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Staying Conscious in the Context

By Scott Marecek

Scott bonding with the donkeys!

Scott bonding with the donkeys!

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!!

Another amazing meal!

Another amazing meal!

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.


So about the change – every single day there was a new dimension of learning of who I actually am and who I am not. It was difficult for me at first to open up and let go. I knew all along that I wanted deep lasting change but something held me back for the first couple weeks. I kept looking for outside things to learn about; whether it be agriculture, green energy, or ram pumps, but what kept happening was an inward drawing to find God within me and to evolve my consciousness.

On the beach with Marko, Glen & Sara

On the beach with Marko, Glen & Sara

This is where I get stuck in writing. So much has happened that I could never really explain to anyone the real authentic change within me. I have no doubt now about the supernatural power in the universe and why everyone is here….to love, to evolve, to grow, to just let things be and lastly to have a positively sharing relationship to every creature no matter how small or large. I really see the conditioned self that I thought was me, this anxious, needy, hyper, erratic, and depressed ego, that needed attention, needed to drink and be funny all the time. I found out that is not who I am. Who I am is still, at peace, and also ready, excited, and happy. Who I really am lets thing be, is open, is aligned, and knows that there is no need to worry. I love it!


Even writing this blog was a battle of ego. I’ve been home now for a little over a month. I feel like part of me is still at the farm, like I left family and not just friends. I am bombarded daily here with temptations, money issues, responsibilities, and more. But because of the love and support, and meditation I learned at the Awakened Life Project, my consciousness has been awakened, I am aligned, I am joining this evolution of consciousness with all that I am. I am so excited and still for what the future holds for this collective movement. I know I will be back to Benfeita someday to visit. But I see how there are so many around me that are thirsty for this awakening and if I am aligned I possibly can help.

On the road with Lee, Laura & Sara

On the road with Lee, Laura & Sara

I want to thank everyone at the Quinta, those that are permanent residents and those I may have only met a brief amount of time. Everyone added something of themselves to help me evolve and grow. I love you all. Thank You.


  1. Joanna says:

    Great description Scott, thankyou, especially about how it changed you from the inside.

    I visited there also, so am lucky enough to know firsthand what you are talking about. 🙂 Wholeheartedly agreed.

  2. Roberta Anderson says:

    Wow, Scott–the awakened energy which is gushing through your writing is so beautiful! I was fortunate to visit the Quinta four or five years ago, and am so impressed with the profound transformations that are continuing to flower and bloom in this extraordinary Oasis of Love, in everyone who is lucky enough to spend some time there. Anyway, just wanted to say that I really loved your post–thank you so much!

  3. Joann says:

    Thanks for the post Scott! I spent a month at the quinta April of 2010. I love visiting ALP’s website and reading these posts. It’s a reminder of my time spent there and the transformation that happened to me. Being back in the states, it’s sometimes so hard to live what I learned at the quinta. Reading your post today inspired me and reminded me to let things be and to continue awakening my consciousness. Congratulations on your transformation and the happiness you found at the quinta. I know I will be back there someday too!

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