The name “Khula Dhamma” consists of the Xhosa word “khula”, which means “to grow” and the ancient Eastern word of “Dhamma” which has various spiritual connotations such as “the natural, universal law” and “the path that leads to enlightenment”. Since, as a community, we do not identify ourselves with any one particular philosophy or belief system we generally convey our name as “to grow on the path that leads to consciousness.”
To grow and exploring consciousness are indeed the two fundamental aspects of our ecovillage. First and foremost we embrace the profound and unique opportunity for human beings to overcome fear and the illusion of being separate from all that is. One outward manifestation of this is reflected through how we relate to one another, share enthusiasm and ideas, tolerate differences and how we approach and resolve opposing views. The other is the surrounding environment we have chosen to live in (or perhaps it was the land who chose us!) that allows us to reconnect with Nature.
Through investigating the causes and acknowledging the current reality of how we, as human beings, have become alienated from our true nature, each other and our natural environment, we are deeply moved to heal these wounds of ignorance and work to restore the sacred natural balance.How we grow our food, build our dwellings, gain our livelihood, generate our electricity, use our resources, manage our waste, choose which goods to purchase etc. are all done with the aim of constantly reducing our impact on the Earth and her creatures. As with our relationships, we are still far from perfection — if there is such a thing! But this is our intent.
Our ecovillage is still very much in the embryonic stage. Only in the last four years or so, has work here been consistent and we are still only six residents, including two toddlers. By being so few adults (not always on the land either) and having limited resources, the growth has been fairly unhurried.
Admittedly it’s quite a challenge at times to pioneer such an endeavour with rudimentary amenities, little privacy and continual hard work while the to-do list just keeps growing! But much of our loving labour is starting to bear fruit. We are pumping crystal water with solar energy; we have a properly functioning composting toilet; our garden produces more veggies than we can eat; two beautiful and unique natural dwellings are nearing completion and a third is under way.
Until very recently our access road was quite an obstacle, but with the help of some heavy machinery our road is no longer reserved for 4×4s. Furthermore, we are expanding our honey production and we’re looking seriously into the possibility of farming hemp.
An integral part of our communal vision and mission is to establish a learning centre where we can facilitate a wide variety of workshops and programs that cover, but also integrate, sustainable living, creative expression and spiritual enquiry. The advantage of running workshops from within a fully functional and vibrant community will provide the participant with an extensive ecovillage immersion experience.
Rarely a day goes by that one of us doesn’t remark how tremendously fortunate we are to be living and working here! While honouring a deep sense of responsibility toward future generations, our work and lifestyle bare countless rewards in the process. With a growing worldwide interest in sustainable living we also feel blessed to be among the very few ecovillages that are pioneering the movement here in South Africa. With much of the groundwork in place it’s clear that to now continue growing we need more like-minded, enthusiastic and committed pioneers to help Khula Dhamma to blossom to its full potential. We especially hope to attract families and active elders from a variety of cultural backgrounds! For more information and photos, visit our website: www.khuladhamma.org
Or write to us:
Post: PO Box 1, Haga Haga, 5272