In our tribe – our vision for community is pure love.
Vision: Our vision is to create and live in a sustainable artistic spiritual community, seeking and walking the path of and pure love. We seek to serve humanity by facilitating natural healing and educational opportunities.
We realize that we are a part of this vision and are awaiting more of our tribe, with whom we will co-create, and who will also bring pieces to this vision.
We visualize the farm being a multicultural, multigenerational center of healing. We see a large community center with community kitchen, library, dining room, and gathering room. We also see these buildings: yoga/dance studio, visual art studios, music recording/film editing studio, carpentry/steel workshop, healing and consultation rooms, bunk houses for interns and guests, individual housing for community members, individual cabins for visitors, recreational center with games.
We are in the early stages of forming community. At this point there is a very small group of us living and working on the farm. We do not wish to build community with just anyone. We seek to build community with like-minded people whose visions are aligned with ours. All interns in the Awakening Soul program are able to experience community living. We share meals and many other group activities. We live close and strive to have open, honest, friendly communication. We believe that living in community is not only more sustainable, it also offers constant opportunity for emotional, interpersonal, and spiritual growth. The plan is to build the structure of community strong and then to begin taking in orphans. We share in the daily tasks of living, including food preparation, cleaning, and farm jobs. We do not wish to live within, or create new walls of religion, doctrine, or dogma…rather; we seek freedom in the Spirit. People from various denominations, religious or spiritual backgrounds are welcome. We do not wish to tell anyone how they should believe, or how they should live. We do simply ask that those who wish to join us for an internship or to live thoroughly read through the website to see if they are in accord with our community agreements. In general, we attract people who are truly seeking to surrender to the Spirit. Surrender to Spirit, liberty, freedom, non-judgment, acceptance, and grace are guiding principles for Awakening Soul. The farm is absolutely a healing center. As such, we have set forth certain agreements to aid in the healing process, and to ensure a healthy community environment. We figure that some of these agreements will keep some people from wanting to live with us…and that is OK. We acknowledge that everyone on Earth is important and has a specific purpose. We believe that we are only called to those whom we are called. All of humanity is a variety of beautiful flowers in a giant flowerpot. We wish to grow with the flowers we are meant to grow with…Ok, a bit flowery explanation…do you get the point though? We are not judging our way to be the only way…simply the way we have chosen. We are creating a safe family environment and have no desire to spend any energy attempting to ¨make¨ somebody stop breaking agreements. So, our farm is totally free from what we consider to be negative substances. This list also includes refined sugars, refined flours, and foods with artificial chemicals.
We believe that we are all called to be healers, and as such we are called to be healthy. Counseling and training is offered…physically, emotional, and spiritual.
Community Vision: We at Awakening Soul view community as family. We are seeking community members who are already lined up with the general vision and mission of the project. We do not seek to convert, change, or impose strict rules of living upon anyone. Therefore, we do ask that anyone interested in becoming a community member with Awakening Soul, read very thoroughly through our website, and be confident that they are indeed being led by Spirit to be part of the project. We seek the community as the support and staff for the healing centers, the farms, the orphanages, and the internships.We believe in self discipline. By living in community, we give ourselves the opportunity to be refined and held accountable to high standards of love and discipline. We see everyone as a teacher and as a student. We choose to submit to one another in love. And most of all, we choose to surrender to the Spirit.
Here is a list of basic guidelines we have chosen for our way of life:
Community Membership: Each person or family desiring community membership will fill out the internship application available on our website. After approval, each potential community member will complete the Who Am I? internship program. The interns then have the opportunity to live on the farm to see if, indeed, this is the right choice of life for him/her/them. After a period of 3 months, if he/she/they wish to become members of the community, they shall advise the current community members of their desire for membership, and the community will decide. If accepted, the new intern begins a three month trial period. If after that, it still seems like a fit…well then, let it be.
Spiritual Views: We have chosen to have an open, non-judgmental world view, and therefore open our farm to people of all walks of life, regardless of religious, political, or racial background. We acknowledge that each person has his/her own individual experience with God, and that through listening and accepting without judgment, we can each grow in our own faith. Our overall spiritual philosophy is to surrender to Spirit moment by moment, and to stay free of judgment, doctrine, and dogma. We are not here to force change on people or convert them to be like us. We seek discipline as a way of life. We do not wish to babysit or control anyone. Self-discipline is a key to our moving forward as a strong community. Through group awareness and accountability, we can each grow and advance in our own self-discipline. Our farm and project does definitely have a basic structure that we follow. We do not seek to be religious or demanding in our adherence to the structure, rather the structure becomes a basic guide, in which we build our daily lives. We generally wake up early and go to bed early, following the patterns of the sun. We all work in our respective areas of contribution to the farm and to the overall progress of the project. We have various group meetings each week, and share morning devotional and three meals per day. We do not require that anyone attend all meetings or meals, yet it would seem that anyone desiring to be part of the community would want to join the group activities.
Tidiness/Cleanliness/Personal Responsibility: We absolutely, positively, and certainly see tidiness and cleanliness as important keys to healthy community relations. I do not want to pick up your dirty socks, and I do not expect you to pick up mine. We ask that everyone take special care to maintain and pick up his/her own messes, and keep track of personal items. Each Sunday we have a group cleaning time, in which we all pitch in together to clean and organize community spaces. If someone is working on a project, he or she is responsible to clean up or enlist helpers to clean up. For times when one of us is forgetful or lazy, he or she is immediately thrown into the pond… Come on, it was a little joke. However, we do ask that each of us hold others accountable to keep community spaces nice, neat, orderly, and clean.
