Khula Dhamma – which to us means “to grow on the path of awakening” – is the founding and core intention of our community.
Thus we have come together to create an environment that nurtures our spiritual growth, that promotes a peaceful coexistence among diverse people, and that helps restore our conscious interconnectedness with Nature.
Our aim is to build a spiritually and ecologically sensitive settlement. It is our hope that by creating a community that lives mindfully, it will inspire and support others to do the same.
Khula Dhamma aspires to be a vegetarian, smoke-free, alcohol and drug-free community.
A little history:
The seed of Khula Dhamma was planted in 2000 when a group of friends who shared the Vipassana meditation practice, moved onto an isolated farm near the coastal village of Haga Haga in the Eastern Cape.
The land is about 8 km. from the sea (with beautiful deserted beaches) and is just under 300 Hectares of rolling ‘bush veld’ with lush greenbelts, bordered on by the Quko River. Geographically it is situated on the southern cusp of the sub-tropical climate which allows for extensively diverse and year-round cultivation.
From 2000 to 2003 the land rarely had more than two people living on it full-time. Then in 2003 two more committed pioneers arrived and the vision started to take shape…
Up until 2008 we were still only 4 resident members with a regular flow of visitors and volunteers. In that time, with few hands and very little finance we managed to secure our water supply with a solar pump, we established a small garden, set up two bee hives, we built an outdoor compost toilet and eventually got to building three of our own natural dwellings.
In 2007 an article about KD and the Global Ecovillage Movement was published in Biophile magazine. At the same time we had some much needed repair work done on our road. These two events, along with our resounding intention, created an energetic gateway for others to come and join us on our endeavour. 2008 was a pivotal year for us with people contacting us from many different countries with a wish to come and visit and possibly join.
In 2009 we were seven resident members with two 4 year-old children, a toddler and a baby.
From the old to the new:
… … … From then until now, mid-year 2011, we’ve had many, many changes. Currently we have 6 members living at KD. We have 2 lovely people looking after the community house for us, as well as another young woman renting an old member’s home. We’re also awaiting with much joy our new members, a couple from London, who will be arriving in December 2011.
Presently we are still focused on completing the guest kitchen and accommodation of our learning centre, with a bio-digester almost complete too! We hope to start running resident workshops soon. Keep an eye on our website over the next 6 months or so to see how we’re progressing!
Our Eco Focus:
As a community, we at Khula Dhamma see ourselves as taking part in what eco-philosophers are now calling ‘the great turning’. There is no argument that the world’s resources are rapidly becoming more and more precarious, that we are losing plant and animal species at an enormous rate, that our climate is changing, and as humans we have almost totally lost any connection to the natural world.
One of the other ways we see ourselves addressing this problem while attempting to live in as earth friendly a way as possible, is to re-establish the natural vegetation on the farm. We’re overrun with wattle and lantana; yes, it’s a huge job eradicating it and replanting with indigenous species. The riverine vegetation and the grasslands are really the only indigenous biomes here, so we’re starting with the banks of the Quku River and plan to cut and replant here first, then spread out and out.
As part of our eco focusone of our members Tim Wigley, is offering organic and permaculture courses here on the KD farm, at his homestead. Please see the link for more information.