Global Ecovillage Network Assembly and Conference

Jul 21, 10 Global Ecovillage Network Assembly and Conference

Damanhur was honored to host the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) Europe – General Assembly, July 4 – 6, and the Ecovillages and Sustainable Living Conference, July 6 – 11, 2010. Over 150 participants from 29 countries and 6 continents of the world came together in an inspiring celebration of ecological living, world connections, local communities and creative joy.

This GEN encounter was a living testimony to the strength and beauty of diversity. Families from France shared their lunch table with eclectic Californians, German youngsters and clowns planned a theatre show while Estonians led heart chakra dance meditations.

We honored community projects from Senegal and South Africa with Excellence Awards, and friends came to share their eco-experiences from beyond Europe in Turkey, Thailand and India. Projects with indigenous villages were planned as organic vegetarian meals were catered en masse. Discussions on new web technologies happened while healers shared from the heart, poolside. Process and constellation work occurred as workshops on fixing broken tools took place … and so much more. Laughter yoga. Songs in 7 languages at least. So many hugs and circle dances and new perspectives.

We shared glimpses of Damanhur with our special guests, holding interactive workshops on our social and educational structures, guiding visits and meditations in the Temples of Humankind, offering a concert of Damanhurian music and Sacred Dance in the amphitheater and an open air dance party with live rock music and fire dance.

New alliances and collaborations were born, as well as new friendships and bonds. All the stimulation and inspiration continues to brew as we keep in touch from our corners of the world.

I invite all those who were present to share a few words here, your impressions and memories of the events, of each other, of Damanhur – whether they are sparking praises or constructive criticisms, all authentic expressions are welcome. Thank you so much for your presence and the new world we are creating together.





  1. Life has funny ways of introducing new topics!!! 🙂

    This is a long and (for me) a bit funny story of how life sometimes has funny ways of introducing new topics to people. The ones they are most afraid of …but like a Mother: life does it in its own way: sometimes it feels like carressing, sometimes like the mother was angry at you. But it has always been for the good! 🙂

    This was my third GEN conference.
    * During the first GEN conference ,I attended in Sieben Linden, I barely deared to come out from my tent. 😀 Honestly. Because I was too afraid of those new and different kind of people. We came with a group of 12 Estonians and I’m sure everybody found their way around there, but I was just soo afraid of everybody 🙂 I had also come back from a fasting retreat, so I was very sensitive to everything….and: I was truly afraid :DDDD
    I remember 2 people the most: one was Kosha talking about Mother Earth and the Goddess around a lake in Sieben Linden – I accidentally joined her tour about the community. And the second person I remember was Heikki.We had a group of 12 people from Estonia there at the conference and on our own initiative we wished to have a talking circle with Heikki, bcause we felt he was an interesting guy, so why not talk 🙂 Later on he has become sooo important for our country (being one of the initiators of world clean-up and he is very dear to us all because he is who he IS!
    For me this conference ended with a lot of inspiration. I also remember Ina and even Achim (he was one of the first people whom I met during the introduction round). And I remember the feeling of coming home to a new world. The world I’d like to live in! 🙂 But I was still afraid of it 😀
    After that conference, when we went to Swizerland to Schloss Glarisegg (thanks to the fact that Toomas got a good contact with Katrin!!! And we also got a very good contact with Macaco because on our all-European tour we also went to Damanhur for the first time! Oh my God, how much this experience changed my life! We visited (I now understand how lucky we were) the nucleo where Capra, Macaco and Formica live!!! And how they do that: I started believing that the better world is possible. Thank you!

    We saw the temples, also the treehouses, I feel: really everything! So I thank Macaco till this day for it and for changing my life. Thank you Macaco! I’ve talked a lot about Damanhur here as much as I can and it’s really so great example to all ecovillages and communities in the world of how to movement’s events here.

    Next summer Macaco also came for a flowermusic tour to Estonia (and funnily enough with my “9 chords –guitar-player-skills” I had to become more professional and accompany her singing back then). I remember her looking out of the car all the time, trying to find some storks 😀
    Somehow I thought I might never go back to Damanhur: it’s so far away, it costs so much to travel there etc.

    Many times I’ve had to “eat” my words on topics like this already….
    • On the second GEN GA in Finland I attended half of the programme, slightly touching it (not being sooo afraid of it, but still a bit). But (again) Kosha’s intros for every morning, touched my heart so deep I could not think of anything else than trying to bring people closer together in a similar way in my country!!!

