Intentional Communities

General Open Discussion for topics not covered anywhere else.
Intentional Communities «  » by FirstWave
Is anyone living or have experiences with intentional communities? I have had an interest in them for several years and would like more inside type information. I am not looking for a hippy commune or anything like that (I don't do drugs) but just a group of genuine people that have some kind of spirituality about them that choose to live together like an eco-village type community. One that would respect each others beliefs.
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«  » by tmt
Psychi Child knows a group, I think he may even live in a community similar to what you are asking about. There is one inn San Diego, a spiritual co-op community, no drugs, no push of doctrine. Just a group of spiritually minded people that pooled together to form a community that is sustained to cooperation in community activities and allows for personal endeavors as well. I can't remember what it is called.
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«  » by FirstWave
Thanks tmt!
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«  » by rabana
seems like there are more and more of them springing up-- no surprise, in these times.
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«  » by leila
http://www.ic.org/

http://reach.ic.org/postings/

there are a lot of listings at that website, different kind of communes, community projects.
i have lived in several intentional communities, and i have lived at several unintentional communities...or rather less formal than an intentional community.
where i live now...it is more of an unintentional community...so we are just people who have been woven together as such...theres a lot of distance and *space* between us as people living in the community..theres also several locations...so we are really spread out..the connections happen more voluntarily...maybe more kind of organically...people choosing to work together on certain projects within that community...so theres all of us going about our own things, and theres a lot of connections there...and theres some sharing and helping each other...but not tooo overboard with that... i have known a lot of the different people from meeting them in the larger unintentional community...just from around...where we were all meeting and friends thru many projects and places..and its like that too for the other people...like we have all been drawn together for this time and place...they also all have connections with each other from years and years ago...that all unfolding to us all living around each other now in the same land place, but with our own little spots..and somehow we all just ended up all gravitating together.
i'm not really drawn to...well that kind of community as much...really structured and /or spiritual communities exactly...but i think what you are talking about is more common these days than any other kind of community project happening.
i lived in one place that was more like that and it was an amazing amazing experience...but not somewhere that i felt i could really settle in...looking for something that offered me more autonomy, something with less obligation.but ooo it was so beautiful and very very very remote...that also played a big factor on what it was like to live there...surrounded on all four sides by national forest...and crazy crazy roads up and down the mountain.it was tho a really beautiful experience for me...
i may be unusual in that, idk, but i like to do my own thing...and i like to have community in a nice balance...and i found most of my earlier experiences were ...too offset in the balance of that, there was too much they were asking of people to give and that got weird......or too chaotic and not structured or set in place enough....so more like the anarchistic style community that you seem to be saying is not as appealing to you.
i've written quite a bit about this here on is, maybe i will dig up some other writings...i am really into community building...and living in community.
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«  » by MysticalJazz
I lived for several months in a community in Europe. Since I already had friends there and was ready for a change, it made sense at the time. It was a good experience in many ways though as time went on, the dogma in that so-called "dogma-free" space started to appear. I wasn't meant to stay there long-term anyway.

If you're considering joining or starting a community, it makes sense to do research and pay good attention to what you might get involved in. Be honest about whether the situation can suit your needs and how you'll fit in.
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«  » by leila
this is a good read too
myths about intentional communities discussed:
http://www.ic.org/pnp/myths.php


Myth: Intentional communities are all alike.
Fact: There is enormous diversity among intentional communities. Most communities share land or housing, but more importantly, their members share a common vision and work actively to carry out their common purpose.
However, their purposes vary widely. For example, communities have been formed to share resources, to create great family neighborhoods, to live ecologically sustainable lifestyles, or to live with others who hold similar values. Some communities are wholly secular; others are committed to a common spiritual practice; many are spiritually eclectic. Some are focused on egalitarian values and voluntary simplicity, or mutual interpersonal growth work, or rural homesteading and self-reliance. Some communities provide services, for example helping war refugees, the urban homeless, or developmentally disabled children or adults. Some communities operate rural conference and retreat centers, health and healing centers, or sustainable-living education centers.

Myth: Intentional communities are "communes."

Fact: Many people use these terms interchangeably, however, it is probably more useful to use the term "commune" to describe a particular kind of intentional community whose members live "communally" in an economic sense--operating with a common treasury and sharing ownership of their property. Most intentional communities are notcommunes, though some of the communities most active in the communities movement are.



Myth: Most community members are young--in their twenties.

Fact: Most communities are multi-generational. In the hundreds of North American communities we know about, most members range in age from 30 to 60, with some in their 20s, some 60 and older, and many children.

Myth: Most communitarians are hippies.

