Let’s create our own villages in the middle of urban and suburban sprawl

And I’m talking about actual physical villages. In the here and now. Ones where we can see each other’s eyes and feel each other’s vibe, hug, snake hands, share tools and skills, and troubles, in day to day life. I.e., NOT just a virtual community. Because our primary need, during these volatile, unpredictable times, aside from food and shelter, is to feel both safe and connected. So, how do we do that?

First of all we draw an imaginary line around ourselves, and then push it out, as far as we want to go. Our personal village will exist inside that circumference.

Somebody told me that no community should be larger than 150 people, because that’s how many people’s names most can remember. True? And is it necessary to know each others’ names to feel connected? In the Dances of Universal Peace, we sometimes dance and sing together for a week straight, and only in the end do we ask each other’s name. As if it’s an afterthought. As if it’s something we might need in the surface life we call “reality” but that in no way touches the communion of which we discovered our capacity.

Meanwhile, you might try a subscription to “Communities” Magazine, a monthly treasure trove of both philosophical conundrums and nitty gritty practices in building and sustaining community. Here’s how they describe themselves:

Since 1972, Communities has been the primary resource for information, issues, stories, and ideas about intentional communities in North America—from urban co-ops to cohousing groups to ecovillages to rural communes. Communities now also focuses on creating and enhancing community in the workplace, in nonprofit or activist organizations, and in neighborhoods, with enhanced coverage of international communities as well. We explore the joys and challenges of cooperation in its many dimensions.

The following article contains LOTS of valuable URLs to pursue . . .

7 Ways to Live Like an EcoVillager in the City

Are you looking for more meaning in your daily life? Would you like more real connections with people, time to pursue your interests, and fresh food straight from the garden?

If so, living like an ecovillager in your city might do the trick. Humans have lived in small settlements for time eternal, and some psychologists say that the high levels of depression are due to a widespread disconnect from nature and community.

An ecovillage is a community committed to becoming more sustainable. The resources needed for life are sourced locally in a way that allows nature to continually supply humans. Ecovillages are also designed to maximize quality of life.

I believe there’s a lot to learn from ecovillages. Below are seven ways to live like an ecovillager in your city:

Emerald Village Ecovillagein Vista, Califoria (near San Diego). Photo: Bryan Arturo

1. Build community. The best way to live like an ecovillager is to build a helpful, generous, loving community around you. Building great relationships with a group of diverse folks that share your values will open up endless possibilities. And if you help your friends live well, that will lead to deep bonds and much return help. Starting agift circle in your community is a good way to get started.

2. Become more self-sufficient while reducing your living expenses:

A permaculture course at West Lexham, UK. Credit: West Lexham.

3. Start using sharing economy networks to save money, learn about yourself, and meet like-minded folks:

  • See our comprehensive guide to sharing services here.

  • Use Couchsurfing, Warm Showers (for cyclists), AirBnB when staying in new places. Use mealsharing platforms whenever possible, or share your left-overs.

  • Use WWOOF, GrowFood, and soon Project Nuevo Mundo to exchange time for meaningful experiences, new skills, room and board.

  • Use Dhamma, a Vipassana meditation network of globally linked centers to attend “pay-it-forward” ten-day long meditation courses that help you understand and moderate your fears, desires, and consumer impulses. After attending your first course, volunteer for the next retreat.

  • Sign up for or create a local timebank or currency. Exchanges use different websites and systems so search for your town’s name plus the keywords timebank, time exchange, LETS, barter or local currency.

Meditation retreat at the Insight Meditation Center in Barre, Massachusetts. Credit: Christine Peterson.

4. Connect to local sustainability projects and maker spaces

5. Learn and practice communication skills.

A community meeting at Atlantida Ecovillage in Cajibio, Columbia. Credit: Ecoatlandia.

6. Visit an ecovillage and bring what you learn back to the city. Make an extended stay in an indigenous community or an ecovillage where local production and consumption is the norm, and understand closed-loop living systems first-hand. Check out organizations like Ecuador’s Yanapuma.

  • Decide what kind of skills you would like to learn, and then find communities where those skills are prevalent (examples: healing with medicinal plants, crafting, hunting, etc.). There is currently no single database of communities that accept homestay, but Project Nuevo Mundo is working on one!

  • Explore Living Routes, a program to study abroad in sustainable communities.

Annual Wisdom Kepper & Youth Council held at Deer Mountain. Photo by: Earth People’s United.

7. Join the Project Nuevo Mundo movement to connect with ecovillages and find transformational experiences. And please support my community’s educational Earth Odyssey Bus Tour campaign.

This entry was posted in 2013, local action, new economy, Reality Ramp-Up, unity consciousness, waking up, zone zero zero. Bookmark the permalink.

0 Responses to Let’s create our own villages in the middle of urban and suburban sprawl

  1. Reblogged this on Apollosolaris's Blog and commented:
    Vladimer Megre | official site Een wereld waar de mens in harmonie leeft – met elkaar en de natuur in al haar verscheidenheid http://www.anastasiadorp.nl/ http://www.eco-kovcheg.ru/
    The Venus Project | Advocates an alternative vision for a sustainable new world civilization unlike any socio-economic system that has gone before.

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