2017, December 14th at 10 AM PT/ 7 PM CET

Into the Wild Portugal  with Paula Soares and Karuna


The history of western civilisation is combined with a progressive  alienation from nature. Children growing up in big cities believe that their neighbourhood park represents “Nature”, they tend to believe the distorted representations of animals in publicity to be true, like the famous lilac Cow from “Milka” (an European brand).

People develop a romantic illusionary relationship to nature where everything is beautiful – or the fear nature as something unpredictable, horrible, dirty and what not. Both attitudes are not meeting what Nature really is: our basis of life with healing powers and with its own laws which we better respect when we want to live in harmony, not only with nature itself, but with LIFE, with our own existence.

It is difficult today to find suitable ways to enter in contact with nature in a deep way. Most of us wouldn’t survive when left alone somewhere in the wilderness. When we want to re-discover our inner connection to our own nature and mother earth, then we need some guidance. There are projects which offer exactly this and in thie following conversation we talk about such an opportunity.

Paula Soares

STREAMED LIVE HERE on December 14th, 2017

Into the Wild Portugal

00:00 Introductions and how to watch the show
02:06 Hello Paula! A few words

03:10 Hello Karuna! Also a few words of invitation to return to nature along the coast of Algarve

05:00 Heidi asks what brought Paula into this “the Wild”?  Her interest in eco-villages and their relationship with nature.  Some examples from around Europe and Brazil.

08:28 And now to Karuna How did it begin for her?  She learns to un-mute!

Inspiration from a community in Brazil and from Findhorn in Scotland and from Schumacher College. Her ambition is to do the Back to Nature  program in all the countries where she has lived.   Portugal is the first of these.  Then she decries our apparent separation from nature.

13:00 The cost of all our advances into modernity
15:15 Sean Penn’s film “Into the Wild” describes the cost of this loss.

17:00 Signs of a “nature deficit”.  Heidi jumps in. Karuna describes the cure: an outdoor school.

20:00 Over-protective parents, how the course proceeds, “It’s more than just wildness.” Also “Sits pots meditation”

24:00 Paula’s role in this school: raising consciousness through nature,  “The Council of All Beings”, the integral approach,

29:15 Also a group experience, Paula continues. approaches such a world cafe, circling, transition movement, etc.  Daily but everyday living!

32:50 Karuna describes beginning the Forest School and it curriculum and comments on the flexibility that scale requires.  What’s the “right size” for these groups?  Maximum 40.  

35:30 The relationship of the Forest Schools with the formal education system in Portugal? Basically NO relationship! Shortcomings of traditional education systems.
35:50 How about a good size for an eco-village? Paula responds. Experiences in Daimanur, Findhorn and elsewhere.  Finances?  Art works for sale, laboratories and classes. Even tourism! All aspects are included: cultural, social, economic and ecologic. Creation of deep relationships.
46:02 Does Karuna foresee some of these same things going on in the forest schools? She sees these children as very ready for such villages.

48:30 Plans, how to contact,etc.

For example:
In Facebook, intothewild Portugal at:,

also in Facebook, Academia de Sofia at:

And their next program begins January 26, 2018

53:30 Take aways: each of us takes a turn


The formal education system is creaking under the strain of the national curriculum and our children are receiving instruction rather than a true education, within a context of reaching goals and targets rather than a true education that addresses the body/ mind / spirit connection of each child.

One of the most effective ways to inspire and enrich ourselves, our communities and each other is to find our way back to engaging whole heartedly with the natural world.

In this episode of CONVERSATION THAT MATTER Paula and Karuna present their approach to a solution of the problem. They talk about a course they have developed to help people to get back the richness of life by including those parts which have been neglected in our modern way of living and educating our children.

The course is designed to invite people to spend time in nature, to become an environmental educator and to cultivate ‘this nature connection ‘in helpful and meaningful ways. If you are interested in finding out more, ask your questions during the broadcast or contact our guests directly via their website.


Paula is a Co-Creator of Academia de Sofia – Laboratory of Evolutionary Development and a Member of the Into the Wild Portugal Team

Paula holds from 2003 a Transdisciplinary Phd on ‘Creative Processes and Levels of Consciousness’ from University of Évora, Portugal that includes an Appendix discribing the Vision of a Futuristic Ecovillage in Alentejo. She graduated as an ‘Ecovillage Design Educator’ certified by Gaia Education  in Damanhur, Italy in April 2011, attended a Permaculture Design Course at Várzea Viva in Aljezur with Lesley Martin, followed by a “Transition Training Course” with May East in Sintra. After attending a Being with the Spirits of Nature Workshop and the Love, Magic and Micracles Conference in Ocober 2012 in Findhorn, Scotland, she co-created the  ‘Academia de Sofia – Laboratory for Evolutionary Development’ starting at the University of Évora  and acting on one side through regular “Academia de Sofia Forums”, inviting, presenting and organically  inter-weaving Evolutionary Projects and Themes such as Academies of the Future, Visionary Art, Permaculture Design, Futuristic Laboratories in Ecovillages, Sacred Dances, Integral Theory and Practices, as well as through applied Evolutionary Projects developed by Visual Arts and Design Students in Graduation, Post-Graduation, PhD Courses and Short Courses on the other side. In  Spring 2017 she proudly accepted to partner with pioneering Into the Wild Portugal in resonance with its core values and mission.


Karuna is a Member of the Into the Wild Portugal Team, a Manager, Outdoor Educator, Storyteller.

Karuna studied Management and Marketing at Thames Valley University in London before travelling extensively, while writing travel articles about people and customs. Rich career in Hospitality Management and studies at Granbery University. After returning to Portugal, she was trained at Angel Holistic School  in Lisbon, and has since worked as a freelance  therapist. Studied child care education at Waldorf school, then at Watkins in London and Schumacher College in Devon, UK, where she attended the course “Call of the Wild” – Outdoor Education Leadership Foundation course, Created the Association – People & Paths – which offered Outdoor  pedagogical activities under the topics: Ecology, Adventure, Mystery and Art.

She is a pioneer of a Fairy Tale House Museum. Today, she organizes and promotes Walking Tours in National Parks in Portugal, gives courses about the importance of Fairy Tales in Education, started a Puppet Theather Company, worked and lived in many countries and is a good Counsellor and Healer.

With a group of friends, she started the Project INTO THE WILD PORTUGAL.