A blog article from Karin, a new citizen at Damanhur. Karin was born and raised in the Netherlands and has lived in Damanhur for six months. After participating in the New Life program for three months, she is now becoming a full time “A” citizen. Karin is a self-employed singer and music theater maker, and she also collaborates with the Damanhur School.

Yesterday, I moved to a new nucleo, my third move in Damanhur since I arrived a little over six months ago. All the places I have lived so far have been wonderful for different reasons. The first nucleo I moved to was “Cambio Idea.” This name suits me well if you were to ask my friends and family, because I tend to change my mind about things now and then. But this is not the significance of this nucleo. Cambio Idea emphasizes the importance of experimenting with new concepts. Another meaning of the name is that they value extensive sharing of feelings and experiences. I appreciated this group because of the strong characters of the people and the vast connection they have with each other and with Damanhur.
Dinner together

My second nucleo was very different, consisting of all young people in a remote place, the nucleo that is furthest away from the central areas of Damanhur, “Rimara.” The word “Rimara” refers to courage and in Italian, it also refers to perseverance (literally: will remain). That’s a suitable name for this group of strong, artistic youth, in the midst of the battle for their ideals, full of power and energy, meeting their own challenges and the challenge of this special territory. As a very wise housemate told me in Rimara, “three is a magic number of perceptions to create a stable vision on a situation.”

I feel blessed that I have the opportunity in this stage of living in Damanhur, to live in a third nucleo, Atenà.  Atenà is in the community region of Damjl, the heart of Damanhur I’d say. This morning, I worked with this region, cleaning the Earth Altar and painting stones that form a spiral
dedicated to improving health. We had lunch together with the region, after playing piano and singing with the guests here. It was a beautiful Sunday morning!

Sometimes I feel so happy that I start laughing out loud by myself, because of the super special situation I live in at this moment. As many people say here, life in Damanhur is demanding and hard work, but also truly beautiful, and once you have connected your heart to Damanhur, there is no other way you’d want to live.

After 6 months I started having something like a “normal” life here. I volunteer at the nursery school with children ages 3 to 6, as a part of a project to create a bilingual school. By now, the children understand a little bit of what I am saying when I speak English, and they are happily singing English songs. They also like most of the English games we have invented.

However, before my life could seem a little bit like a routine, all this changed because I went on “viaggio” two weeks ago. The “viaggio” is a fundamental part of Damanhur, getting people outside of their comfort zones, creating a storm inside of your thinking patterns, challenging the ego and freeing your soul. All of these words, or similar, I had heard before, but after this very special experience, I really understand the value and the philosophy of the “viaggio” now! I was very fortunate that I was invited to go on this journey, and my wish of getting to know the heart of Damanhur came true. It wasn’t just pleasurable moments! A challenge to the ego – in my experience – is confusing, sometimes terrifying and hurtful. After a small collapse of patterns, the sun shines brighter and the view is wider.

After having returned now for a week, I still feel in the midst of a game. A game of life that stimulates, is playful and amusing. And by keeping the action and movement going, there is no time for my mind-program or conditioning to catch up with me. Of course I take time now and then to reflect, but no more than necessary to be healthy and on top of the game.