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Om or Aum, is not just a sound or vibration. It is not just a symbol. It is an eternal song of the Divine. It is continuously resounding in silence on the background of everything that exists.” - Amit Ray

AUMKARA - is a Sanskrit word for AUM - Aumkara/Omkara is the primordial sound from which the whole universe was created. Om is also called the shabda Brahman – God as sound/vibration. Aum is the vibration by which the Supreme Spirit brings all things into manifestation. It is the Holy Ghost of the Christian Trinity. Paramhansa Yogananda (in his book -The Essence of Self-Realization, by Paramhansa Yogananda) has explained that everything — all matter, all energy, all thoughts — exists in Aum referring to it in “Ways in Which God Can Be Worshipped.”


All major religions recognize this creative vibration, though they call it by different names. For example, the Bible calls it “Amen” (its meaning in Hebrew being sure, faithful) as well as “Holy Ghost.” St. John called it the Word of God (“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.… All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” —John 1:1 – 3). It is the sacred word “Amin” (which means faithful in Arabic) of the Muslims, and Tibetans call it “Hum.


Aumkara Retreat and Wellness Center invites you to experience your higher self and rest and rejuvinate yourself in the peaceful sanctuary that we are creating either on one of our retreats or staying as a guest at our Spiritual guest house

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About Us

We are a small yet professional team, supported by a passionate group of volunteers and have a robust and dedicated leadership team in place, that have business, leadership and person centred training accreditations to their names. We believe, we are well qualified to take the project forward into its next phase of development.

Jamie Nicoll is the founder of Aumkara.

Jamie is a documentary film maker and Director at Yogi Productions. He was awarded the full Presendential Merit Schloarship to study Filmmaking at San Francisco Arts Academy. He runs his own proudction company and manages his tube tube channel - yogi productions. Jamie has had his work in Film festivals such as Raindance, and has made documentaries about eco villages, communities and natural building techniques, he is currently working on a documentary narrative about Pianist and Composer, and is documenting the build process, hoping to release the film online on the day the healing center opens.

Jamie has been passionate about healing and meditation since his early twenties,  and feels it is his life purpose to build to Aumkara. He has studied Management and Philosophy and filmmaking at University, and has a backround in natural building, having studied in Thailiand, South and Central America, Spain and Portugal. He has been all around the whole world looking for the best place to build Aumkara, and was delighted to have found a magnificent piece of land on Pico Island in the Azores. He will help project manage the build and will work at the retreat center as the general manager. Helping to create remarkable experiences for our guests, that will surely make them wish to return to the Azores again and again.


Meriel Jane Nicoll BA Hons Fine Art

Expressive Arts & Process Painting Facilitator

“I am so excited & inspired to begin the journey of this retreat, building a creative community that focuses on wellbeing & offering sense of belonging to all who visit”  Meriel Nicoll

Meriel will run the process painting retreats at Aumkara, and help in the creation of Aumkara Retreat and wellness Center. Having had a successful career as a visual artist exhibiting work in Ireland, England and internationally Meriel discovered the power of the creative process on her own wellbeing. This led her to training in Process Painting with Aviva Gold and was the catalyst for her commitment to offering the power of healing arts to others. Meriel has spent the last decade dedicated to devising and developing her practice of teaching and body work and now delivers a unique creative process from her wealth of knowledge, trainings and life experiences.

Meriel now offers powerful workshops in a confidential and safe environment for people to explore and play in order to connect to their unique self expression and wellbeing using colour, movement and sound. Through the process of painting a new picture one can literally change their old story into a new vision of the life they want to create.

Meriel was born in 1952 in Ireland and was raised on a farm. This was the beginning of her love of nature and her appreciation and affinity to the natural world has stayed with her and led her to the beautiful island of Pico. In Meriel’s work she reflects on the theme that natures is always changing and that it’s part of life’s process, to change and grow. Process Painting is not trying to control the artwork but allowing it to happen intuitively and then a balance out of chaos arrives, therefore she states "We do not plan a painting, we discover it”.


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Roy Barreto and Associates

Architectural & Engenering Services

It is with great honour, that I wish to describe my involvement in this Meditation / Yoga Centre project, called AUMKARA on a Portuguese Island in the Atlantic Ocean. Mr. James Nicoll approached me with the idea of creating a project of this nature here on the Island.

We had a couple of meetings to discuss this project and I realized that he had thought of the project very much in detail and he was clear with his ideas. As a designer, this helped me a lot in taking decisions and developing the project for the purpose intended.

This project is located along the Atlantic Sea with a breathtaking view, spread over an area of 2600 sq.m.. Very well selected property indeed.
The input from  Mr. James Nicoll has been of utmost importance for a good and tailor-made design of the project. This is exactly what is happening with AUMKARA.

The concept of the project is to:-
Provide 4 Star standard accommodation for its users.
Provide areas for Meditation and Yoga.
A natural pool which is extended as an infinity pool with a waterfall.
Area for relaxing and feeling the nature.


Lastly, the project has to be constructed and we are looking forward to building using some of the natural materials, whilst not compromising on safety and finishes.I am extremely happy to be a part of this project and hope to be of use to Mr. Nicoll until the project is totally completed. This project has the potential to invite subsidy from the Portuguese government. We are now in that phase, whereby we have applied for such a subsidy. I presume it will be granted to him.Mr. Nicoll and I are working closely, towards achieving a good balance between requirement and comfort and I can see that we are close to achieving them.

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