I meet a constant stream of people visiting Damanhur and around the world in my travels, and I hear so many people expressing a deep longing to live in community. Not just “community” in the sense of having a loose network of like-minded individuals who gather in certain moments and places, which has it’s own value. The desire I sense is about truly being the creators of a new world and an evolutionary way of being through sharing space, pooling resources and building dreams, living together in cooperative housing situations with common facilities: kitchens, course rooms, conference halls. Community gardens and organic food. Raising children together and revolutionizing education. Maybe art and temples, complementary currency and solidarity are involved like in Damanhur. Maybe dance, music and meditation spaces are necessary. Experimenting with sustainable energy solutions, permaculture systems and natural building could be a priority.

farm2There’s an ever growing sensation of dissatisfaction with the kind of lifestyle that is available in cities and suburbs, consumerism and modern living, yet returning to isolated farmsteads and rural conditions of centuries ago doesn’t seem like the way forward either. The community and ecovillage movement, ready to connect with new dreamers through so many networks, from the Global Ecovillage Network to more continent and country-specific ones, are offering examples of how to live in “luxurious simplicity” to quote Kosha Joubert from Findhorn, closer to the earth and lighter on her too. Yet still in contact with the world and its velocity and evolution, in a living steam of emotion, creativity, experimentation and action. It’s about thinking locally and dreaming globally, like in Tamera where they hold the vision of seeding additional Terra Nova healing biotopes worldwide, after having revitalized water and lands and cultivated a culture of love and transparency during 20 years at their current site in Portugal.

farm1What is it really like to live community, not just physically living in a community, living Community as a soul mission and lifelong journey? Well it can often be romanticized as a notion. There is a certain sense of idyllic freedom and utopian dreaming to it, though more than anything, I find that living in community means a deep sense of service and sacrifice. Commitment and constancy. Obliterating the ego, in the sense of letting go of fixed ideas about individual needs, perspectives and beliefs. It means letting others in, including their habits and view points. Loving others as a mirror of how much I can love the often conflicting and tumultuous parts of myself.

Every Damanhurian has humorous and touching stories about their journey in community living. Many are shared in certain moments of the year when we show just about everything we know about creating a successful and thriving community, taking into consideration the ecological, economic, social and worldview aspects in the Ecovillage Design Education course, and offering first hand experiences through the new Damanhur Community School. The 10 day Amine’ program also has time dedicated to investigating community life, among other themes like spirituality and the Temples of Humankind, art of the Popolo and the Game of Life.

I look forward to the day when the network of communities around the world becomes so full, active and alive that we’ll really need to search for the people who are still longing for community, because so many dreams are already being fulfilled!

Con voi,

Quaglia Cocco

hint of love