Travel, but travel with responsibility

Report about volunteering at spiritual sanctuary in Cunha, Brazil

Close to the little village Cunha, located in the state of São Paulo in Brazil, one can find the community Source Temple, a spiritual sanctuary.

The landscapes here around the spiritual sanctuary are idillic and blessed – surrounded by mountains and big waterfalls, and larded by very special and beautiful Parana pines. It´s a very infrequently visited area, and maybe that´s what makes it so special.

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The Community (spiritual sanctuary) Source Temple

The Community (spiritual sanctuary) Source Temple

There are only some small farmer communities, some posadas (guesthouses) and plenty of cows :) A street leads directly from Cunha to Paraty, which is only about 40 km away, and a common tourist spot.

Stunning landscapes

Stunning landscapes

The community

There are around 40 people, who live permanently in the spiritual sanctuary community, around 8 “students” who are there for some weeks or months, learning about the spiritual life and spiritual awakening and always between 3 and 8 volunteers, who help for some weeks, and eventually become students or residents afterwards. It´s a very beautiful concept of living, if someone looks for an entirely spiritual life.

A place for meditation or yoga

A place for meditation or yoga

 

What did I do in the Source Temple?

The volunteer work we did every working day from 7.30 to 11.30 a.m. were rather random things – gardening, cooking, helping with the construction or restoration of the houses, painting, cleaning, art projects, etc.

Main house of the community

Main house of the community

Building of new houses

Building of new houses

It was always funny, diverting and never boring to work in the spiritual sanctuary! Usually we always worked with different people from the community, and like that got to know them better, having interesting and deep conversations. At 12 noon we ate lunch all together, and afterwards we could choose, what to do with our free time. If we wanted, we could join activities like meditation, deep breathing, prayers, and so on. There was always something going on in the afternoons.

In the evenings and weekends, we, the volunteers, did different activities together. We went for example for walks to the waterfalls, doing meditation, swim or just relax there, walking up the hills for watching the sunset and the stars, doing yoga together in the evenings, watching movies, cooking and eating together, trying to ignite the fire in the chimney for getting ourselves warm (it was already getting cold up there in the mountains), playing games or reading tarot cards. We always found something interesting :)

Spending the day relaxing at the waterfall

Spending the day relaxing at the waterfall

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My experience and reflection of the spiritual sanctuary

For me, it was a very interesting experience to live and work side on side for some 2 weeks with these very kind and amiable people of the community. It was like deep diving into there magical world that they´ve built just for themselves, and being for some time  part of it. Forgetting about the “real” world, and just enjoying life and spiritual practices, like meditation, yoga, deep breathing, mantra singing on Saturday mornings, etc. I´ve learned a lot about life, yoga and meditation, spiritual thinking and living in a community.

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The time together with the other volunteers was very intense, with a lot of interesting conversations about life, love, the community itself, spirituality, the sense of everything, god, traveling, etc. The kind of people you meet on such places, are also here for some reason. And this reason is maybe not than different from your reason – so it happens, that you are very often on one wavelength, and a very good time together is the result :)

And now?

After our time at the spiritual sanctuary, I was leaving with 2 other volunteers. We all wanted to head to the main road to hitchhike to Paraty – just 8 km, but a 2 days adventure :) Read about it on my next post about Paraty!

A beautiful trek

A beautiful trek

Waiting for a hitchhike

Waiting for a hitchhike

Fire for heating up in the cold night

Fire for heating up in the cold night

 

Thanks for reading and sharing!

-Sarita

 

Below the link to a solar charger, which is very useful for this kind of traveling – backpacking and being very often off the grid!

 

More photos about the Source temple:

Volunteers house

Volunteers house

Leaves with spikes

Leaves with spikes

Farms

Farms

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We can always choose :)

We can always choose :)

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Chilling together in the evenings

Chilling together in the evenings

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Beautiful landscapes around the sanctuary

Beautiful landscapes around the sanctuary

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The other volunteers

The other volunteers

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Parana pine

Beautiful landscapes

Beautiful sunsets

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On our trek to the main road to Paraty after our stay

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