Fact: While some of today's communities can trace their roots back to the counterculture of the `60s and `70s, few today identify with the hippie stereotype. (Moreover, many of the characteristics that identified "hippies" 25 years ago--long hair, bright clothes, ecological awareness--have become integrated into mainstream lifestyles.)
On the political spectrum, communitarians tend to be left of center. In terms of lifestyle choices, they tend to be hard working, peace loving, health conscious, environmentally concerned, and family oriented. Philosophically they tend toward a way of life which increases the options for their own members without limiting the choices of others.

Myth: Community members have little privacy or autonomy.

Fact: The degree of privacy and autonomy in communities varies as widely as the kinds of communities themselves. In some communities individual households own their own land and house, and have their own independent economy (perhaps with shared facilities, as in many land co-ops); their degree of privacy and autonomy is nearly identical to that of mainstream society. However, in communities with specific religious or spiritual lifestyles (such as monasteries or some meditation retreats), privacy and autonomy are typically more limited, as part of the purpose for which the community was organized. Most communities fall between these two points on the privacy/held-in-common spectrum.
The trend among intentional communities forming now is toward more individual control than was common among those which formed in the `60s and `70s. For example, one of the fastest growing segments of the communities movement today is cohousing, where residents enjoy autonomy similar to that of any planned housing development. Finding a healthy balance between individual needs and those of the community is a key issue for the `90s--in both intentional communities and the larger society in general.

Myth: Most members of intentional communities live impoverished lifestyles with limited resources.

Fact: Communities make a wide variety of choices regarding standard of living--some embrace voluntary simplicity, while others emphasize full access to the products and services of today's society. Communities tend to make careful choices about the accumulation and use of resources, deciding what best fits with their core values. Regardless of the choices made, nearly all communities take advantage of sharing and the opportunities of common ownership to allow individuals access to facilities and equipment they don't need to own privately (for example power tools, washing machines, pickup trucks, and in some cases, even swimming pools).
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«  » by FirstWave
Thanks for all the info leila! You have a lot of information and for me personally the autonomy and not too much obligation would be probably more of what would interest me. I am so independent that I would need my space. They have several around my area some are in the idea stage and I guess you have to just go meet the people to see what their vision is.
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«  » by leila
i would think most people would want that kind of community in general...one that gave them autonomy and community in what felt like a good balance. so i see that as a key to creating communities. we should be giving each other what we want...and some people are definitley more on this wavelegnth than others...tho i think ideally this is what people are wanting- good balance between own time/space and shared communal time and space.
for some reason people get to into this...well..how to say...its like they want to block each other...to have to work all day and make it so hard...or something??
so it becomes what have you done for me lately? or the gang up game unfortunately can happen a lot too...being that certain kinds of people will start to complain if everyone isnt constantly working as hard as they are...or something. a lot of people are coming from different situations...and then kinda bring a lot of ...well...
idk.
well there are definitely different groups on different wavelegnths so anything you try to say generally about communities isnt totally true...but this balance point and finding it are one of the main stumbling blocks people run into in trying to make a community or fit into a community living situations....to me the remedy to this is to be very very clear about what you want and how you want things to be, another words figure out the specifics of that and then make that known clearly. no mind reading is a good rule anyway with trying to sort out things like that, be clear. but especially in communities...well there can be mind reading...but n expected of mind reading...perhaps thats what i should say. because there can be a lot of vague or half spoken stuff...hidden obligations and resentments and stuff that can come from the expectations...when everyone does this and works with this information it is easier to find a good balance for everyone.
there can be a tendancy to either push aside what one wants for community, or to be really pushy with others to get them to conform towards something...both of which to me are out of balance responses. i find the clearer and more pro active i am about saying what i am about, what specifically i need and want,(and of course listening to other peoples needs and wants) the easier it is for other people to understand...or i would say the more i find we are all willing to give each other what we want...win win style.

i have found that people tend to put aside to much...or they say well i will go along with that, even tho it makes me uncomfortable for instance to have a lot of guests...unannounced...but here i am in this community and this is the way people do things here so i will just go with it...until later they explode about it or leave...to use a simple example. where the real solution to that would have been to state from the get go i dont like when people unexpectedly show up....unless its for a very specific reason...and then other people understand thats what you need and want from that situation and are happy to allow you that. someone else may totally thrive on that and enjoy it...and they can say hey everyone you want to come over and visit me anytime i'm always up for spontaneous company...and then people can understand that too...
or whatever else..you can see this applies to many community issues.
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«  » by leila
btw you can post a listing yourself at the ic site. see if people want to discuss it with you on there. i have looked over their listing years and years ago. i met some really nice people there and chatted a lot about community. there are listings for people in different situations, some want to join communities,some want to connect and at the very beginning of it all...just want to explore... some already have land and visions and will invite you there...i've been invited to one in hawaii thru there..but i didnt go even tho the people sounded really cool. but yeah i put a listing there a long time ago and made some nice friends at least.
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