Communication/Conflict Resolution: We believe in being very open and honest, and speaking the truth in love. We also recognize that the truth has many facets, and that each of us has different perspectives. Therefore, we choose not to assume, rather we choose to communicate directly with one another about problems, grievances, pet peeves, and conflicts. We have chosen to implement the following communication strategy :
1. If you have a problem with someone, go to them directly and speak with them to bring resolution.
2. If that does not work, get someone else to mediate and speak with them again.
3. If that does not work, take the issue before the community.
We also choose to use techniques of peaceful communication. Non-Violent Communication is one technique, developed and outlined by Marshall Rosenberg, that we choose to implement. This technique holds a focus on personal feelings and personal needs, rather than finger pointing or blaming others for one´s own feelings. We recommend reading his books, Non-Violent Communication, and Speak Peace In A World In Conflict.
Art and Design: We believe that each of us is an artist, and we encourage everyone to explore and experience various forms of art. Our goal is to have studios of all kinds. Certain guidelines are set forth to maintain tidiness and order. As far as the design of the farm…well, the idea is to have well presented art and design in all public spaces. Therefore, we ask that no one hang or display art, or make changes to aesthetic design in community spaces without approval from the design committee.
TV/Movies/Media: Absolutely no TV or video games on the farm. We do enjoy movie night once in a while, with focus on conscious themes. People who wish to watch TV, or play lots of video games, probably would not fit into the type of lifestyle we seek to maintain, and therefore would not be candidates for community membership…again, we do not wish to change anyone.
Magazines and newspapers from the general materialistic, secular world are generally not welcome on the farm. Magazines or newspapers with a positive, conscious message are acceptable.
Food/Meals: We have chosen a very health conscious diet on the farm. Foods with refined sugars, flours, or with artificial additives of any kind are not welcome on the farm. We eat a very nutritious whole foods diet. Some of us choose to eat some animal protein, which may come as organic eggs, dairy, fresh fish, or other organic meat. We choose to eat together as a family three times daily. We try not to be too rigid about anything, and therefore, sometimes when people go to town… well… one scoop of ice cream never killed anybody.
Drugs/Alcohol: Some community members occasionally enjoy moderate drinking of wine and beer. We are a natural healing center; therefore the use of prescription and recreational drugs are not welcome on the farm. We see smoking as a personal choice, yet we ask that it is not done around main community or gathering areas.
Housing: Community housing is a blend of dorm style housing and individual housing units. At this time, we are working towards building more housing. We now have one main house with several shared bedrooms and a few separate small cabinas. We also have several outdoor roofed areas for tents. After a person or family has been with the project for a period of time, if he/she/they wish to have an individual housing unit built, we will, as a community, help the individual or family to get their housing built. We will not be funding such projects, but will be available for advise and connections that will be helpful.. We do believe that it is important to have private areas with time away from the community to reflect, be alone with God, and recharge. Therefore, in addition to the wonderful outdoors, various roofed spaces will be available to meet such needs. Natural and sustainable building is our goal.
Electricity: Electricity is used in limited quantities. We wish to create and maintain a balanced lifestyle of natural patterns and rhythms with a few modern electrical conveniences. A few examples of electrical conveniences are: washing machine, various kitchen appliances, refrigerator, computers, and low wattage lighting. We do not wish to have very much overhead lighting. Our ideal is to have renewable energy sources for electricity, such as solar, hydro, or wind power.
Children: We see children as some of our greatest teachers. We seek to empower them to discover who they are created to be, and to eventually guide our community, and the world into harmony and peace through lives of love in action. We see community members as aunts, uncles, and grandparents to all the children. The core of physical responsibility generally remains with the parents, and the overall raising of the children is a blessing we all share. Just as a school has a basic structure for the guidance and discipline of children, so do we. We seek non-violent means of guidance. We do authorize community members to apply appropriate discipline to children when needed. ¨Time out¨ is one technique often used. For more info regarding our philosophy on children, please click here to read the booklet Empowering Children and Creating Peace in the Home. We purposely choose to limit the amount of toys for the children to encourage them to creative process. In general, the toys on the farm will be educational in nature. Video game systems are not allowed on the farm – i.e. Gameboy, Play Station, etc.
Hosting Interns/Guests: As community members, we choose to be the guides for the interns and guests on the farm. Though the physical activities and responsibilities will differ from person to person, we are each part of the God’s channel of love that is the healing team we call Awakening Soul. For personal friends and family who wish to simply come for a visit, we ask that members check with the rest of the community, and that that member take personal responsibility for orienting their guest to the farm, set up the sleeping space, wash the sheets when they leave, etc.
Animals/Pets: The animals that live in nature and with us are viewed as brothers and sisters, created by the same One who created us. Therefore they are treated with respect and love, from great to tiny. We seek balance with nature and therefore choose to resort to killing creatures as little as possible… we still have not found balance with a few insects, such as mosquitoes and the ants that eat our houses…therefore some of them do suffer the wrath of swat and squish. Farm animals and pets are a community decision. We are open to having various animals living with us. Dogs and cats will be considered on a case by case basis. Any dog or cat who would kill the wild birds, lizards, chickens, or who would tear up gardens, or be a nuisance by barking, etc., will not be welcome on the farm. Our farm animals vary… sometimes we have goats, horses, cows, chickens, ducks, etc.
Personal Belongings: The idea of our community is to attract people who have a view of sharing as a way of life. We seek to create income streams together. We also acknowledge the desire for various personal items. We seek to live in a balance with the material world. We strive towards non-attachment, yet avoid any religiousness.
Views of Abundance: We believe that we are called to live in abundance, and that God desires for us, the children to be free of worldly attachments. This balance is something we discuss and keep in the forefront of consciousness. We believe in focusing together to manifest our needs as a community, and as individuals. We share in meeting the needs of each individual, and trust that God will provide for all, including medical, dental, clothing, educational, etc.