What do ayahuasca, an ecovillage, and meditation have in common?
A whole lot of craziness, fun and zen mixed together.
For me, it's a great combo of awesomeness. :-)
For quite some time, I've had goals to attend an ayahuasca ceremony, volunteer at an ecovillage, and complete a meditation retreat.
During my most recent vacation, I set out to do all three.
First up, 2 ayahuasca ceremonies in 4-days...
My vacation started with a 4-day ayahuasca retreat next to a small town called, Oliveira do Hospital.
In case you're not familiar with ayahuasca, it's a sacred plant medicine from the South American Amazon, which indigenous tribes have been using for thousands of years.
It's a combination of 2 to 3 plants, which are boiled over a fire for many hours, to prepare the ayahuasca tea.
One of the plants contains DMT which is a natural chemical released in our body, but only when we are born and when we die. To have this natural chemical introduced in a controlled manner, is truly an awakening experience.
I was lucky enough to have this experience in this amazing tipi below.
During the ayahuasca ceremonies I had many visions and felt a vast array of emotions.
Ayahuasca taught me:
Hiking In Portugal
After spending 4-days at The Sanctuary, I set out to hike 22 kms through beautiful nature, and scenic towns toward my next adventure.
Check out the amazing scenery below.
An Ecovillage & Mediation Retreat
After hiking for about 6 hours, I arrived at The Awakened Life Project.
It's a beautiful ecovillage/mediation centre next to the picaresque town of Benfeita.
This is where I would spend the next 4-days as a volunteer, before becoming a meditation retreat participant during the weekend.
I was even lucky enough to stay in this super cool yurt which is also known for it's spiritual properties.
I met so many beautiful people while volunteering at the ecovillage.
There were many unique stories and perspectives toward life, and there was so much to learn from everyone.
Some people had came to visit many years ago and ended up staying.
Others, were passing by and spending a few months enjoying the beautiful surroundings.
As Friday approached, it was time to begin our 3-day mediation retreat.
At this point, all 18 participants went silent. We practiced silence to finally be with ourselves, our inner chatter and to observe what was happening within.
This was a great opportunity to gain a different perspective of our thoughts.
With nothing to do but enjoy nature, sit in silence and relax, it was a very insightful and rejuvenating time.
As we meditated for 4 to 5 hours a day, there was a deep presence and calmness opening up within the group.
We finally had the opportunity to unplug from our busy world's and just enjoy time in nature, healthy food, and a deepening connection with who we truly are at our core.
It was exactly what I had been searching for.
Some Important Take Aways
During this unique vacation, I learned that there are many ways of living and being, beyond what we have been programmed to believe.
Ayahuasca taught me that there is much more to our existence then we can see, touch or hear.
I learned that nature is a powerful healer and is truly the birth mother of all of us.
The eco community taught me how to live simply with nature.
Being surrounded by a small community of like-minded people, all wanting to live more simply and sustainably, was a heart warming experience.
Finally, embracing meditation and silence for several days, taught me that underneath my minds chatter is a stillness and awareness that is accessible whenever I wish to connect with it.
Many of our problems and worries exists only in our minds.
We often worry about things that never have, and never will happen.
When we spend time quieting our minds, we transcend this worry, and connect to a calm, peacefulness within us.
And of course, surrounding ourselves in nature and with calm, encouraging, like-minded people is some of the best medicine of all.
If more doctors were to prescribe this type of treatment, I feel there would be a lot less worry and anxiety in the world.
It's certainly a powerful combination for me, and one that I will incorporate more into my life going forward.
I hope you enjoyed this little journey into my latest vacation.
Until we chat,
Think Positively, Feel Worthy, Act Eagerly!