    When I came back home I heard Slovenia had picked up garbage cleaning thanks to Heikki who had shown Estonian garbage cleaning video to all people in GEN GA in Finland (Keuruu ecovillage). So I was in touch with Nara (Slovenia) and started to be in touch also with other people from different countries who wished to clean up their countries from garbage. Tiina, the communication manager of Let’s Do It World had always believed cleaning the world is possible. But I started to understand this only then! It was and is possible. In January 2009 the most amazing things started to happen in front of my eyes. Slovenia came with 10 people to Tallinn to world garbage clean-up conference (which also was a completely spontaneous thing nobody had even a slightest idea about in summer 2009).

    In February I experienced a total blessing in the form of a chance to attend “Beyond you and me” course in Sieben Linden this spingtime with Kosha, Robin and Martin and 24 other amazing people from communities from around Europe! 🙂 It was truly fantastic! And I could not have been more greatful.

    And: After the conference in Keuruu I had so much energy for the whole year that I wished to have a similar gathering as GEN usually has in Estonia as well!!! 🙂 So we did that: I also invited Aili, Tanja and Nara from our Sieben Linden course (we had also met in Keuruu for the first time) and it was a real success: 4 days of programme and 165 people!!!  And it was completely on the social aspect of ecovillages and communities that has been a problem in this region (too much individualism and so on). During the year, we also started Gaia Education Estonia with 20 ecological educators in Estonia. And! We also started our newsletter (alltogether 6 numbers have been published). I totally found my true self in doing social practices, rituals, singing songs and making prayers before every ecovillage event or seminar we had. I totally enjoyed being on this wave and improvising with all this! I couldn’t be more thankful!

    Keuruu was also fantastic because for the first time I felt: there are people in the world who believe in seminar things!!! That gave so much hope, self-confidence and power to act further to truly manifest this change in the world that is right now so much needed. I understoood the first time in my life: I’m not a weirdo! I believe in the right things! 🙂 And I’ not alone. And there is a whole bunch of people (now friends) with whom to do crazy-good things in the world!
    For the whole year we kept writing emails with Ulrike, because it turned out we’re doing more or less the same job. Only she’s doing it for GEN, I was doing it for GEN Estonia.

    • This summer I felt like a red carpet was unrolling in front of me before the conference: I got all finances together (a sudden job just for some weeks…that helped me completely pay for my conference fee). Friends even took me to the airport 🙂 etc.

    I had studied in-depth the book by John Merrifield about Damanhur’s social structure and was so inspired to see Damanhur with new eyes, especially now: on the edge of 2012. I could see all that Damanhurians do with so much respect and love and I wish truly: all the people in the world would have that kind of an attitude to living and serving the planet. I totally respect everybody who’s living in Damanhur and is working with such a depth in everyday life to really create good for all, being conscious about the responsibility of living on syncronic lines and really practicing peace, positive human values, transformation and good-heartedness there.
    I’m really very very thankful!!!

    And the whole GEN GA and the conference. I truly felt I’ve arrived home with my family after a year of hard work “on the field”. I felt so connected, so enpowered, so blessed to see all those people again. And from my full heart I felt I would so much like to do something for GEN, as GEN has already given me soo much! And has brought me together with so many people that are day by day only closer to my heart. I would not imagine my life without you anymore, dear friends!!!

    And I’ve seen wonders thanks to you. Estonian ecovillage gathering…and the power of it thanks to Ina, Nara, Aili, Tanja this year….
    The clean-up Slovenia. In Damanhur Nara was already presenting the world clean-up project…and germans did a play about 8EBC :DDD

    A big clean-up seemed like an impossible dream last year….but after this conference and after also seeing the people in Slovenia, oh my God, I do not doubt anymore…how could I ever!

    Alltogether almost 1 million people have cleaned the world so far. Out of this 270 000 cleaned Slovenia, 200 000 cleaned Lithuania, Latvia and Serbia (although independently from us), 100 000 cleaned Portugal. India (New Delhi), Romania and Brazil are preparing. With Nara, Alesh, Petra, Mircho, Janez and Aleksander (Slovenia), Heikki (Finland), Rainer, Tiina, Eva, Anneli, Toomas and Ahti (Estonia) in lead, the international team of world clean-up is currently been built up! And people are having skype conference calls every week to discuss the world clean up conference II in Slovenia in the beginning of 2011!!! To clean up the world from garbage and also invite more people! So: everybody’s welcome!
    This year was also very special for me, because I really felt I could this time give something back to GEN as well. I participated in discussions as much as I could, we started a newsletter project “Econnection” with many great people!!! Quaglia, Dani, Shannah, Liesbeth, Nina and many others!!!

