Located 7 km away from the city of Tomar, Quinta do Anjo Ashram is one and half hectares. By car, it takes just 75 minutes to drive from Lisbon’s’ airport up to Porto Mendo (Madalena parish), where the Quinta is located. The place is a healing biosphere due to its surrounding atmosphere. We are in the middle of a pine forrest, where other trees are also present: Iberian oak, holly oak, fruit and olive trees.
The Quinta has capacity for several residents, and our intention is to build a community dedicated to the study and investigation of Vedic science, namely Yoga and Ayurveda Indian medicine. We want to adopt an earth-friendly lifestyle based on permaculture and sustainability. There are volunteering programs, thematic retreats, training and several different workshops. There is time to recuperate from the stress of “modern life”. We want to re-discover and to experience the spiritual values that are dormant in mankind and to connect with mother-earth.
What is an Ashram and how does it work?
The word ashram arose is India, and many westerners are unfamiliar with it and with its meaning. In ancient India, learning was based in the Gurukula system. It still is in some places. In this system, the student lived at his teachers’, or masters’ home, where it learned a profession, a system of ethical and moral values, languages, mathematics, yoga and many other subjects. There were rights and obligations from both parts. The word ashram is many times mistaken with the word “ashrama”; the four phases of ideal life (education, work and pleasure, society withdrawal, ascetic life). The ashram is a school of life where every day there are nature friendly activities and spiritual life studies.
What is the difference in the learning process?
We can distinguish the academic learning from the spiritual learning. Academic learning is of rationalistic matrix, taught in schools and universities, organized in accord with an educational model. It is based on sensorial observation, empiric. It is the knowledge of the intellect, and therefore quantifiable. Your university teacher, once you have finished your education, is probably going to teach you nothing else. You will probably never see him again.
Spiritual knowledge, on the other hand, doesn’t follow the scientific model. It values soteriology and, above all, the experience that comes from intuitive and meditational methods. The spiritual knowledge is situated above the intellectual sphere. It is impossible to know the spirit in its totality just with the intellect, or with another mental or sensorial ability. Spiritual knowledge is the one that studies the “science of the spirit” and the union of the individual with the All.
One can affirm, without a shadow of a doubt, that a spiritualized person is a happy person that contributes to the happiness of all that surround him/ her (not just family and friends). This “happiness” is not due to a temporary happiness and supervenient from a mental state derived from emotional and material conquests. It relates more to the “Being” rather than with the “Having”. It doesn’t go away with death. Meditation, detachment, discipline, acceptance, constant practice and self-analysis are some of the tools used to understand the egos’ veil. One of the main steps of spiritual science is the overcome of the ego. Indian philosophy has proved such, thousands of years ago, through one of six schools of thought: classical yoga.
What are the advantages?
The biggest advantage of learning at an Ashram is the “shortcut” created. This shortcut is due to the integration of someones’ experience, already trained, and that will be able to counsel and to alleviate (or even to prevent) the traps of the ego. After all, spiritual life has as many difficulties as any other path. The lack of connection with the “Sanga” (spiritual comunity) sends one forth to the singularity of its own existence, and to the impossibility of group sharing. “No one learns yoga alone” as Mircea Elíade and Georg Feverstein state.
Comunity living and the contact with nature (away from the cities) gives you the opportunity to learn in an healthy way, in a real school for life. At Quinta do Anjo we want you to learn the most important in existence; to get to know yourself. That is why we use mankind oldest, and most efficient techniques; yogic science for personal and spiritual development and Ayurvedic medicine to help in the treatment of the body-mind complex.
What activities are there at Quinta do Anjo Ashram?
Volunteering programs, residential training, retreats and workshops.
Volunteering programs – Imply community work and daily practice/study of yogic science and related themes. Contact us for more details.
Retreats – Throughout the year you will find several different types of retreats. A retreat is a residential event of short duration, usually between 2 to 7 days in length, where one can rest from usual activities and to recharge batteries, with underlying sharing and learning. We have detox retreats, themed cooking retreats, philosophical themes deepening, advanced yogic practices and yoga therapy applied for specific conditions.
Training – The greatest advantage is the fact that learning is done residentially and full-time. At the Ashram we do not have any part-time training. You don’t have to worry about food or daily commuting. Accommodation and healthy, vegetarian, food are included in the training and contribute to enhance its efficacy. There is more connection and interaction amongst participants. There is more solid knowledge transmission.
Internship – It is possible to stay at the Quinta and to do a practical internship of the learned themes. The internship program is similar to the volunteering program. Contact us for more details, during or after your training.