Here is a link to the website of Dhammapala Monastery, where our guest Ajahn Khemasiri has written a report about the trip in October/November 2019, with many pictures.

After she has already done two hikes with us, writes and a fellow traveler:

I would like to give you a short answer to your question as to whether and how the desert has an after-effect: yes, and whether!
I find it much easier to connect with my inner stillness and vastness – both in everyday life and in meditation.
It is a wonderful experience for me to be able to trust people in a hostile environment.
I have met friendly people, some of whom I am still in contact with and exchange ideas with.
I am grateful for these wonderful gifts!

Nicola H., Easter 2017 and November 2019

“The silent hike at the end of 2019 was the most beautiful of several hikes through the desert. On a trip like this, the organization and the tour guide are very important. Both were perfect thanks to the two tour guides, Isabel and Brahim! And that with such a large group of 18 people! The two of them provide an absolutely great atmosphere and organization. The mindful and always attentive Isabel guarantees a sense of well-being and is also a sensitive guide in the desert. Her husband, Brahim, takes care of the rest. I never once felt unsafe in the Sahara. Brahim ensured a good mood and absolute reliability among the “team” that looked after us. Perfect! And if you want to experience silence and what it means for yourself, I can’t recommend anything better than this hike in silence. Including voluntary mediation.”

Susanne K., November 2019

It was precisely in this reduced, sometimes seemingly hostile environment that I became deeply aware of my own vitality. Brahim and Isabel guided us well, accompanied us well and took great care of us, allowing us to surrender to the charms of the desert.
Highly recommended, but beware – a place of refuge with addictive potential.

Gerald V., April 2019

“The hike through the desert was a deeply impressive experience for me – positively impressive in more ways than one. I felt completely safe and in good hands at all times in this overwhelming and strange landscape. I felt that you two, Isabel and Brahim, and your team radiated a great sense of serenity and naturalness. You conveyed that you are a well-coordinated team – friendly, unobtrusive, humorous. Wonderful!
And then the different landscapes of the desert! The rock and scree desert was the most fascinating for me – so archaic, forbidding, rugged; but at the same time peaceful and vast in a way that is difficult to describe; I find it hard to find the right words.
But – regardless of whether it was a sandy desert with dunes “like in the GEO calendar” or a hard scree desert – being in this landscape was always associated with the feeling of vastness, boundlessness, infinity and peacefulness. And it is above all these feelings that come back to me when I remember the days in the desert – and I become calm inside.
At the beginning, I had the rather unconscious expectation that the desert experience would be accompanied by strong inner, spiritual processes; to put it somewhat flippantly: “perhaps I will find enlightenment”. In any case, the expectation that something very profound, perhaps shattering, could happen to me. Fortunately, I was able to let go of this expectation/imagination quite quickly; and from then on it was simply a matter of being there day after day and doing what was the normal daily rhythm in the group – nothing spectacular.
But that was perhaps the most important experience for me – just being there, without restrictive expectations, demands, images – completely open. At some point I was in an inner mood/attitude for which I only had the words “it’s all good the way it is”. I am very grateful for this experience! “

Ulrich K., April 2019

“I went on a 9-day desert hike through the Sahara southwest of Zagora under the guidance of Brahim Taghlaoui, his brother Said and Adi, a neighbor of the Taghlaouis. Brahim radiates reliability and energy. It is the company of these people, who are firmly rooted in Berber traditions and knowledge, that makes it possible to fully immerse oneself in the desert experience. Brahim, the members of his family and his friends know the routes, cook food, pack the dromedaries and even show you where to find sorrel in the desert. The dromedaries don’t carry any superfluous ballast and it is impressive how resource-efficient you can be against this background. All in all, the trip was an impressive experience for me, which I would like to repeat at some point.”

Peter G, November 2018

“i found the trip absolutely great, both the organization and supervision, as well as my own experience, and also the group very pleasant and stimulating. i think some things will still come to the surface afterwards of what we have experienced, seen and learned. physically i have already reached my limits one or two times and very glad that we had a riding camel. for soul and spirit the trip was something very special.”