    As I’m really into alternative education, I’m very very grateful to Gazzella, Anaconda and Capra for the workshop about Damanhurian education. After this it seems, we’ll continue with cooperation and start an alternative community-education network around whole Europe! This seems so fantastic I do not have words.
    Just for fun I took the Karunesh Heart chakra meditation II with me to offer it during mornings this time (I would not have even imagined about offering something last yeart!).

    In the end we did heart chakra meditation in Damanhur (because people asked for it) for 5 times, almost every day. The 6th time people already did it by themselves, because I had to leave. I left listening to the music of Karunesh and seeing people to the meditation that was so close to my heart!!! 🙂 Honestly: just seeing how things are multiplied and amplified in this company of people is amazing!! 🙂
    And now: Ralf (from Germany) has already created us an international email list for Karunesh Heart Chakra meditation (who’s willing to join, let me know!!!), Carlos from Spain created a facebook page for us and Karunesh himself gave us a permission to spread the MOVEment  And many people from different countries are still exited to continue with this!!! 🙂 Italy, France and Spain and I understood there is also interest in Swizerland, The Netherlands, US and Finland!!! 🙂 We wish to have a great MOVEment day next spring, so if you’d be willing to join us, please also do let me know. We’re thankful for every heart who’d be willing to send good thoughts to the world – now I know it works!!! 🙂

    Alltogether: this year I really felt that people wished to be more involved in GEN and really do something for GEN themselves. On the other hand I also felt GEN is trying to reach out more and really bring this social and ecological wisdom and all it’s richnesses to the world.

    I’m truly very very grateful for all the conference, for all coincidences, for the Temples and guides of all kinds we all had during that trip, for personal hardships and difficulties I had, to grow personally. For a chance to contribute something. I will continue learning from all of you and I truly thank you!
    It has truly been a blessing!

    So: in the beginning I was afraid….of my own potential I guess. Something in me, that I was not ready to see but what is unfolding thanks to all those amazing people! I’m really very very grateful! As true love is in giving and “only by giving we receive” (Amma)
    Thank you!


    * * *
    Kadri ♥ Allikmäe @>—
    Estonian Ecovillage Movement
    skype: kadri.allikmae

    * * *
    PS. I especially wished to thank also people who took us around during the conference, who prepared our food and organised so many things for us (that we’d arrive in the first place and really onjoyed our time in Damanhur), who took us on our cars, who gave us a good example of how one could live here on Earth!
    And thank you for having built The Temples of the Human Kind: this is truly amazing visual laboratory, encyclopedia, a living and loving organism of art, spirituality and ancient wisdom. And the meditation in the temples…oh wow….doors opening up inside, knowledge, feeling, connection, peace! We are all ONE. I have no other words to describe this…

  2. paavo /

    Hello all,
    I also feel I have to express deep gratitude towards Damanhurians for being so open to us and showing us your world – both inner and outer.

    What I got from the meeting? It was my first GEN meeting and my expectations were high. But they were all exceeded! That’s rare.

    In short – I could take with me the belief that all is possible that you can imagine. The obstacles we are so used to seem quite insignificant after I’ve seen this dream realized – a living successful community of happy and fulfilled people. People feeling that all of their time is spent rewardingly and who do so MUCH! They were always doing something! No seconds wasted.

    We in Estonia are mostly only dreaming of all this (except some nicely sprouting examples like Lilleoru community and city communities) but someone has already done it. No problem, we can also do it then, plus it should be easier, the times are totally supporting us.

    The synchronic lines were quite well working. All of the trip felt totally supported and protected, everything worked out perfectly. All timings were right without any worrying, strange nice coincidences happened every day, plus acceleration of personal growth – we felt a big chunk of our ‘psychologic burdens’ got processed and released during the 2 weeks in Damanhur, differently for every person of course. And this effect got stronger every day. I guess it was the result of the location on synchronic lines, plus the harmonious actions of people over the years that has allowed the intelligent and supportive energies to appear in the region.

    Two temple visits and a concert by Damanhurians were the cherry on the cake. It was the best concert I’ve seen in my life. No kidding. The music was something ancient and futuristic at the same time. Timeless music. Perfect choir performance, like one organism. When I closed my eyes during the dances, I could see visions of myself moving and being in unbelieveably beautiful forms of energy. And I thought I couldn’t dance.. But I turns out the supreme dancer is in me and in everyone. This was a totally new experience of creativity for me. We were taken on an excursion to another world and left quite speechless afterwards, with tears of amazement and appreciation in our eyes. Without any exaggeration! Thank you for this adventure! You showed us a very high quality of service to humankind, to Earth and the whole.

    That’s how I see it. I suppose everyone had their own unique experiences which would be interesting to hear.

    best wishes to Damanhur!

    Paavo Eensalu
    Estonian Ecovillage Movement (board member)
    paavo.eensalu at