I recently travelled to the Tuscany region of Italy on business and arrived two days early to acclimate to the time change. Those two days were spent just outside of Florence in the town of Pontassieve at Fontallorso, the Oneness Deeksha House.
Fontallorso is the collaboration of Satya Deva (Marco Montessi), Edda Bartolomei and Riccardo Floris. The three awakened beings have created a field, a respite, a sacred place for Oneness Blessing Givers to gather and experience the Presence. The beautiful stately villa perched atop a rolling hill, characteristic of Tuscany, offers sweeping views of the countryside.
“We live completely in seva (sacred service),” Edda shared as she told the story of how she, husband Riccardo and son Simone settled there. “We decided to move to the Florence area from Sardinia, because Sri Bhagavan wanted us to help share Oneness in Italy, and Sardinia is a bit remote.
“When we arrived here at Satya Deva’s beautiful villa, we only planned to be here for a few days, while we looked for a house. Those days turned into a week, then a few weeks. At some point we all looked at each other and realized ‘we are here,’ so why not?”
They also share the house with mother and daughter Lucia and Ilaria.
During the two-day visit, I participated in meditation, both weekend webcasts and the Arogya Deeksha health process. I also walked around the grounds taking in the beauty of nature and getting to know other guests who were participating in a weekend Dynamic Meditation workshop.
Fontallorso is a place where you breathe into things and become a part of the flow. At one point, we were giving Deeksha to each other, and everyone was sitting on the floor. As I was on my knees giving Deeksha, I began to get a cramp in my left leg due to sitting for long hours on the flight over. I called on Sri Amma Bhagavan and felt the entire length of my leg shift. It felt like putty for a few seconds then the cramp was gone completely.
Fontallorso Oneness Deeksha house is only for those who practice Oneness or are taking workshops. It is located 14 km east of Florence in the Arno valley at the point where the Sieve River flows into the Arno River. You can arrive in 15 or 20 minutes by train from Florence. By car it is equally accessible, but may take a little longer depending on the time of day.
“We want Deeksha givers and trainers to come,” said Edda. “We know that they already have the cost of travel and of taking the courses, so we offer the accommodations at a very reasonable price.”
The bedrooms – some dormitory style – are quaint, clean and comfortable. Fresh, clean, drinkable water flows from the mountains, and the cost was 40 Euro, including organic homemade meals. That is about $60 U.S., reasonable indeed.
At the beginning of the business trip was the time spent in Fontallorso and at the end was dinner in Paris with Oneness Trainer Cécile Rouzet, who kindly agreed to my request to meet during a several hour layover in France.
Cécile and I shared experiences and a sumptuous Ayurvedic meal, she prepared, with her family. These two encounters abroad affirmed the teaching – “The whole world is family.”
To watch a powerful first-hand account of the Edda’s and Riccardo’s awakening experience, go to
Link to Oneness Deeksha Italy – http://www.onenessdiksha.it/index.htm
– Contributed by Gwendolyn Mitchell