“I believe that the community – in the fullest sense: a place and all its creatures – is the smallest unit of health and that to speak of the health of an isolated individual is a contradiction in terms.” Wendell Berry
Update June 2018.
The San Francisco Bay Area – After looking around for several years we’ve settled on a location for an intentional residential community and educational center that one might envision as a layperson Plum Village (Thich Nhat Hanh’s Mindfulness Practice Center) – though we hope to have lots of visiting monastics and guest teachers from all the wisdom traditions.
Please get in touch if you are interested in working with us to acquire land sufficient to support at least 10 entities (families, individuals, couples).
We are looking for partners/supporters/future residents who have cash or borrowing power to put up the required funds. Considering land and building costs here, a very rough estimate for a future “living space” might be $300,000 total per individual, $500,000 for a couple, and $700-800k for a family with young children. We recognize that while these costs are low for the San Francisco Bay Area, they are very high for the rest of the world.
If we can offset these costs with donations, then we can bring the average costs down. Depending on our shared purpose and how we structure ourselves as a community land trust, non-profit, or religious organization, we may be able to exempt ourselves from annual property taxes and avoid what would otherwise be a significant ongoing operating cost.
Our selection criteria were as follows:
- A country with English as the main language.
- Close to a vibrant major metropolitan area – we’re 12 miles (45 minutes on a curvy road) north of San Francisco.
- In a natural environment – our town is surrounded by miles of state and national parkland. Bolinas has not had a new water meter (to build a new home) issued since 1971.
- With a well supported, high-quality K-8 public school – we have an unheard of 10 to 1 student-teacher ratio.
- Ideally, near the coast.
Here’s an 11-acre plot of land we are considering, and a good example of what can be found here. Like most of the larger land plots, it is zoned agricultural and can’t be subdivided into condos or traditional stand-alone homes. For many reasons, land here is also quite expensive. We’re exploring ways 8-12 “residences” could be created here, possibly with the underlying land owned by a trust, in which each entity would have access to personal suites with kitchenettes and a bathroom, all centered around a common house with large industrial kitchen and other shared spaces.
And some footage from the ground:
And the town:
The inspiring story about how this area managed to escape development:
Stream the film here: http://rebelsdocumentary.org/buy/home
And read more here: http://martingriffin.org/videos/
And the Bolinas lagoon:
Update August 2017.
Madrid News – As of late December/January 1, 2018 the 1-3 bedroom main floor unit in our five unit community is opening up for a short or long-term sublet. Click here to see photos of the Main Home & Grounds We’re heading back to the San Francisco Bay Area next.
Update June 2017.
Website Update – changes to the “Values” page and newly added “Influences” page. Consider everything a work in progress – a “draft.”
Update May 2017.
Wanted: Part-Time Teachers for an experimental after-school program in Madrid that integrates mindfulness practices into the curriculum.
We’re looking for part-time teachers from the mindfulness practice community to help create summer, holiday, after-school and weekend educational programs for children ages 3 and up.
A good example of an inspiring program that uses mindfulness practices is this project: Mindful Music They use music and reflection tools to teach awareness, attention and teamwork skills. Another inspiring program is Yoguitos who are leading a summer camp program on site.
We’re open to all ideas. This may include music, art, dance, movement, drama, sports, and emotional intelligence building activities.
There is currently a Montessori style “Mother of the Day” school on the property for up to six children age 1 to 3. Sonrisas Montessori.
We see an immediate need for an after-school program that could be operated for up to 12 children in our newly completed multipurpose space and lawn area. It would be on weekdays from 4pm to 6pm starting in September.
If you live in or near Madrid and have educational ideas that you’d like to share or experiment with, please contact us for a visit.
Our email is: email@example.com
Update April 2017.
Our Madrid Prototype Project is progressing well and we welcome visitors. We’re almost full with about 15 individuals (a family of 5, 4-6 “woofers”, 2 apartments for guests, and an additional studio now a Mamá de Día Montessori school) staying on the property at any point in time. We encourage interested people and families to live within walking or biking distance (or a very short commute) so they can be part of our community and regularly join us. As we are in a city, there are many nearby housing options within just a few city blocks.
- 1200, 1600 and 90,000 square meter empty lots nearby away that could be available for more farming.
Update October 2016.
We’ve secured an unusual 5 unit property in the center of Madrid, Spain on three adjacent sunny lots and are opening it to short and long term residents interested in helping create and maintain an urban organic farm. It will be a demonstration project like this farm in Los Angeles.
In addition to a large 3 bedroom main unit, there are three large studios, and a small three bedroom apartment. There is about 300 square meters of outdoor growing space, a swimming pool, and another 200 square meters of unused light industrial/multi-use space with 4 meter high ceilings. There are a number of unbuilt lots within walking distance should we need more growing space.
If you are interested in living with us as a community member and/or “WOOFER,” please free to Contact us.
Initial Update August 2016.
The purpose of this website is to lay out a vision, attract interested people, and then connect them together and share best practices in an effort to make something happen. It will take time, likely years. Like a start-up, it is important to get a good team in place with all the crucial skill sets covered, without which we can all waste a lot of time and energy. Based on responses to date, there seems to be building interest in several areas of the world. Eventually, we’ll begin connecting these folks using an online discussion tool such as Loomio or Slack.
- Europe – Spain, the UK, and Ireland.
- The US East Coast – from the Mid-Atlantic to New England.
- The US/Canadian West Coast – From Monterey, CA to Vancouver, BC.
- New Zealand and Australia.