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Scott Marecek

Wow, I have no idea where to start! So many things I want to share. I came to the Awakened Life Project on an interesting note, as an intern wanting to learn about sustainable agriculture from Grand Valley State University in Michigan. I knew there was meditation and that was also something I was interested in. But what I got was beyond anything I could have ever imagined, an absolute change of being and consciousness!!

I remember the emails back and forth with Cynthia as I was arranged my stay. I kept telling her how excited I was to come and she kept saying, “Please read our Vision page so you know what to expect.” I think she knew exactly the kind of energetic, crazy, and completely out of control person I was at the time. I read the Vision but never understood the deep deep meaning of what was going on at Quinta da Mizarela. Thank God I didn’t really know because my ego might have turned me around and been scared to death of the real change that was in store for me!

I will skip all the particulars and go right to the heart of what change actually occurred from a personal perspective – in the first person of course, like I’m talking to everyone reading this on a personal level.

I was completely overwhelmed with even getting to the Quinta in Benfeita, Portugal. As an American I think traveling in a foreign country is still outside my comfort zone, especially trying to follow email directions for public transportation. I swear I tried to get off the bus three times to just start walking in a random field because it looked pretty! When I finally arrived at the right stop I was met by a very calm, happy, and sincere person named Mim. She drove me through the villages towards the Quinta. I was struck by the simple, happy, relaxed life that everyone had in the countryside. Nothing like I’d seen in all the cities I visited prior. Arriving at the Quinta I was met by Pete, Cynthia, Mim, Adam, Duarte, Dan, Nina, and Sam. The farm landscape was beautiful and still. Birds chirped, the sound of water could be heard below in the small stream that came down through the valley, and the faint heartbeat of the ram pump vibrated the air.

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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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