This year I’ve been learning the ins and outs of community owned property and I’m incredibly excited to announce my latest collaboration: behold Trillium! Together with some of the founders of the Lucidity Festival, we are bringing to life a beautiful and inspiring land project outside of Ashland in southern Oregon. Trillium spans 80 acres and includes 17 existing structures spread across a scenic valley, meadows and raw wilderness. The land is nestled up against 3000 acres of old-growth forest that already includes 30+ miles of trails that weave through the pristine land. Trillium has exclusive water rights to the creek which flows through its valley until it meets the healthy Applegate river at the base of the property.
On one hand this is a perfect week for posting a response to this article …if I want to avoid ruffling any egos. Or perhaps it’s the perfect week to inspire those who stayed at home. Either way I have a mob of friends at the Burn and I bet they’re having an awesome time. Of course I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t have a *little* FOMO, especially as the week builds towards what will no doubt be an explosive climax in the dust 🙂 I love Burning Man, and it has played a huge role in throwing open the doorway of my soul over a decade ago. And while Burning Man continues to be a mind-blowing, ever-evolving experience that has the power to open the hearts and minds of of its attendees, I continue to be niggled by a nagging question: “OK, so what do we do once we ‘get it’? What comes next?” It’s a question that I know is in the hearts of many and now that Burning Man org bought nearby land it seems like they are asking the same thing.
I just watched an awesome documentary last night called “American Commune” and I can’t believe I’d never heard of “The Farm” before! As we look towards a future where communal land stewardship and regenerative living are becoming increasingly common, it’s crucial that we don’t repeat the mistakes of the past. How to successfully navigate decision making processes, financial frameworks and healthy social systems will be vital to the long term flourishing of these projects. I’m very grateful for the brave pioneers that paved the way. May we learn from their achievements and their mistakes so that we don’t fall into the same traps 🙂
A snowy Mount Shasta mid summer in northern California. The purple “What Comes Next?” inscription on the back of MoBo, my adventure-ready landship, is always thought provoking but has never felt more poignant. I’m on a community property research expedition stretching from the foothills of the southern Sierra up to Ashland in southern Oregon during which I’m exploring opportunities that are helping usher in the future of what community can look like. How can groups of individuals, ranging from a handful into to the hundreds who share some common thread or set of values, purchase land together? How can the finances and decision making process be managed in a clear, smooth and egalitarian way? How does currency function when some people work within the community, while others do business in the outside world? How will these communities be examples of resourcefulness and self reliance while still maintaining a healthy connection to the rest of society?
Projecting future retrospect allows us to imagine how we’ll look back on the present, from the future. And this will certainly be remembered as a historic moment! The Burning Man Project recently announced that they bought property adjacent to the Black Rock Desert where their yearly event takes place and plans to turn it into a year-round cultural experiment. While I think the name “Fly Ranch” is ripe for a rebrand, it’s extremely inspiring to see the Burning Man’s evolution as an ephemeral, week long event towards its vision of a year round, sustainable example of what the future of community might look like. The Burning Man’s Project is a non profit whose chief goal is of “amplifying and extending Burning Man culture”. With hundreds of regional events on 6 continents and now a 3600 acre oasis in the desert the reach of Burning Man’s culture continues it’s benevolent march!
I’m fascinated by community projects and experiments. How do they form? How do they operate? How do they impact the lives of the members and how do they interface (or choose not to interface) with the world around them. How does each variation shed light on the future of how we will live, work, love, grow and cocreate together?
“We are [all] storytellers, sharing our perspectives and experiences through the art of media. Those who write the stories, influence the world. By transforming the predominant narrative, by being conscious with the influence of our media, we explore the possible shift of the story we are weaving together into one of triumph, cooperation, and celebration of humanity’s greatest potential as co-creators.” If you dig that sort of thing, check out the other themes of this interesting book: http://reinhabitingthevillage.com/ NOTE: Looks like it’s currently out of print but I’m trying to get in touch with them to see about a download link 🙂
Day 5 in the mountains of Thailand at DetoxPai and my mind feels super sharp 🙂 I’m currently researching the topic of community owned property. Do you like that topic? Me too! And I feel like the topic has coming up a lot recently on all sorts of scales in all sorts of contexts and conversations …and that is super exciting. I’ve been exploring possible scenarios and researching how the legal and financial aspect could work. There’s a few different models to consider and of course the ongoing management is also an interesting topic too:) It could be useful for all sorts of communities who want to co-own their property, from small coliving environments to larger colive/cowork spaces or even a giant village-sized projects.
When a simple Sunday adventure to Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, a beautiful hillside temple just outside of Chiang Mai, gets deep! As I was descending the hundreds of steps a question formed in my mind: How can I best be of service to the world, while still remaining in service to myself? I added the latter part as it was often something I neglected to do in the past. Further consideration (during an amazing Thai massage with soul sibling Roxanne Rubysmile emoticon led me to another, possibly more focused way of asking this question: How might I best use my time, energy and unique skills to most effectively expand consciousness for myself and my species?
This morning I dropped off my buddy’s daughter at school and then picked up some ingredients for a keto-cheesecake that I’m baking for my extended family tonight. It’s not every day your buddy asks you to be the man of the house and look after his wife and daughter (not to mention goats, dogs and bunny!) when he’s away for a week. But this is exactly what happened to me and it’s been not only fun, but deeply profound to be a family man for a little while. If you are looking for a recipe for keto-cheesecake go here, otherwise if you like exploring emotions and personal growth and stuff, read on!