October 30, 2016

Roughly half of all marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. Much of the time it is a complicated and ugly process. Crime diverts a lot of societal energy in the form of tax dollars put toward the police and military, among other things, and the idea that "we are not safe...

October 22, 2016

"So, we all just... tried - all together, cooperating and bringing out the best in each other," explained Formica Coriandola, founder of Damanhur's laboratory of art and a prolific artist and researcher herself. She took me under her wing during my stay with the commun...

October 16, 2016

It was dawn, October 1991. The sun had just peeked its head over the lush valley of Valchiusella in Piemont, Italy when the quiet was shattered by police helicopters and ground units moving in on a small community called Damanhur. Armed officers ordered people from the...

October 6, 2016

I came back through Milfontes, where I had first arrived some weeks prior looking for some kind of "eureka" to direct my search for happiness insight. Felipe, Susana and my good friend Ivo found me coming up from the beach to the road. "We know that you said that you c...

October 2, 2016

I sat awkwardly awaiting Frank's arrival in his home, sweaty beyond measure, blowing down the collar of my shirt when nobody was looking. I apparently had not learned my lesson about biking uphill through the dust in the intense Alentejo heat. I wasn't welcomed all tha...

September 28, 2016

I spent an afternoon at Monte Suhaja, an incredible Alentejo "community" in its own right, but really just the estate of Mooji, a famous Jamaican guru. He is the disciple of the renowned advaita master Papaji and a devotee of Ramana Maharshi. For some, he is an enlight...

September 23, 2016

Karim left by train, and I was supposed to be on it too. He was off to Egypt for two weeks to take care of a looming pile of paperwork related to his visa and schooling. I was to go to Spain, but had realized some hours previous that Portugal was not yet done with me....

September 15, 2016

We found him in the back, building a new structure with the swing of a gorilla and the pace of a gazelle. He didn't ask why we had come. He didn't ask for how long. He just laid down the ground rules of his home and told us that we would start in the morning.


September 13, 2016


By the day that we planned to leave Milfontes I had only heard back from one of the several permacultural initiatives that I had contacted. In so many words, they flipped me the bird and told me that they weren't interested in journalists. "I'm not a journ...

September 10, 2016

Something wasn't right. The sunlight played on the hostel window and I heard the cafe downstairs setting up chairs for Lisbon tourists. The promise of a day of blue skies, seawater and castles was secure. I was in my favorite city in the world with Karim, now like a br...

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