A Model of Sustainable Living and Neohumanist Lifestyle

Dharmalaya is located in Eugene, Oregon USA. It was founded in 2002, and in 2008 became a project of the PROUT Institute. It serves as a center for personal and spiritual development, for demonstrating and teaching wholesome and ecologically sustainable living, for promoting the PROUT vision of social transformation, and for facilitating neighborhood and community development.

In the time of its existence, Dharmalaya has been a venue for numerous and diverse classes, workshops, seminars, demonstrations, trainings, retreats, social gatherings, work parties, forums, presentations, lectures, meetings, courses, practicums, cultural events, community meditations, healing sessions, planning meetings, social ceremonies, and permaculture conferences.

The Dharmalaya facilities were designed to demonstrate, in an urban environment, a way of life that has low impact on the earth and that enhances life. Some of the progressive features found at Dharmalaya include: rainwater catchment, organic gardening, permaculture landscaping, photovoltaic electric system, solar hot water systems, constructed wetlands, composting, greywater system, compost toilets, and natural building practices — strawbale walls, earthen plaster, passive solar design, use of recycled and sustainably harvested lumber, and zero toxicity building materials.

Its role in promoting sustainable living practices has been further expressed through educational activities such as: strawbale construction workshop, earthen plastering workshop, pond building workshop, permaculture certification courses, participation in sustainable bicycle tours, soil building workshop, permaculture site design, and the Northwest Regional Permaculture Gatherings.