Guidelines for Communal Living

We want to make sure that it is the right place for you to volunteer with us so please read the following to give you a sense of how we live here.

Living in any communal situation can be challenging. Engaging in more relationships means more complexity, triggers reactions and brings reflection. Because we want to create a new culture based on trust and unity it is important to us how we engage with each other day-to-day. In order to succeed at this we have to be willing to look at ourselves and our relationships. This can be challenging work, but is the only way to move forward to and to create the interior foundation for the change of the brighter world we want to create. 

Something that we find invaluable to support living in a more authentic and transparent way is meditation. This is why we ask that everyone joins us once a day (except Sundays) in sitting meditation. If you don’t want to join us in meditation then this is probably not the right place for you. 


Here are some guidelines to give an idea of how we want to live together at the Awakened Forest Project;

Care for the whole 

Keep a big perspective under all circumstances. Be in touch with the critical state of the world and be willing to be the change you want to see in the world. Be willing to give. Take yourself and life serious. Be inspired and inspire others. Stay in touch with your biggest motivation for living.

Nothing has to be a problem 

Challenging situations are part of life, especially when engaging fully, living and working together with others. Nothing, however difficult has to be a problem. Don’t run away from challenges or you will be running forever. 

 “There are no obstacles on the way - the “obstacles” are the way!”

Have an open mind and be interested in what is true 

No matter how much you know, always respond to life in the present moment. Be interested to see things as they really are, beyond ideas and beliefs you might hold. Life is an endless mystery. Be willing to learn more then you already know.

Be real and courageous to face 'What Is'

Be courageous enough to show yourself in an authentic way. If tension or a conflict arises within you or in relationship with others don’t avoid it. Bring it up and address it so it can be resolved even if you don’t know how to do it. Mistakes are not a problem if you have a good intention. Do whatever necessary so no tension, fear or separation can accumulate between us.

If you want to know more about our perspective a philosophy you can check out the website of our wider network the Awakened Life Project.

If you are interested in volunteering please email me telling me something of yourself, what attracts you to our Project and the dates you are available; Laura

We look forward to hearing from you.


Benfeita, May 1st 2017
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Quinta da Floresta, Benfeita October 21st 10 - 5pm

I am very happy to announce another opportunity to begin to learn the art and science of foraging in our beautiful valley in the Serra do Açor.

Quinta da Floresta, Benfeita 12 - 15 October 2017

In our times crafts such as green woodwork are something truly revolutionary. We find making a useful product with ones own hands straight from the forest is totally inspiring.  Not only is such work simply sustainable it is also deeply...

Quinta da Floresta, Benfeita - Date TBC 2018

People have retreated to wild places for millennia to find inner peace and a greater perspective on life. Nature, in it’s simplicity and beauty, supports a profound relaxation in body, mind and soul.


Many of the plants and trees the bees and other insects thrive on have burnt in the October fires and will not be flowering this year and some not next year either if they recover at all. Here are my suggestions on how to help the pollinators through these lean times.

God these are heartbreaking times. Rain that was so longed for in the summer is now pouring off these hills taking soil and stone and track with it onto the terraces and into rivers.

Many people have asked us how they can help in the wake of the fires and all we have lost. We are very touched and grateful for these offers of support. Here are some ways you can help:

We have started building the second floor of the workshop!! This will be our last major build here and will provide a dormitory and meditation/workshop room which will increase our capacities for events and hosting people, especially outside of the summer months.
I am passionate about building with round wood because it simply makes so much sense.