Monday, 25 July 2016

YOU ARE A MIRACLE! And here's why...

We are all the image above, which means any awe one feels about that picture can be felt towards oneself

By TOMMY HOLGATE, Merkaba Miracle-Lover

A friend of mine was recently talking about a hobby that involves furniture-making. He had taken an old double filing cabinet, painted it silver, turned it on its side and created a TV stand. The cabinet doors, opened sideways, revealed the DVD player and digital box. Said friend described the furniture-making as a 'creative outlet'.

A subsequent Crystal Oracle Card Reading pointed him in the direction of 'being himself, allowing creativity to flow' and so forth.
It struck me that each and every one of us represent a 'creative outlet' for the entirety of conscious energy.
So if, for example, a TV cabinet can be a creative outlet for a man, surely a human body - with the myriad capabilities it holds, and the multitude of sensations it can experience - can be a way of the universe expressing itself.
Such seeming epiphanies are welcome as they lend themselves to a mindset free from distractions brought about by non-idyllic concepts like self-doubt.
Looking at the picture above - and acknowledging that all of us are all of that - is handy when it comes to shedding negative beliefs.
And that the cosmos could throw together a bunch of particles to create a human body from stardust is miraculous. 
Every heartbeat is a miracle.
And here's why...
There is a glorious part of the heart called the Sinoatrial Node, which is a cluster of cells that acts as the heart's natural pacemaker, where electrical impulses are made.

I spoke to a good friend at a wedding recently. We used to enjoy many a party during his time as a medical student, and he is now one of Britain's leading cardiologists, with award-winning,pioneering papers published.
I was talking about miracles [as usual] and brought up this cracking node.
"So this Sinoatrial does it generate that electrical impulse?" I said.
"Oh, it's intrinsic." he replied.
Me: " it just, 'happens'?"
Him: "Pretty much, yeah."
Me: "So if a miracle is that which defies the natural laws of science, and the way the heart connects to the unifying source of energy can't really be explained, then surely every heartbeat is a miracle?!"
Him: "Oh, absolutely."
I was like, 'shut the front door, who else knows about this? And when are we going to start acting on it?'.
Hence, I consider you a miracle, and I hope you do too.
On the topic of miracles, there are some more miracle-based quotes for you to enjoy, below... 
With Love,


MERKABA COMMUNITY is hosting a variety of retreats throughout September, October and November, including raw food workshops, discovery holidays, yoga retreats and more.
Email or message us on Facebook for more info!

I'll be performing a feelgood show at the Edinburgh Fringe this year called Man In The Miracle. 
More info HERE

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Want to get away? Our brochure might help...

The front cover of our brochure, which you can view in full HERE

We hope this post finds you well and that one is viewing the future through an optimistic lens.
If you think your future may/should include some sunshine, rest, relaxation and just the right balance of mountainside living with pampering experience, then the Merkaba Community certainly has something you just might like.

Community Living and Holiday Retreat experiences continue to be offered, and we are delighted to announce the inclusion of a series of specialised weeks on the calendar as well.

This dome could be your home for a week if you choose to come and visit the Merkaba Community
Community Living experiences typically involve weekday afternoons mucking in with whatever is required on site, sometimes gardening, sometimes building, sometimes cooking... If there is any area of interest to you that you think could benefit the community then please don't hesitate to get in touch.
Aside from this, community participants are encouraged to be as open and creative as they wish and so this is a good opportunity to hone or practise any old past times, play instruments and so on.

Holiday Retreats can involve a more specific detox/yoga/self-discovery theme.

Below is a list of the themed retreats, currently running until mid-October, while bookings are also being taken throughout November too, while the weather remains spring-like in the mountains.

No Fashion No FactorySpiritual Tattoo Fortnight: 15 - 31 Aug

Mau Hugeat is a one-off. 
Having dedicated his life to spreading the ancient ritual of cultural tattoo, the ink legend travels the world, with his family, daubing spectacular energetic designs onto willing recipients.
He's getting booked up quick though so it's worth getting in touch for this one!

The Discovery Package: 4 - 11 Sept

This is a totally innovative and enlivening getaway experience.
Devised by Merkaba's resident Life Coach Jamie King - also known as 'the guy who cycled from London to Sydney' - it comprises a series of mind and body enhancing exercises that benefit the system through physical, mental and spiritual means.

Superfoods, woodland adventures and spa days are all on the menu too.

As a side note, the rates mentioned in the brochure includes food cost, so once you've made it to the site you don't really need to spend a thing.

