Danyadara: Dare to Dream


Nature loves courage. You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up. 

Terence McKenna

This quote has always deeply resonated with me. It is our ability to imagine and dream that has allowed Homo Sapiens to evolve far beyond other primates. We dare to dream and then we attempt to make our dreams a reality. Sometimes we imagine, but we are too timid to take the next step….which is to put it out there! To say boldly to the universe, “this is what I would like to happen right now. If it is in the flow please support me in whatever way you can.” 

If you don’t put it out to the world then you are not opening the doors to what might be possible!

Then, because we are yogis, we understand that life doesn’t always give us what we want, maybe it’s not karmically possible right now, and we surrender to that. However, if you don’t put it out to the world, then you are not opening the door to what might be possible.

There is a little joke about a man who needs money who prays to God to help him win the lottery, every night. After a few weeks God gets a bit annoyed and says to him, “ Look, I am willing to help you, but please go out and buy a friggin’ lottery ticket!”

A Dream was Born: Suryalila Retreat Centre

Eleven years ago I dared to dream that I could own and run a beautiful retreat centre. I told the world. A friend of mine said “I would like to do that with you,” and within a year my dream became a reality. I have put all of my energy and love into creating Suryalila Retreat Centre and happily the place and our guests reflect that back to me!

Danyadara: Blessed Earth

Six years ago, I set up Danyadara, a non-profit permaculture project, with the goal of regenerating the 50 acre farm that was now entrusted to me by the universe. It was damaged commercial farmland with no trees and in danger of turning into desert. I felt the responsibility to restore the eco-system, grow a food forest and increase the water table. This is something we have worked tirelessly to do in the past six years. We want to demonstrate and educate that it is still possible to reverse the current direction of commercial farming that is rapidly turning Spain into desert. It is possible to farm sustainably.

Our main hindrance and limitation in restoring this land is that Andalusia suffers from serious drought. It is in severe danger of desertification. In June our wells run dry and usually do not replenish until November or December. That is 5-6 months without water! We need to buy water from outside by the tank load. This is obviously not sustainable. Desertification is not a natural phenomena. It is caused by humanities inability to manage water well.

Daring to Dream the Impossible Dream

This June we are daring to dream the impossible dream to solve our water shortage on the land.

Recently, our farm manager Emilio went to visit Tamara in Portugal to attend a course in water retention landscapes. He came back on fire! Tamara, a well-known and established sustainable community, built a lake on similar land to ours, twenty years ago, with the help of Sepp Holzer, “the Dalai Lama of Permaculture”. Since then their water retention landscape has flourished and is a big inspiration for other similar projects.

Over time we have implemented various water saving techniques from putting bottles in our toilet cisterns, to grey water systems, to creating key lines and swales (permaculture techniques for keeping water in the landscape) and planting around 8000 trees. These are all techniques we will continue to implement to help us with water retention. Now we are ready for the next big leap!

We have always dreamed of creating an artificial lake in our landscape. This would provide us with water to continue to regenerate the land year-round! We have looked into the possibility numerous times but always rejected the idea due to cost.

We always thought that one day we would initiate a crowd funder to ask for help. Then, out of the blue, I was recently contacted by One in an Army, a charity created by the fan club of BTS, which is the biggest boy-band in Asia. They raise money every month for a few different charities of choice. Since the 5th June was Environmental Day they have chosen projects that are regenerating eco systems. They emailed us to let us know that they had chosen Danyadara! Pretty amazing and out of the box! So I jumped at the opportunity to start a crowd funder to build a lake! 

This is our impossible dream right now! 

More than any other thing, this lake will help Danyadara flourish and grow and take our project to the next level. 

You can help to lift us up and make this dream a reality!

Vidya Heisel is a Master Yoga teacher having taught for 45 years and runs an established Yoga Teacher Training Academy, Frog Lotus Yoga International, as well as directing Suryalila Retreat Centre and Danyadara Permaculture Project. Vidya is a presenter on MFML.


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