Jutta W., November 2018

“The journey into the desert with you was a wonderful experience. Desert + vastness, sky + sand, silence + looking. We were perfectly cared for, nourished and guided. I also really enjoyed the format with meditation and lots of silence. My photo book has just been finished, it makes the pictures shine again …. Thank you for this great trip, for your commitment and your serenity. “

Rebecca D., Oktober 2018

“ … And at the same time, memories keep coming back and we enjoy the special experiences we were able to have with you. … We felt wonderfully accompanied by you and Brahim. We are both still fascinated by the beauty of the desert and the impressions of nomadic life. We are sure that this was not our last trip to the desert – Inshallah. We would entrust ourselves to you again at any time!”

Dominique P., Oktober 2018

“Authentic travel to an area that you would never get to on your own in this way. Competently guided and looked after, you can concentrate entirely on walking, on the immediate experience, on just being. What a luxury”

Sabine T., Oktober 2018

“Sun, sand, stones, wind … walking and walking on and on … arriving and setting off again … a journey through beautiful landscapes and inner depths.
Walking in silence, the experience became deeper, more primal, an encounter with nature, with the elements, of a very special intensity.
For me, it was an immersion in a great force field, a journey back to my roots and to new heights, to vastness and freedom.
Everything was supported by the sensitive guidance and meditations of Isabel, the joie de vivre and creativity of Brahim and the Berber team who looked after us so carefully.
Thank you all so much!”

Sonja W., März 2018

“The journey with Isabel and Brahim, the 4 superheroes, the 6 beautiful women, the one special man and the ten self-confident dromedaries was impressive. It did me good to be cooked for, sheltered and cared for by the men, just like that.
Isabel’s spiritual guidance made the day begin and end simply and wonderfully.
The different landscapes – sometimes stony, sometimes just sand, with trees and bushes, even birdsong – delighted my feet and my heart again and again.
I will never forget the taste of the oranges and the sandstorm.
Yes, you can experience a lot in the desert.
Many thanks to everyone!!!”

Barbara Sch., März 2018

“When doing becomes being – and the what gives way to the how … then you are traveling with the Sahara caravan into the desert. Thank you Isabel, Brahim, Said and Hda and my travel companions for the wonderful trip. Everything was simply, but really everything was tip top.”

Thomas K., Januar 2018

“This journey is a journey. Walking in silence is a trip. There’s a lot of movement as you follow the dromedaries, which take quite big steps. It’s a good effort. It succeeds, is never too much, but always enough, a good challenge. The little breaks in between, where nuts are distributed: a real treat. You lie there in the middle of the dust, chewing on deliciously salted almonds, the blue sky above you and suddenly life is very simple.

It is a salutary reduction, this walking with the certainty of arriving somewhere after four or five hours. In the middle of nowhere, when the tents are pitched, the dromedaries are grazing and you are served delicious Berber tea, home is created in a fleeting place, for one evening, one night. In the morning, the sun rises in a sleeping bag with frost on it. Breakfast, meditation. Then it goes on. A natural rhythm to which you are happy to entrust yourself, because the company is attentive and careful, confident and relaxed.

Ich weiß nicht, wie man das Ende eines anstrengenden Jahres besser verbringen kann als in dieser Obhut und in dieser wunderbaren Umgebung von Klarheit und Stille.

Vielen Dank, Dir, Isabel und Deinem Team.”

Connie W., Januar 2018

“My dream comes true”
My dream of the desert
absolute silence, infinite vastness
perfect shapes in the sandy desert
indescribably beautiful
a sparkling starry sky above us at night, with the Milky Way.

On our caravan through the desert we are very lovingly and caringly accompanied by Isabel and Brahim and his brothers, who cook delicious meals for us and by very friendly and gentle dromedaries that carry everything. Isabel very sensitively leads meditations at sunrise and in the evening.

Finally, we visit a nomad festival in the Sahara.
My dream comes true!”

Brigitte E., Oktober 2017

The rocky desert

“What does a Zen teacher actually do in the desert? I would say: sweating, enjoying the landscape and the Moroccan food and falling asleep peacefully at night under a sky covered with countless stars.

I also experienced that the desert itself is the real Zen teacher and shared this experience with my fellow travelers.

Walking in silence, our meditations – they were just an expression of the Great Silence of the desert, into which we were allowed to immerse ourselves more and more. This silence nourished us; we were able to sink deeper and deeper into our experiences and rest in our center.”