Sunrise just before 7am over the mountain, enjoyed as part of a regular breathwork/meditation morning ceremony

Circle Retreat: 11 - 18 Sept

Two of Merkaba's dearest sisters Cathrine Almgren and Charlotte Latimer are hosting this week-long retreat, featuring all locally produced foods, heart-opening morning yoga flows, meditation, massage and more.
Contact for more information.

Raw Food Workshop: 3 - 7 Oct

Raw Happy - aka the wonderful Tracy Sadler - will be collaborating with Merkaba, inspiring guests to create basic recipes, but with plenty of sweet treats and healthy chocolate.
Gut health is taken into consideration too with a selection of fabulous fermentation recipes.

Free time includes activities like yoga classes, holistic therapies, art work or simply sunbathing!
Contact for more information.

We love living this lifestyle, and would love to share it with you too. If you are interested in visiting our Portugal-based community [nearest airport Lisbon] then please email WEAREMERKABA@GMAIL.COM or contact us on FacebookTwitterInstagram.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Every Day's a School Day...

Vehicle for higher . . . mountainside Merkaba Love Bus is available as holiday retreat accommodation

From BECKY MAY, Yin Yoga Instructor and Merkaba Guest

It’s a pleasure for me to be writing this week’s blog update for Merkaba community.  Chris, my partner, and I arrived here in our old Mercedes campervan nearly a month ago now and we feel incredibly grateful that we happened across this magical place.

There is something very special going on in this sleepy corner of Portugal – as I’ve watched the ebb and flow of arrivals and departures, I see that everyone has been drawn here for their own particular reason. Perhaps it’s because the place sits atop a mountain with large quartz seams running through it, a mineral well-known for its healing properties, but I see that this is a place where people come to heal and to advance their personal journeys towards self-knowledge and love. But, more than that, it’s also a place where people come to share their gifts and passions with others.  We all benefit from each other’s teachings, insight and wisdom, and we all support each other’s journeys. Together we are stronger and it is a beautiful process to behold.

Feed your face . . . Jamie and Hannah enjoy the benefits of sodium bentonite clay on the Love Bus yoga deck
Last week we said a fond farewell to Tommy Holgate, who has moved back to the UK for now, to harness his unique brand of positive energy and compassion towards shaking up the UK political scene and we’re all rooting for him – prime minister’s question time had better watch out…!  Before he left, he gave one more tai chi class and taught us all to body-pop, which morphed seamlessly into a night of dancing underneath the stars, beautifully soundtracked by Matt Mckinley, a regular at Merkaba, who recently returned and has been taking us on fun-filled and often profoundly moving musical journeys since he arrived with his decks.

Sky high . . . a sunset view from the nearby village of Monsanto, a regular jaunt on the Merkaba 'itinerary'
We also said au revoir to Merkaba long-termer and legend of the kitchen, Kerry Oliver – she’ll hopefully be back for a few days this week though, before she goes on to begin her own Portuguese adventure down the road – check out her facebook site for her upcoming holistic cancer care retreat, Sirona.

Food of lovers . . . (l-r) Stefan, Nina, Rosey, Matt, Dan, Luke, Elizabeth and Katrina await a healthy serving
Other new arrivals have included Nina Pach and her partner Stefan, from Germany – we all benefited from a fun sunset yoga class from Nina, with lots of games and comedy sound effects, as well as her pranic healing sessions (see Nina’s website for more info). Plus Stefan’s gardening knowledge has been a real boon for the burgeoning produce of Merkaba. The hundreds of young fruit trees are beginning to bear fruit, the herb garden is flourishing and the seedlings in the veggie patch are definitely getting bigger rather than smaller, so watch this space!

Permaculture enthusiast, Luke McSwiney, has been staying for the past fortnight, and has facilitated some pretty intense breath-work sessions – I knew the breath was powerful, but the process kind of blew my mind!  Rosey Simpson arrived recently and her psychic chanelling abilities and links with ETs are causing a stir – it almost seems as though the skies have responded, as we’ve had some spectacular cloud-scapes, rainbows and shows of shooting stars at night.

It's a sign . . . the wonderfully energetic Nina stands underneath the Merkaba 'gateway'
Elizabeth arrived from northern Portugal yesterday and has already treated us to an intimate violin performance, which she cleverly combined with constellations work – for those who are unfamiliar with this, it’s a group therapeutic technique where someone in the group outlines a problem or issue, and others in the group are chosen to physically represent certain elements of the issue, so that the person with the problem can look at it from an external perspective. But, of course, it’s much more than this – the particular energetics that come from working together in a supportive environment are another form of magic. I found the process fascinating and am inspired to explore this technique more.

