Fear of death and passion for life

Amanda, a cultural anthropology researcher originally from Zambia and studying in Utrecht is at Damanhur for the New Life program. Here is her story! “I am Amanda and I was born in Zambia. I am 25 years old. My father is from Zambia too, and my mother was born in Kenya.

I studied Anthropology and International Development at the University of Sussex in the UK. I love anthropology because it is about people and understanding that the way I do things isn’t the only way it’s done. There is also a shift happening in anthropology, with a focus on dynamics of power, the Occupy movement, understanding capitalism, systems of control and how to regain control. Food activism, permaculture. I began a program in Utrecht in the Netherlands on Cultural Anthropology and Sustainable Citizenship, and I am currently writing a thesis on the ecovillage movement.

I have also spent time in Auroville, and there I felt a sense of connectedness like never before. I was completely transformed by the experience, just shining after itAmanda-640. I really began to understand what it means to live in community, going beyond the rules of how we are ‘supposed’ to behave with one another, the kind of separation we are taught to feel.

I came to Damanhur for my research and found that the New Life program was the best fit for this. One of the things I like the most about the program is seeing the dynamic of the nucleo community. It was surprising to realize how my idea of family was defined as: mother, father and children. Here in the nucleo, there is a large group of people who are so different from one another, yet they find a way to mesh and live together with so much love and acceptance. I was surprised by the diversity, all the different ways Damanhurians live the experience being here. It’s like everything is provided here, all the ingredients, and you mix up your own way of being. New-Life-2-1Everyone beats to their own rhythm… it’s such a great sound! I love seeing people’s faces light up when they talk about what they do, with so much passion and enthusiasm.

One of the most touching experiences was a meditation on death and dying with Puma Mandarino. It impacted me because I recognized that here, people feel safe to explore, they are encouraged. They know that when they come out the other side, others will be waiting for them, whether they are laughing, crying, however they are transformed. The meditation on death showed me how much fear I hold around dying, which I have never confronted before. Fear of death is a controlling process that seeps into so many areas of my life. I will continue to explore this and grow from it.

The new Path to Spiritual Freedom sessions in the New Life program were also very moving. They stimulated me to think about things in ways I hadn’t before, and work with what came up within me. Again, it highlights how people are encouraged to be themselves here and follow their dreams in a nurturing environment. They are encouraged to do it, go for it, think positively and believe it can happen.”


This project has been transformed,
click and see the new
Lab of Life program!