New: Anima – The Magical Garden in Marrakesh

I experienced a truly soul-stirring moment when I encountered Morocco for the first time in November 1972. It seemed to me that leaving again soon would be akin to breaking some kind of strange Prohibition Act, and so I cancelled all my commitments (including a concert tour through Europe) and ended up staying for four and a half months instead of three weeks. I blissfully surrendered myself to the harmonious and dissonant sounds and colours, to the captivating and unsettling smells, to the sophisticated and spice-laden taste of the various teas and foods, to the sumptuous and frequently hazardous games played by the African sun, to the unsurpassably resourceful kaleidoscope of the landscape, to the insane noise emanating from the souks and the hawkers attending the weekly markets, to the silence of holy places framed by the chirping of crickets, to the whispered and angry tales of the wind, to the rustling of bizarre silk wedding garments, to the invocations of God called out by muezzins from the tops of thousands of minarets, to the cool concealed inner courtyards, to the centuries-old mosaic frenzies, to the a plomb of the calligraphers, to the bells sounded by the water sellers, to the paradox of the snow of the High Atlas, a backdrop to the palmgroves and cactus fences which often serve to enclose olive plantations ,to the low clay villages of the Berbers and to the boastful casbahs of their tribal chiefs, which are constructed in the same material. From the Sahara to the Mediterranean and from the Atlantic to the Rif, this was a territory which brought me happiness and enabled me to experience inner peace for the first time in my life. I was astonished and have remained astonished for45 years. I am still discovering new things hour by hour, uplifting and intimidating aspects, a surfeit of glory and misery. Around the time of my 60th birthday, I decided after careful consideration that I would enter into a particular affiliation with the royal cityof Marrakesh. I wanted to give something sustainable back to the place, its inhabitants and its visitors in recognition of the decades of potent encouragement and the measureless nuances of inspiration that had been bestowed on me here. The aim was to create jobs by establishing a curative, highly energetic and botanical area of sensual beauty and comprehensive high quality for people of all age groups and all levels of education from both near and far. I summoned up all the seriousness and joy I could and invested all my experiences, all my talents, all my stubbornness and all my savings into the shining hope of Anima. (People hurl themselves into major and powerful love stories unconditionally and without any safety net, protected by the knowledge that there are ultimately no problems, only solutions.) In my case, the basis of this attitude was a spiritual one. Follow the intelligent needs of your soul and seize the opportunities to prove yourself and to change by taking on the challenges of multifarious learning processes. At this point, I do not wish to expound upon the details of the Anima project any further. Suffice to say, the site initially consisted of eight hectares of entirely fallow land with breathtaking views. Everything else is precisely related in this book by means of pictures and text. I would like to thank my precious companion Albina Bauer for her entirely truthful photographs and Andrea Schurian for her empathetic and clever writing.

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