Stars trek . . . Merkaba guests join stalwarts for a hike in the beautiful Pena Garcia
So, as you can see, there’s always lots going on here at Merkaba – and I haven’t even mentioned the other long-termers here, who all have their own amazing gifts to share, such as Jamie’s amazing life-coaching sessions, as well as everyone mucking in every day to help out with cooking healthy, vegan meals, feeding the chickens, ducks and dogs, general upkeep, as well as growing the community – for example Dan, Jezz and Chris have been working hard to create more accommodation here, ready for Merkaba’s first official retreat season starting this September – exciting times ahead!

So, if you’re intrigued and find yourself musing about a visit here, I would definitely recommend that you leap at the chance. Destiny is calling you, and Merkaba wants to meet you, learn from you and trade gifts and wisdom with you. And you will find yourself growing and healing here in ways you probably weren’t expecting – it is a magical place indeed… ;)

With love from the mountains.

Becky x

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

RELIEVE STRESS INSTANTLY with this technique...

Breath Works

Solar showered . . . newly plumbed fixture means hot water from the sun's rays (see 'news' below)

As ever, we hope this blog post finds you well. If it doesn't, we hope it helps to point you in that direction.

For there is no denying that modern life can be stressful.

Though it needn't be.

One of our favourite methods of winding down here on the mountains is to focus on breath work.

Sometimes it involves singing mantras, sometimes it involves a pre-yoga Pranayama session, sometimes it involves a load of impromptu 'Aums'.

Every time, though, it involves increased oxygenation, lower blood pressure/heart rate and a sense of physical and mental euphoria.

Merkaba resident Jeremy Mannas - who trained in Clarity Breathwork during a lengthy retreat in Costa Rica - offers 90-minute sessions to guests. The one-to-one workshop usually involves the two individuals disappearing off into the mountains, returning as a pair of beaming grins.

Here's a dead quick method for you to try right now...

Relax in whatever position feels best. Sitting at a desk is fine although try and relax your shoulders.

Close your eyes and start to pay close attention to your breathing, through the nose.

Whenever you find your mind beginning to wander, just re-focus your attention on the air going in and out of your nose. 

Inhale a deep breath to the count of four, and slowly exhale to the count of six. Repeat five times.

When you commence using this type of breathing exercise, you should do it for no more than five minutes; until you have acquired sufficient practise in re-focussing your attention when it drifts.

You can then extend this pattern to become a session of fifteen minutes if you wish.

Moments of clarity . . . people report life-changing results from Jeremy's one-to-one work
Jez says: "First, step away from the problem. Take your focus away from the situation you're stressed about and focus on slowing down.

"Forgetting about the trauma of the past or the worry over your future, focussing on breath brings you into the present moment.

"In fact, that's the only place you can be when you're doing breath work, the present moment.

"You're thoughts might be still going on, but you're existing in your body.

"Scientifically, you're slowing the whole body down, you're slowing the brain down."

For those who don't consider themselves in need of de-stressing, Jeremy adds: "Even if you are calm, there's no harm in thinking, 'how could I be calmer?'"

We highly recommend Jeremy's services, and you can connect with him on his Facebook page HERE.


Merkaba is still taking bookings for retreats during September, October and November... But also...

- Mau Hugeat, above, will be present at the Merkaba Community for the last two weeks in August. He is world-renowned and creates extremely unique, inspiring and spiritual tattoos. If you're keen, message us on Facebook or email

- Merkaba kitchen Goddess Kerry Oliver, below, has acquired some nearby land with plans to build a healing retreat, particularly aimed at those suffering with and recovering from cancer.
Kerry arrived in Portugal with Stage 4 cancer and a broken back around a year ago. Thanks to natural methods, she is now as fit as a fiddle. It's an amazing and inspiring story.
Give her new venture, Sirona Retreats, a 'like' on Facebook if you wish!

- We've said hello to Chris and Becky, an electrician-yoga teacher combo couple who were passing through Europe in a campervan one week, and are staying with us for a month the next. 
If you have a campervan,you can just rock up too. Email if this tickles your fancy.

- Jeremy Corbyn turned 67. Merkaba resident Tommy - who ran for Parliament last year as a Peace candidate - is a big fan of the Islington MP, and so had a wonderful afternoon.

- Finally, we gleefully report the development of unlimited hot water for showers. Prior to this week, we relied on lighting a fire to heat a tank. Now - thanks to an awkward afternoon spent shifting a solar-generated vat from the top of the mountain to the top of the bus - they are possible on tap.


