I will be leaving New Hampshire in next few days on another intentional community and A/R tour, which will take me first to a place called Monastic Academy in Lowell VT, then to Fredonia NY, Philadelphia, West Virginia and Washington DC. But this time, I am hoping that (unlike last summer), it will be a permanent adventure. This post gives the details, some reflections on my last year at my mother’s, and what I have learned in this time. And if you are still reading my narcissistic ramblings, are on my route and want to connect, please reach out!
First the itinerary:
- Wednesday 11/22 Monastic Academy for their Thanksgiving potluck
- Thursday/Friday: Fredonia NY (Anatole and his book, Modern Seers)
- Saturday 11/25 through 12/6: Philadelphia, PA
- December: Allegheny Crest Intentional Village, West Virginia (near Washington DC)
- Which includes Dec. 15-17 Authentic Leadership Facilitation Training in DC
- Back to my mother’s in January (depending on her need for me)
- Then (maybe) to Monastic Academy again for a 3 week internship in February
- And who knows from there…
I have a lot coming up as I leave the mother-cocoon, nature-paradise here. In a lot of ways my time here, the last year or so, has been magnificent. I have successfully developed myself as a Circling and A/R leader, almost all of it on the online platforms (!), running 4 groups at the moment which are all wonderful, and authored what I feel to be (rather immodestly, for sure), the best book on Circling and Authentic Relating in print. In other ways, however, it has been quite challenging, and especially in the last few months. I have had some difficult relationships lately (although ultimately healing), a lot of my own shadow stuff has surfaced, addictions, lack of self-discipline and self-care, inability to focus on work, etc. There have been some times, I will be honest, that I have questioned my own sanity, my ability to make rational decisions about myself.
My greatest takeaway from this time, actually, is the insight that I may not have as much self-knowledge and self-awareness as I thought I did. That, in the end, I know very little about either myself or the world, and may be totally deluded. I am still working on that, trying to distinguish between the errors and delusions arising out of my own characterology, versus the errors and delusions arising out of the human condition, as taught by the Buddha and which we all share. This is a tricky one, because we may have very little control in either case, the only real way out (if you believe that Buddha was right) being to be more in witness, in allowing, non-doing, in radical compassion and acceptance of “all that is” — and this includes limitations of our own characterology. I realize that there are “multiple concurrent realities” here, and that the Buddha was not promoting non-action or pessimism. Nonetheless, meditation and a dispassionate attitude towards life is not exactly my forte, so I have been feeling a little bit fucked. Hence, perhaps, above-mentioned reactivity.
Be that as it may, I am feeling 1000% better since deciding to hit the road again. Bottom-line is this: intentional community is my passion. Despite overwhelming obstacles, I was never happier than I was in the Yonkers Morehouse, or running the Trellis Community with Rebekah. It’s been some 4 years of crazy adventures since Rebekah and I separated, and I need to finally focus and “put my money where my mouth is”: I need to stake my claim as an intentional community activist and “love revolutionary”, get out into the world and make it happen.
And interestingly, as soon as I made that decision, all kinds of resources came to me. I spent a few days last week at Monastic Academy, which is only an hour and a half from here. They do both Zen there (serious Zen, 4:40am wake-up time, using Shinzen Young’s Unified Mindulfness) and Circling. This occurs to me as a marvelous idea! I was in disbelief, first that such a place existed, and second that I would even consider living there (I am a horrible meditator). I will be visiting a friend, Anatole, in Fredonia NY who wants to setup a small ashram and co-housing there. I will be hanging out in Philadelphia with friends, checking out the A/R scene there. From there to Allegheny Crest Intentional Village near DC for most of December. Allegheny Crest is an NFNC project and run by a community genius called Michael Rios, who has figured out how to pay my rent while I work for the community (this is not so easy in social-change ventures or intentional communities). And finally — maybe best news of all — team members of mine in one of my circling groups are in early stages of creating an intentional community (more precisely a co-operative) in Portugal which I may become a part of, at some point. The project is very well-resourced and they are totally kicking-ass. Another friend of mine, David Swedlow, just came back from the Platform Cooperative Conference in NYC and gave me a fascinating report. A “platform co-operative” is something like an employee-owned co-op with an online or global component, it’s a new way of doing business that holds much promise. My friends’ Portuguese co-op is (probably) heading in that direction.
And so, it seems that transformation is in the air, and that I am a part of it. I am feeling very happy and very blessed, actually.
Please reach out to me, if you resonate with any of this and wish our paths to cross more!