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- “Study the science of art.
Study the art of science.
Develop your senses.
Especially learn how to see.
Realize that everything
connects to everything else.”
— Leonardo da Vinci
It was once the summer place of Portugal’s royal elite and due to its harmonious blend with nature it is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site.
Join us in Sintra, Portugal for a nature immersion retreat for developing your ecological awareness and learning a meditation practice that you can use to heighten your senses and feel a deeper sense of connection while walking in nature.
On this 3-day retreat, you will learn about the forest ecosystem in Western Europe and how to identify important trees, mushrooms and plant species in your local environment. We will also learn about what’s been coined the “Wood Wide Web”, the interconnected mycorrhizal fungi networks that link together the plants and trees in the soil and make the miracle of life on Planet Earth possible.
Fungi in the soil, of which mushrooms are reproductive fruiting bodies, play a crucial role in maintaining the ecological balance by regenerating top soils and supporting organic life. New scientific research is shining a spotlight on just how crucial fungi are to the evolution of life on Planet Earth — without them, there would be no topsoils which means no trees, plants, or human beings.
Throughout the retreat, we will practice a series Sensory Immersion Meditation in the forests, which will help you let go of your thoughts and bring your full attention to your sensory awareness. It is easy to learn and it provides you with an ideal method for quieting the chattering of your mind so you can achieve a deeper state of relaxation in your body and a heightened awareness of the sights, smells and sounds around you.
It is a useful meditation practice for anyone who struggles with traditional sitting meditation but wants to experience the enormous benefits of quieting and refreshing your mind through meditation. It is an ideal practice if you spend a lot of time outside because it allows you to be more immersed in a state of mindful awareness while wandering in nature.
This is what is what you will learn on this Enchanted Forest Retreat in Sintra, Portugal:
1. Forest Ecology:
Familiarize yourself with the forest ecosystem by learning to identify important plants, trees, and mushrooms while gaining a new appreciation of all that the rain brings in the form of rich biodiversity.
2. Sensory Immersion Meditation:
Immerse yourself in your sensory awareness of touch, smell, sight, and sound. Use the technique taught to quiet your mind and feel a deeper connection to your body and the ecosystem that sustains you while walking in the forest.
3. Animistic Philosophy:
Learn about the philosophy of Animism and the perspective of seeing yourself as an integral part of nature. Learn to perceive the forest and the interconnected systems of our Planet Earth as alive and sentient superorganisms that are part of your being.
4. Rewilding Your Body
Learn how to rewild your body by gaining a deeper understanding of how to live in harmony with your local ecosystem that sustains the healthy soils, clean air, and fresh water that give you life.
5. Celtic History
Discover the oral storytelling traditions practiced by the ancient people of Western Europe and the forest grove ceremonies led by their Druid priests and scholars that connected them to their land.
Our mission is to help people rediscover their place in nature and feel a deeper sense of awe and wonder while exploring in the forest.
Reconnect to nature on this forest ecology retreat. Please complete a short application if you are interested in attending. Preference is giving to aspiring ecological leaders that want to share these practices with their local communities.
We will be staying on a large estate outside of the town of Sintra in Sintra-Cascais Natural Park. You will have the option of your own private room or a shared room.
All transportation, our daily educational workshops in the forest and all the meals we share together are included. There will be lots of great options available at each meal for vegetarians and vegans.
We recommend flying into the Lisbon Airport. From there, Sintra is 25km to the west of Lisbon. You can take the train from the Lisbon airport to Sintra, which takes about 80 minutes. We will meet you at the train station.