Pipped to the boast . . . Kerry proudly displays a ripe avocado ahead of yet another stunning salad
Sauce to be reckoned with . . . Kerry's original homemade coriander creation, right, and lemon zest curd 

Sign, sealed . . . Vanessa lays a final coat of varnish over a beautifully hand-painted Merkaba
Hang man . . . Merkaba visitor Luke endures a static hold to finish a pleasantly punishing pre-yoga workout
Bedside Mannas . . . Jeremy - also a joiner by trade - knocks up a four-poster made from a freshly preened branch 
Head's tanned . . . sunkissed Jamie holds an inversion on a hot yoga morning
Ground nuts . . . earth-loving gang enjoy a spot of fresh-veg-patch Tai Chi down at the bottom of the garden

Cable guy . . . campervan man Chris hits the nail on the head during Operation WiFi Boost

Weed all about it . . . Yin Yoga teacher Becky tends a path during the afternoon 'productivity slot' 
Labour Party . . . burgeoning politico Tommy celebrates the Islington MP's 67th while grafting

Bus conductor . . . Dan, with newly-fitted rooftop electricity panels, points to where it once was (see below)

Top of the mountain to ya . . . the blue water tank sits by the solar panel's former location

We love living this lifestyle, and would love to share it with you too. If you are interested in visiting our Portugal-based community [nearest airport Lisbon] then please email WEAREMERKABA@GMAIL.COM or contact us on FacebookTwitterInstagram.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Five 'supplements' to help you feel GREAT


As ever, it is with much love that we share this post and great hope that you may benefit from some of our vegan supplement tips at the bottom, and perhaps also attempt the wondrous 'Kerry Cake' that we were treated to this week.

The retreat season is in full swing here and we have enjoyed the company of many fine individuals over the past 7 days, including Mark and Ayshea Hawthorn who run a vegan cafe in Bath (Beyond The Kale) and multi-skilled therapist Sophie Clout (Therapies For Life)

If you are into - or would like to get more in tune with - health, mindfulness, yoga and the like, please email for further information on retreat and community experiences.


Merkaba Community


Weighting around . . . Exercise is for all here at Merkaba, with a range of ages and capabilities catered for

Pick a place . . . Retreaters can enjoy the converted bus, seen here displaying the home town of Charlotte (2nd right)

Hounded Clout . . . Therapy guru Sophie enjoys a bit more affection than normal from Anushka


'Kerry Cake'

Sweet pleases . . . Christ consciousness and cake go together when prepared and eaten with love
Above, we have a fine creation that is difficult to name, so henceforth it is known as 'Kerry Cake' in honour of its fine creator, the Merkaba kitchen goddess.

Base: Sunflower, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, coconut oil (all in a food processor).

Top: Avocado, banana, apple (blended) with strawberries and toasted coconut flakes to finish.


Meanwhile - and following another chat about Vitamin B12 - we thought it would be nice to share some of our favourite health-boosting nutritional 'supplements'...

Green highs . . . There are SO many servings of greens in the photo above, with no shortage of Vitamin B12 either

Hemp seeds

Hemp is the perfect protein, containing all the 20 amino acids, including the 9 our body cannot produce itself.
Furthermore, its 3:1 ratio of Omega 3:6 makes it a super valuable entity that is great for cardiovascular health.
Also good for hair, skin, nails, hemp seeds help you feel fuller, longer, so are good for trimming down while keeping your nutritional intake high.

Apricot Kernels

High in Vitamin B17. Good for sufferers of arthritis, and said to be a useful cancer battler/preventer.

Nutritional Yeast

Great source of Vitamin B12, a vitamin which doesn't typically appear in a vegan diet due to its presence in meat and fish. High in protein, fibre and folic acid. 

Bit the snackpot . . . Milled hemp seeds, fresh ginger and a cup of water 


It's no secret that we love our cacao here. We even read it is the new 'party drug' sweeping the UK.
Another source of protein and fibre, it contains oleic acid, which is a heart-healthy fat.
It is also known to boost immunity, shed fat and improve memory.


These two 'wondergreen' powders are astonishing, and have the power to combat malnutrition.
Spirulina is an algae found at the bottom of the sea and considered one of the most nutrient-dense substances on the planet.
It contains more iron than spinach, more protein (pound-for-pound) than BEEF, as well as a full range of antioxidants and minerals.
Moringa has more Vitamin A than carrots, six times more Vitamin C than oranges and DOUBLE the calcium of MILK.

We love living this lifestyle, and would love to share it with you too. If you are interested in visiting our Portugal-based community [nearest airport Lisbon] then please email WEAREMERKABA@GMAIL.COM or contact us on Facebook, TwitterInstagram.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Healthy Habits and A Dessert Recipe...

