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The Island of Tranquillity

Vedanta Saraswati | Yoga

A yoga teacher since she was 19, British citizen Vedanta Saraswati always wanted to be able to offer retreats. She decided to look around Europe to see if there was anything she could afford. To run a venue for this, you need fresh air and quietness surrounded by nature. So she came over from England to Spain and Portugal in the summer of 2005 and had no idea what she was looking for. A series of pictures went through her mind. One of them was of soft rolling mountains. Near Monchique, she found what she was looking for, her Garden of Eden. In a world of noise, ECO123 was looking to dive into her world of silence. In her four-wheel-drive, she picked up the journalist and drove for kilometres along dirt tracks deep into a jungle of newly-planted industrial eucalyptus trees. Like Chinese terracotta soldiers, these trees surround her peaceful place as far as the eye can see. After 20 minutes of driving up and down hills, they arrived at…

The Island of Tranquillity


Are you afraid of forest fires?

No. The other day, when we had a fire, I left. I went outside and I smelled smoke. My neighbours phoned me and said GET OUT. IT IS COMING YOUR WAY. I thought ok, somebody told me always to disconnect my gas bottles and put them into the water tanks, water everything I can, close my shutters, water my shutters, water my roof and water the garden. Better to disconnect my solar power in case that blew up inside my house, and so I did that. I was listening out for the noise of helicopters and then they came directly over, I presumed to check where I was. I mean, I wasn’t afraid and I kept very calm, did everything I needed to do and then got into the car and I drove away. My emotion was sadness. I didn’t know what I could expect to see when I came back the following day. Certainly I still have a certain amount of attachment to everything I’ve created here and I was thinking that it was not ready to burn. Another time I think I would stay…


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