What is Merkaba all about?
We don’t enforce many ‘rules’ here, but we do assume a certain level of consciousness and we live by a few core principles which allow us to thrive as a community. Whether visiting, living or working within the community, you agree to adhere to these practises whilst here… Concept of Abundance – if every person in the community gave more than they took, we would all have an abundance of everything we ever need… Mindfulness – we are mindful in all activities throughout our day, whether this be practising yoga, eating, interacting with another person or carrying out our daily chores… this includes awareness of and accountability for our own thoughts, words and actions… Respect for Mother Nature – we keep various animals on the land (3 dogs, 4 cats, 12 chickens, 1 cockerel, 6 ducks & geese) and display unconditional love, compassion and respect for all sentient beings… Oneness – we operate as one big family, always endeavouring to help and support each other, finding ways to compromise, engaging in open, conscious communication and resolving any disagreements peacefully… Spiritual Practise – we believe that the foundation of a community is built on individual and group spiritual practise and we endeavour to raise our vibration each day, in whatever way, shape or form that may take… Waste Management – we are mindful of all forms of waste in our endeavour to be fully sustainable. We either recycle or find ways to upcycle in other areas of the community. With this in mind, please try to bring as little plastic to the community as possible. This also applies to food (cooking and eating) where we try to operate a zero waste policy. General Information about Merkaba Community We eat a predominantly vegan diet, with the exception of the eggs from our chickens which are fed an organic, non-GMO diet. We grow some fruit and vegetables, but whilst we are developing our land to increase farming capacity, we also buy fresh, seasonal produce from a local organic farmer. We also purchase nuts, seeds, grains and superfood supplements from an organic wholesaler. We are fully solar-powered, collect rain water and pump water from a borehole in the ground. Therefore we have to limit our power and water usage accordingly. We do have a washing machine but this is for bedding and towels only so please do not use for personal laundry. There is a high risk of fire in this and surrounding areas due to the hot, dry environment. We do permit smoking but please respect allocated smoking areas and make note of fire safety procedures.
We do not have WiFi on site, therefore if you require regular Internet access please arrange a SIM card or data package with your provider or Vodafone, the local provider. We encourage people to focus more on presence than what’s going on in the ‘outside world’ while staying with us. At Merkaba we encourage everyone to connect with themselves, others and nature and disconnect from social media. We do want you to be able to contact family and friends if there is an urgent requirement it can be provided, but we can’t guarantee the connection will be working at all times. You have a couple of other options though: 4G works well up here whatever the weather, so you can get a data roaming package from your phone provider, or grab an MEO prepaid sim card in Fundao, Portugal to use the 4G if you would like to guarantee getting online during your stay.
Do you have any Internet access?
I’m a solo traveller... Is this ok?
Absolutely. Many of our guests arrive here alone. The community is a melting pot of all types of people from different backgrounds, cultures, with different nationalities and missions. We love to facilitate new friendships and learn from the diverse personalities that come through the doors.
- There is a lake about twenty minutes drive from the Merkaba community, so bring some swimwear / swimming costume / shorts.
- A head torch is handy for getting around at night, as it can be a little dark even with the solar ground lights etc.
- Warm clothing for cold nights (hat, gloves, socks, etc)
- Cool clothes for hot days (sun hat, shorts, flip flops, etc)
- Waterproof clothing (winter season)
- Practical shoes… trainers / walking boots / steel toe capped boots (if required)
- Natural, organic toiletries (soap/shampoo/conditioner, etc)
- Torch / solar powered lights
- Yoga mat (we do have some but bring your own if possible)
- Gardening gloves (if required)
- Sleeping bag / tent (if required)
Do NOT Bring:
- Electrical appliances, e.g. hairdryer, hair straighteners, electric toothbrush, electric shaver, etc (embrace your natural beauty!)
- Non-vegan food products (i.e. dairy, fish, meat)
- Alcohol (permitted on campsite area only)
If you’re coming to volunteer with us, please bear in mind that we work as weather, materials, machinery/power availability, inspiration, flow and necessity dictate. We often work on several projects simultaneously, moving from one to another as conditions suggest. Therefore, flexibility and being in the flow are important here.
What do I bring to Merkaba community?
Where is Merkaba located?
Merkaba Community is located near a very small village called Povoa Da Palhaça near Vale De Prazerers, Fundão. From Lisbon there are three fast trains daily, for more information on the times please visit www.cp.pt Train leaves from various station in Lisbon with the easiest and closest to the airport being Oriente. It’s a 3 hour journey through amazing Portuguese landscape so make sure you pack a good book and take some refreshments and snacks with you as healthy choice is limited whilst on the train. From Fundão you will need to get a taxi (roughly €25) to Merkaba, please let us know in advance as to your arrival time so that we can have one waiting for you.