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Urban Girl Goes Off Grid!!

By Debbie Wilson

It is probably insane to go camping during the 2 coldest weeks in winter especially after having just spent 4 months living in the African desert with Medicins Sans Frontiers! But that is exactly what I did coming to Quinta da Mizarela for 2 weeks in December. Well actually that is not completely true as I stayed in a beautiful Mongolian yurt, which was very cosy once the woodburner got going…



Stunning forests, clean mountain air, magnificent waterfalls (in which I took a few very refreshing morning dips!), and fresh raw organic food are simply a backdrop for the vortex of positivity, stillness and depth that I experienced during my time there.

Coming to visit two old friends, Pete & Cynthia, morphed into a time of deep spiritual connection and inquiry, emerging from our relationship with spiritual teacher Andrew Cohen and our shared passion for the liberating and all-embracing perspective of Evolutionary Enlightenment. Mornings of profoundly still meditation, discussions about what it means to live an enlightened perspective, and evenings spent listening to teachings on the true purpose and experience of meditation, created a framework and context that infused  life and work on the Quinta, giving a more profound meaning to living “off grid”!

Chop wood, carry water!

Chop wood, carry water!

Living so simply, and caring so much for the environment was infused with the fullness and significance of life and gave real meaning to the small sign in the compost loo ; “We are all self created star dust”! The team at the Quinta are an example of how to LIVE together, to respect LIFE, the land, each other, to work together, to work toward the future grounded in the timeless knowing of oneness…

Harvesting olives in bright winter sunshine

Harvesting olives in bright winter sunshine

It has not been easy, living such a life is just not easy…(I mean had to hike around a mountain to get a cup of coffee!!!). They have had two fires, one  in which they lost almost all their possessions. While I was there we had a winter wind storm that damaged a solar panel and decimated a newly built polytunnel. Things like that could make even the most robust doubt that it is worth it. But what moved me so much was the ease that was transmitted by the team, the love for something greater than personal satisfaction. It was infectious. Their bigness of heart had so much room for the unknown, for everyone and everything.


As I sit in the airport awaiting my flight to NYC, the land of lattes, manicures and readymade everything – I am aware that the experience of NOTHINGNESS, EMPTINESS pervades my being and the swelling of the urge to evolve, to create, emerges with a sweet scent of pine, chestnut and wood burning stoves….


Thank you Quinta Mizarela for a true journey to the beginning of the Universe!

With all my love


One Comment

  1. Eb says:

    Great you made it, Debbie – your report makes me aware that we have to put Pete and Cynthia and La Quinta Mizarela high up on our list…Much love to all of you!

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