Bernd Bender, Leiter, Ostern 2017

Silently connected

“With Brahim and Isabel in the desert”

It was exactly the right time for my first trip to the desert, I think, while dinner is being prepared in the kitchen tent behind me. Our companions are chatting in a language I don’t understand and laughing a lot. The food is sure to be good. A camel burps next to the kitchen tent.

Every day, before the morning sun warmed the sand, we set off. I took off my shoes like everyone else and walked in the sand on the crest of a dune. My feet sank. The fine sand was still cool underneath, but already pleasantly warm on the surface. I stopped and let my gaze wander. One dune behind the other, as if eternity lay here.

It is worth going into the desert with a question, a wish or an unresolved problem. There is a good chance that something will emerge in this vastness that can help. Before the trip, I just felt this blockage inside me and since I’ve been back, I’ve been writing and telling stories again.”

Christoph S., Ostern 2017

“The desert retreat was a very special experience for me. Thanks to the meditations and the mostly silent get-togethers in the group, I was able to walk with a broader view and really get close to the desert elements. The team lovingly looked after our needs and I felt safe and secure in the barren land.
Thank you so much for this valuable time!”

Nicola H., Ostern 2017

“I feel very grateful after this impressive journey. I experienced us as a small family, traveling together more and more naturally: Brahim and his brothers, us three women with Isabel, five camels and Bakshish, the dog. Walking endlessly in the silence and vastness of the desert landscape with the open sky above us was very fulfilling, as was the simplicity and luxury of getting by with very little luggage. I felt spoiled with wonderful food and the confidence of being very safe in the group. I have fond memories of evenings around the fire, when we would recite riddles and songs together in all our languages. There was a sense of joy and connection. I now carry all these images and moods gratefully in my heart.”

Dorothea B., Weihnachten 2016

An evening trip on a dromedary is part of the experience

“Die Wüstententour mit Isabel und Brahim war für mich ein wunderbares Erlebnis. Die Stille und Weite der Wüste, der Sand, die Sonne, der Sternenhimmel und vor allem die Dromedare begeisterten mich jeden Tag aufs Neue. Ich fühlte mich geborgen und beschützt durch unsere Führer und Isabels Füsorglichkeit und Gelassenheit. All die Eindrücke und inneren Bilder begleiten mich nun auf meiner weiteren Lebensreise.”

Annemarie Sch., Weihnachten 2015

“We went on a five-day hiking tour through the desert, first past plantations and rivers, but then soon through the rocky stone desert and the last two days through the dunes of the sandy desert. Brahim and his brother took great care of us and the three dromedaries were very relaxed. We really enjoyed our time.”

Johannes L., Individuelle Tour im Frühjahr 2016

An jedem Morgen wird wieder alles verpackt – wir lassen nichts zurück außer ein paar Essensresten

“A special moment for me was midday in the stone desert when the Berbers arrived with the camels [dromedaire] and were the first to prepare a meal. We women were entertained. The days were very impressive in the company and care of the men. It was fascinating to watch them packing, pitching tents, cooking and baking bread because they were so cheerful and attentive. They always kept an overview of everything amidst all the luggage. It was a wonderful opportunity to communicate with almost no language skills and to get to know happy people who live in simplicity.

I enjoyed getting some distance from all the political issues that are preoccupying us here in Central Europe in view of the tense global situation. Yes, and the experience of nature with the camels in the desert speaks for itself ….. I’m always drawn back there.”

Irene U., Weihnachten 2015

“I can wholeheartedly recommend the trips to the Moroccan desert with Brahim and Isabel: Everything was superbly organized, the two of them and their camel guides looked after us and the animals with love and care in every respect. As did our driver, who drove us safely and carefully over the Atlas Mountains to Zagora. The food was delicious and plentiful, and the home-baked bread was particularly delicious! We laughed and sang a lot and I felt well looked after and protected throughout the journey. And it was also a special treat for me that the family dog accompanied us! In short: I will be traveling to the desert with Brahim and Isabel again as soon as possible!”

M.B., Weihnachten 2015

Zu Gast bei Nomaden

“We always have fond memories of the first desert trip in 2015 with Isabel, Brahim & his brothers, as well as the cook Ahmed! Back then, the two of us were the only female travelers!
It was an unforgettable and profound experience.
I can highly recommend this trip!”

Anne A., Frühjahr 2015

… it’s about to start …

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