We like things mystical here at Merkaba.
But it's been more like MISTYcal for much of the past week.
If Portugal experiences a few days of rain then we, by default of our mountain location, experience similar conditions but immersed in cloud. Like somewhere Frodo and them lot might have wandered through in Lord of the Rings.
Fall guys . . . the men of Merkaba (l-r) Jamie, Tommy and Dan stand and watch as Ewan topples a big tree
But lo, as the working week cleared it's way to the pinnacle, we were able to utilise the tree surgery skills of a visitor and collate much timber to keep us going for many an evening - and morning yoga in the winter - to come.
In the spirit of eco-loving, for every tree we chopped down,we have planted at least 10 in replacement throughout this year.
Logged on . . . an afternoon's work means months of firewood, and a nice excuse to plant more trees
As we said goodbye to baby Teila last week, we welcome Indigo, 2, and her mother Zoe. To see the joy on these little un's faces is an absolute delight. And they love the dogs, ducks and chickens too!
Indigo child . . . little Indie was always a shining injection of energy to any proceedings
We also took time to trim the garden area in preparation for fruit and veg growing season. If you are interested in any healthy, fun and literally fruitful farming experiences, please get in touch via Twitter, Facebook or email
Meanwhile, and in the spirit of creating regular and helpful content over the course of these blogs, there are five vibrant lifestyle recommendations that we have been enjoying this week. Plus a little dessert recipe for good measure!
Stay Unified,
Merkaba Community


Sun Gazing:

Plenty of research has now been done on this ancient practice that is regaining popularity.
Scans of a 70-year-old long-term sungazer showed a pineal gland [a really very brilliant part of the brain, right bang in the middle of it] three times larger than an average man. And the pineal gland is supposed to shrink as we age.
This would suggest sungazing is good for maintaining high spiritual enjoyment of life.
One man claims to have foregone food for EIGHT YEARS, existing on a 'diet' of just the sun's rays.
We only do it at sunrise or sunset, for the 10-15 minutes either side of it disappearing, as otherwise the light rays would burn too much.
And we can still eat plenty of healthy food too!

Amazing rays . . . sungazing puts things in perspective when you've been taking light in directly from such a long way


The energy exchange encourages empathy and understanding, teach us how to give and receive, relaxes muscles, boosts self-esteem, elevates serotonin levels, heals feelings of loneliness/isolation/anger, builds a sense of trust and even strengthens the immune system.


One aim of the practice of yoga, in its earliest incarnations, was to restrict the fluctuations of consciousness.
Thus, in enjoying up to two hours daily as part of our regular morning routine, the best possible chance of level-headed thriving ensues.
Topped and/or tailed with breathing exercises/soundbowl healing meditations, these sessions also allow for ful oxygenation of the blood, resulting in greater efficiency and delivery of nutrients and healing entities throughout the body.

Fresh water:

We are privileged here at Merkaba to reside on the side of a crystal mountain through which all our water is filtered.
The benefits of drinking filtered water - as opposed to tap water which contains many additives including fluoride - include a purified pineal gland, which is the central node of the brain responsible for creative, free thought. The pineal gland is calcified by fluoride so drinking straight tap water may as well be a no-no if possible.

Turm' of our lives . . . this wonder root should be on everyone's shopping list right now


Everyone - it seems - is on about how great turmeric is these days.
For years it was dismissed in the Western world as little more than a food colouring, but thanks to many recent studies can rightly be lauded for the healing, miraculous substance that it is.
It is anti-inflammatory, good for skin and brain health, helps fight cancer, diabetes, depression.
Thus, we like to enjoy it in the morning in a glass of hot water with lemon and black pepper.
Plus apple cider vinegar if one should feel so inclined.


BlackBean Mint Chocolate Mousse with Toasted Peanut and Coconut Sugar Crumble

Beans means fine . . . this dessert packs a protein punch while satisfying taste buds too
Bit of a sweet treat this one... But nowhere near as 'naughty' as it feels!
Because of the black bean base, the mousse is actually a nutrient dense bombshell, packed with dates, cacao, coconut oil and a splash of freshly made, raw hemp milk.
Blended together - after thoroughly cooking the beans - and popping in the freezer will see you right.
For the crumble, mill up a cup full of peanuts, with a tablespoon or two of coconut palm sugar, plus a tablespoon of cacao nibs if available.
Fry the above mix in a generous amount of coconut oil.
The sugar, when fried, will melt around the peanut dust, forming a sweet and crispy crumbly topping that, when cooled and the sugar hardens, still offers crunch even the following day.

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