“There is a pervasive form of contemporary violence to which the idealist most easily succumbs: activism and overwork. The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything, is to succumb to violence. The frenzy of our activism neutralizes our work for peace. It destroys our own inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of our own work because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.” Thomas Merton
Who are we?
We are a small extended family and loose-knit group of folks who feel modern society is going a bit too fast. While we accept it and live within the modern world, we also try to live in a slower, simpler, and more balanced way.
We’ve created this website to lay out a vision for living in community and connect with other people who are interested in joining and molding our efforts. The idea is to assemble a group of families, couples, and individuals committed to cultivating a practice of simple, healthy living within a modern community that we collectively create. It would most likely follow the model of a cohousing/ecovillage community (private units with shared common houses, gardens, etc.), but with a perhaps deeper commitment to being a place of personal and collective transformation, for both residents and visitors.
We feel the dominant cultural focus on the “individual” and “independence” has gone to an extreme and many are beginning to lose their innate understanding of how all things are interconnected. We choose to intentionally live in and build “community” – so that we can learn to be more “interdependent” and to better maintain healthy relationships with ourselves and others.
We consider living in a supportive community a valuable opportunity for both personal and societal transformation. The benefits for our children, ourselves, our neighbors, and our planet are innumerable.
For those of you familiar with the Plum Village tradition, one of the community models we admire, one could think of our efforts as a desire to create a year-round lay person Plum Village environment for us all – though not “religious” or tied to a particular wisdom tradition.
What is your relationship to Mindfulness and Meditation?
Becoming more present and insightful by cultivating mindful awareness of the present moment is something we encourage everyone to aspire to.
“Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.” Psychology Today
This helps explain our understanding of what “Mindfulness” really is.
This may help explain our understanding of what “Meditation” really is.
Are we a Spiritual Community?
Not in the usual sense, but we recognize that building and living in community are in fact spiritual practices. We’re not affiliated with any specific religion, and most of us don’t consider ourselves to be “religious.” However, we do embrace various contemplative practices, and many of us rely heavily on various Buddhist traditions, though mindfulness practices are found in all of the wisdom traditions.