It is hard to sum up what happened at the retreat.... what is happening still... I'm simply surrendering and diving into the questions:

What can be better than being alive!? 
What can be better than witnessing the Mystery?! 
What can be better than being the Mystery!?

Surrendering means there is no need to seek for the answer. A sense of fulfillment is inherent in the devotion to the question.

Thank you Cynthia for an amazing retreat!

ANA SOFIA - Portugal

Cynthia taught this retreat with such precision and clarity with just the right amount of free time and engaged time. Thank you, I loved it!

The women's retreat was truly revealing. I have never experienced the oneness, freedom, not-knowing in such a deep state. The dead of the separated "I" has stayed with me... this freedom, which for the first time I realize that it means to be free from everything (thoughts, family, friends, foods, body, prejudices, voices, experiences, ...endless things...) has come with a relaxation and willingness to live coming from that freedom. And coming from that freedom has been very surprising because everything is ever new...I had written in big letters in my notes of the retreat the following:
My experience is and as has been since the retreat one of joy, calmness and tranquility. Everything is so perfect! Yet I know it's just an experience and it doesn't mean anything about me, right??
I am in love with life!!

BELISA – Portugal

So many beautiful expressions already of the Mystery! 
What touched me very deeply during the retreat was the intimacy and love that we experienced together! I think it could only happen on such a deep level because we were willing to not take our selves too seriously and make our emotional experience mean something about ourselves.

At some point I realized how I was still dividing my experience in good or bad. Being connected or being cut off. Always this me, me, mine, what does a situation say about me? I saw many ideas that I have about freedom and then I saw that I actually dont know!!
I have to admit that I have really no idea what is going on.
How can I say that when I don’t feel so good I am cut off? Or how can I say that I am not cut off when I feel good?
Cynthia said at some point we never know how free or un-free we are until it is shown. I think this captures it quite well.

I think I am still cooking in the process of the mystery.
I don't understand what happened.
We had so much fun and joy!
I loved all the things we did, we did for the sake of doing it..not for getting something out of it!

I think I will never forget the rope pulling and how we were competing without competing. I have never experienced something like this and I found it deeply liberating. Giving myself fully to the competition and what that game was about and at the same time it meant nothing!! Absolutely nothing, about me or anybody else or the world.

And now...I feel I am listening. I am listening to what the mystery has to tell. Not trying to figure it out. Just listening to every note arising and then disappearing again...

Much love to you all!

SANDRA – Germany

















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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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