“It is possible that the next Buddha will not take the form of an individual. The next Buddha may take the form of a community -a community practicing understanding and loving kindness, a community practicing mindful living. This may be the most important thing we can do for the survival of the earth” Thich Nhat Hanh
A cohesive community does not happen automatically. This is especially true in a developed modern society where many of us have been raised outside of true community and have been conditioned to value “independence” more highly than “interdependence.”
These are proposed, not required, practices to help us grow in awareness, deepen connections, and live more collaboratively and harmoniously with others. The group, once formed, would collectively decide on the practices we may wish to embrace.
Pre-Meeting Check In. Many group meetings start with one minute of silent meditation and whenever practical a brief check in and attunement to others. We do this to aid in conflict resolution, decision making, general governance, and to spot elephants in the room. We also practice a moment of connecting before meal preparation and other community work projects. We’ve seen this practice employed to positive effect in other long lasting, non-sectarian communities.
Mindful Eating Together. Though not everyone is a vegetarian, our communal meals tend to be meat free. We prepare and share meals five days a week for those who are around, lunch and dinner on weekdays. Weekends are impromptu. At the moment, we spend the first one minute of our shared meals in silence. We recognize there are many work, school and other personal reasons that would preclude someone from attending community meals, but our members commit to regularly joining when able.
Meditation/Contemplative Practice. This is a personal practice for many, but not all, of our members, regardless of their spiritual traditions. Currently, we have have a group meditaiton for those interested at 6:30 am and at 10:00 pm.
Food Coop. We buy healthy, mostly organic, locally sourced food in bulk for our community meal and encourage members to participate in our food COOP for their individual needs as well.
Meal Prep. We rotate meal preparation every day with each adult in the community taking their turn leading the preparation of lunch and dinner for everyone in the community. That day is also their “kitchen cleanign day.” We write down and teach eachother how to cook each other’s recipes.
Car, Bike and Ride Sharing. For those interested, and when practical, we share cars, bikes, rides and anything else that makes good sense. We are constantly looking for ways to collaborate and share more, helping all our members save time and money.
Work Service. We suggest each member spends a minimum of 2 hours per week being of service to the community. This could involve helping prepare meals, maintenance, clean up, special projects or donating time to others.
Morning Meditation and Exercise. This routine happens 5 early mornings a week for those wishing to use the collective support of others to help maintain good habits for a healthy mind and body. We begin with silent meditation for 15 minutes, followed by 30 minutes of strength and cardio exercises adaptable for everyone. This informal daily bootcamp tradition began many years ago in San Francisco and then Berkeley.
Coordinated Childcare. This is arranged by the parents of young children and for many is one of the greatest benefits of living in community.
Coworking Space. As many of our members are not tied to a commute or outside office, we create and share coworking space on an as needed basis.
Workshop and Maker Space. We believe making stuff should be a bigger part of most people’s lives, and so we create the space and share the tools to facilitate this.
Performance Space. Shared space for movement, yoga, performance, theater, music and fun.
Quiet Space. For meditation, reflection, rest, and reading. Having a shared quiet place to go is of great benefit.
Outdoor Space. The shared communal decks, the fire pit, the play spaces, and the seasonal kid’s pool keep us outside and together in nature.
Garden and Greenhouse. Growing as much of our food as possible is something most of us aspire to and a shared garden and greenhouse helps us make this happen.
A Recurring “Salon.” In the spirit of learning, we like the idea of regularly hosting small gatherings around a potluck meal, where we invite a member or guest to share knowledge and experience with the group.