A Federation of spirtual eco-communities open to the world
A philosophy of life that is applied daily
One of the four pillars is the School of Meditation, which is not actually a place where we teach meditation, but rather a philosophy by which we bring awareness and meaning into every moment of every day. The School develops values related to spirituality, positive thinking, taking action and esoteric knowledge. The goal of this school is to reawaken the divine spark contained in each human being.
In Damanhur philosophy, spirituality is understood as "giving meaning to things" and recognizing a reflection of the universe in every being and every occurrence. Nothing is random; everything is part of a broader equilibrium and can serve as valuable opportunities for reawakening our consciousness.
Daily life is the terrain where we seek this deeper spiritual significance, where we put these values to the test. At Damanhur, we say that "Meditation is 24 hours a day." We are always immersed in a spiritual experience, not just when we celebrate a ritual like at the Solstice or Equinox, but even as we devote ourselves to work, to others, to the environment around us.
The Spiritual Ways are paths of Meditation in which we apply research to specific areas, such as art, ritual, health, education and work. Each Damanhurian chooses the Way that feels most resonant with his or her own nature. This is done with the idea that connecting with and expressing our potential is an important part of the spiritual path.
The social and political structure of Damanhur
The Social pillar is about Damanhur's citizenship and community. From the founding of the first community to the current Federation, the social structure and political system have changed many times in order to respond to the needs of the community. For instance, the decision-making model has evolved to a system based on elected bodies, which comes from the true participation of all citizens. Regulatory changes are sanctified in accordance with the Constitution, which has been updated several times until the 2007 version, which is currently in use.
Damanhur offers various options for citizenship depending on the level of commitment that each person chooses to make-from living full time in the community to living abroad yet staying connected to the project of the Federation. Citizens who choose the community formula live in large houses where residential groups are formed, called "nucleos," ranging from 15 to 25 people. In one dwelling, there may be couples, couples with children, singles, youth and elders. Everyone has their own private space and shares common areas like the kitchen and living rooms with others.
Each Damanhur citizen chooses where and with whom they want to live, according to their preferences and needs. Living together involves many moments of sharing and joy. Humor and the capacity to communicate deeply and to play together are fundamental ingredients in community life. Children live with their parents, yet every citizen feels responsibility for their well-being and has a hand in both their care and economic support. At Damanhur, one of the nucleo communities is comprised of many teenagers who chose to live together. Doing so has encouraged their growth and maturity, as they organize and take care of this community house entirely on their own.
The spaces for the elderly who live in the nucleo community families are suitable to their specific needs. Taking care of the community's elders is an important part of the Damanhurian social system. It ensures not just optimal physical living conditions, but also values the experiences and wisdom of a life long-lived.
Transformation, creativity, humor... live with joy!
The Game of Life represents the value of change, creativity and a sense of humor-each of which are an integral part of personal and community life at Damanhur.
The Game of Life was created in 1983 with the intention of being an engine of great transformation that involved all of Damanhur. In the early years of the community, Damanhur citizens were mainly concentrated on the collective management of space and resources. Through the Game of Life, a foundation was laid so that the community would function well by being flexible and maintaining the capacity to welcome new ways of thinking, in order to continue evolving and integrating new citizens. These were the values that were held by the Game of Life.
The changes created by the Game of Life touched every area of Damanhurian life-from the community relations to the interpersonal ones. All Damanhurians decided to work on the overall transformation of Damanhur as well as their own inner transformation, with a sense of humor, a spirit of lightness and staying open to change.
The Viaggio (travel journey) is one of the aspects of the Game of Life. It involves a particular time period-sometimes shorter, sometimes longer-when some citizens travel together in a camper, following routes that they determine themselves. The Viaggio is an opportunity for mutual discovery and exchange of experiences. It can mean different things, such as departing for the woods just above the Temples of Humankind and camping out there, or traveling all together to some significant sites related to study and research that has been done over the years.
Space for personal growth and the expression of talents
In Damanhur, union between all the people and involvement in community life on an ideal and practical level are important, but the individual is fundamental and is the first precious element of each collective group.
Each one of us, with our particular diversity, makes the lives of others more rich and colorful, and vice versa.
Each one of us is the creator of our lives and responsible for ourselves. As the judge of our own growth, we may develop our own personal strategy for making changes within ourselves, as we see necessary. The Tecnarcato is collection of techniques and tools that favors and encourages individual renewal through the use of a strategy. Every person "designs" their own personal transformation and every three months, they establish a program of practical objectives and ethical values. Of course, living in a community, we will receive advice and observations from others (as you know, human beings are always generous with their advice) but we are the ones who assess to what extent it should be taken into account.
In order to not be totally on our own in this process of asking ourselves questions and giving ourselves answers, everyone chooses a person with whom to dialogue, a "mirror" in which we can see our reflections more clearly. The goal is to provide feedback for self-assessment and increased self-awareness.
An important tool in this process is the "Individual Law." This is a personal rule that we decide for ourselves, yet always with the verification from our chosen "mirror." With this person's help, we pay attention to our own character so that it is not an obstacle to our self-development but rather a positive stimulus towards our individual goals.
Falco Tarassaco coined a definition of Damanhur that seems paradoxical, but only on the surface: "We are a community of individualists." The Tecnarcato, in particular, is one of the most effective ways to harmoniously reconcile the community and the individual.