Assumptions about Members
Community Members are:
If we want to listen to the wisdom & truth of our souls, we need to find moments to slow down and honor silence…
The Community strives for environments that are comfortable, lovely, personalized, healthy, cozy, & pleasant to be in. It highly values the health of its members, the earth and all of humanity.
Thinking globally and acting locally, it embraces permaculture, organic & biodynamic gardening, and healthy harmonious ecosystems on its land. Pre-existing sacred spaces are respected and protected, and new ones may be created. The peaceful presence of nature is valued, and lovely outdoor gathering spaces are nurtured.
Decision Making & Collaboration
The Community prioritizes "What is the right thing to do" in its decision making process.1
The community recognizes that people are constantly learning by making decisions and seeking advice, and picking up skills and knowledge from working on projects.
The Community as a whole is pledged to the principles of cooperation & collaboration. When an organization truly lives for its purpose, there is no competition: Anybody that can help to achieve that purpose on a wider scale / more quickly is a friend, an ally, rather than a competitor. So if you then share your knowledge and information, things will change more quickly.2 Also, the more open you are about what you do, the more advantages come back to you because if you are open, people will receive you in friendlier ways.3
The Community intends to go about fulfilling needs of the world (i.e. better housing & environmental solutions) by listening within. Members may develop deep / intuitive senses of what is worth pursuing… and people are free to act on what they sense is needed using the Advice Process, which enables the entire community to react creatively in the moment (in the same way that Living systems have the innate capacity to sense changes in their environment and to adapt from within).
 Transcending the primacy of profits: Profits will be the byproduct of a job well done, not a goal in and of itself.
 As Elon Musk put it when he published all of Tesla’s engineering architecture: (sic) “If you’re on a sinking ship and you build a better bucket, it may be in your best interests to share the design of that bucket.”
 Jos de Blok, founder of Buurtzorg
Community Building Games, Exercise, & Routines
Regular gatherings occur that are less about decision making and more about celebrating. Music, dance, sharing food, and other group activities that build relationships and contribute to the sense of fun & enjoyment of each other’s presence are strongly encouraged.1
Community is made strong by the inter-relatedness of its members, which is best formed within the context of fun, enjoyable activities. While every Community is free and welcome to define its own set of Events, Holidays, exercises, and activities, here are a few that seem to work particularly well:
 Communication tends to flow naturally during such events (without feeling pressured, heavy or required).
 “Since the dawn of time, we have evoked community by cooking and eating together”
 Classes may include, but are definitely not limited to topics directly relevant to the Community’s Purpose, Culture, Values or Projects
 Teaching classes also gives the member an opportunity to shine and be recognized for their expertise
 Storytelling is an essential element used to build community and create shared narratives since the dawn of time
 If we hope for deep, rich & meaningful relationships, we have to reveal more of who we are: the more you know about another person’s journey, the better you can understand the depth and richness of their humanity.
 Stand up & praise others publicly: Appreciating things you love is one of the best ways possible to encourage & engender more of it.
 Gratitude Friday: Every Friday members may choose to send an email to the entire community recognizing and thanking another member or team for something that happened that week, or simply to share some good news. The first email invariably triggers a whole avalanche of thanking and recognition, which builds community and closes the week in a spirit of appreciation and gratitude.
 Days of Silence: A powerful practice that temporarily changes the entire communication landscape
 Values Day or Community Day: A celebration of the Community’s Birthday that includes activities designed to revisit the Values and Purpose of the organization & realign members with them, plus lots of fun – singing, dancing, etc… A day for members to celebrate and reaffirm their commitment to the community’s extraordinary culture.
 Blissmass: like Christmas, but focused on Bliss…
 Possible New Year's Eve Celebration themes: “What has gone really well this year that we might celebrate? To what extent have our accomplishments manifested the Community’s Purpose? What does the Community want from us in the year to come & what are we excited to embrace?”
 The priority becomes to ensure that everybody’s voice is heard, egos are kept in check, and no-one dominates.
 When the cymbals sing, everyone is silent until the last sound dies out, ideally reflecting whether their current position is in service to the community’s greater values.
 Every meeting includes an “Empty chair” which represents the Organization’s Life & Purpose. Anyone from the group can sit in at any time and listen in from the Organization’s perspective rather than their own.
 For one example of how Artistic Collaboration can be used as a facilitation tool, please see: Reinventing Organizations, pg 807 - 813
There is an intentional commonality of interests, motivation and drives that inspires the community to exist, such as wanting to propagate environmental awareness and knowledge throughout the world. As if that wasn’t enough, there is a cultural environment that supports and encourages wisdom traditions and practices such as yoga, meditation, mindfulness, prayer, music, dance, movement, and supporting / educating children to appreciate, learn, and be able to do the same things.
Interpersonal Relationships & Conflict Resolution:
Code of Values & Ground Rules
- Individuals shall use the Advice Process prior to doing anything that affects other members of the community and take those effects into account when making their decisions.
- Individuals have unlimited power to enter into agreements with each other and shall honor those commitments with integrity. Agreements may define specific consequences of failing to honor the commitments being made.
- Individuals shall respect each other’s confidentiality & refrain from gossip or spreading conflict via enlisting support & building rival factions (negative triangulation)
- Be kind, open, and respectful: do not use force, intimidation or belittlement against each other…