My Experience at Earthaven Ecovillage Part 3

<— Part 1

<— Part 2

Day 5

7:00AM

My clean-up partners had to wake me up, I was very comfortable in my sleeping bag that morning. We were supposed to have some yoga after breakfast but the teacher couldn’t be there. I did some yoga anyway doing “sun salutation” with the group. There was a Coffee and trade happening all morning where you can buy local products like vegetables, honey and crafts. I bought some crafts, then I went at the river that Kimchi IMG_0909.jpgshowed us 2 days before. I was looking for a peaceful moment. I went in a different direction this time. There was a beautiful fall with a an artwork of a little fairy hut, the area was incredible. I stayed there for at least an hour. Writing things i’m grateful for about this experience and meditating. I remember when I closed my eyes and stop thinking, the sound of water flowing in the river transformed into a rhythm of Jambe. I was convince that a group of people were playing not far from me. Is it what Kimchi talked about?

 

2:00PM

We then visited Steve. He welcomed us in his personal apartment at Earthaven and offered us his home made delicious iced tea. It was a very cozy place. Steve talked about Deep Ecumenism and Spiritual diversity at Earthaven. “Earthaven is where the human community in bonding with the Earth in a maner capable of healing the devastation of tThe-Dream-of-the-Earthhe past and inspiring a new grandeur for the future. At Earthaven, even for a brief while, we experience what it is to return to ourselves.” – Thomas Berry author of The Dream of the Earth. Steve explains that Earthaven has different people with different beliefs and religions. Despite the fact that they have different spiritual traditions they unite instead of divide humanity. Just like Matthew Fox explain on his landmark book:

One RiverOne River, Many Wells. In this metaphor, the wells are the individual religions or wisdom traditions. The river is the Source into which the various religions dip. Different wells, same river. It was very interesting and really fits my beliefs.

 

 

 

4:00PM

We went for a walk with Kimchi in an area we’ve never been before. We walked in a little path which brought us to a sacred place. Multiple stones that do not originate from the area were found. They actually originate from far away and they been brought here by ancestors of the land way before IMG_0915.jpgEarthaven. The stones are placed in a circle with a labyrinth pattern, leading to the center. It’s a meditation and prayer altar. You have to slowly walk the labyrinth in a meditative state of mind visualizing your wishes until you get to the center, you then kneel and send your wishes and offerings and slowly make your way back. I quickly felt at peace making my way in the labyrinth and I really enjoyed this meditation. Plus, the history behind it’s origin and the reason is still mysterious, making it fascinating.

 

 

6:30PM

239 Earthaven SOIL 2016

Dinner time, it was the most active dinner of all. It was a special day, the Summer Solstice. There was a lot of people this time with a big meal. It was delectable! There was a lot of positive energy out there it was great to see many people having fun.

Then later we walked together, people brought percussions and played a rhythm while we went for this 15 minutes walk to the campfire.We arrive at this nice set-up in wilderness with wood benches. People reassembled in a big circle around this unique fire. They do offerings like roses, spices and items that represents elements and sending gratitude. They keep the ashes and build with rocks and concrete above, until it becomes an incredible109 Earthaven SOIL 2016.JPG altar full of history after the years. I played some Jambe, of course, and seeing the animated scene while jamming was an incredible feeling. People danced and laugh we had a moment more intimate where everyone shared poems, signing, stories and mantras, until darkness arrives. Then we played music again. It was an incredible fiesta! Then after a while we went back to the camp. I enjoyed the rest of the night talking with friends.

 

 

Day 6

7:30AM

It was my last day and I woke up with this feeling telling me that I will miss those incredible people. I was grateful though, and full of positive energies. So after the breakfast, we went at the Council Hall and did a circle check-in. We made activities, dancing around and “let go of our crazy”. Then NikiAnne shared with us methods to take action and apply what we learned during our experience at Earthaven, whether you are an activist or an artist. She explained it in 4 categories. 114 Earthaven SOIL 2016.JPG

  • Resist -> Protestor, Anarchist, and law breakers.
  • Reform -> Politics, Donations, Green Party
  • Re-create -> Ecovillage, Reforestation, Gardening school
  • Re-imagine -> Artists, Speakers, Ecovillage

 

Everyone has their own ways to take actions. We also have tendencies to fight each others because we have different ways to do things, but everyone fight for the same and none of this categories is better than the other. Government likes it when we fight. They don’t want you to wake up and work together…

Then we had a random partner to whom we answered questions about how we would see our future if we had no money issues to do whatever we want. The partner with you writes while you say any ideas you have to answer a dozen questions. It was a hard exercise for most. We don’t really think about this, we realize we hold on a “poor mindset” and this is probably what hold you back from having what it needs. You need to know where you are going before you can receive what you need… If you know what I mean. Read The Prosperity Secret if you want to understand those principles.

10:00AM

We then reassemble in circle for our final words and our final check-out. It was touching moments. I shared my infinite gratitude read something I wrote by the river the other day. Then we all individually shared hugs and saying the Adios and we took a final picture all together.

IMG_0921.JPGJerry was ready to drive me to the airport. Once I leaved this magic place and was on my way home I felt like “Wow… what an adventure, I can’t believe this”. Like I had an awakening. I was vibrating high even long after this adventure. It inspired me and develop this passion to discover and learn more. And that’s why I’ll keep traveling and hope to inspire others. I hope you appreciated this thread, thank you for tuning up! 🙂

 

My Experience at Earthaven Ecovillage Part 2

075-earthaven-soil-2016.jpg

<– Part 1 

Day 3

9:00AM
The morning was planned to visit the Gateway Barn where Chris built his Micro Hut and gave us lessons about Biochar. Biochar is a charcoal-like material that is produced by pyrolysis of biomass and is often used in permaculture as a soil amendment because of

Biochar-En-page-001.jpgits unique characteristics such as it’s water-holding capacity and is an ideal environment for bacterias to thrive and creating a soil rich in nutrients for the plants. He was explaining all this while cooking a soup on a T-Lud, an eco-friendly stove used to transform wood scrap into charcoal while cooking. He’ll use that charcoal as a fertilizer. Genius! Now just imagine that at a larger scale, you can cook, heat, and make fertilizer for the cost of nothing! Companies now offer this approach, like: Rocket Stove and Champion Stove. There is more information about this on the internet. I recommend this- Youtube channel -to learn more about biochar, and organic gardening:

11:00AM
We then moved to the Council Hall for a little course 101 about renewable energy/electricity with Chris. It was about technics and methods used in solar panel and water turbine system. I can’t say it wasn’t interesting, but it was technics and theories.

12:30PM

After dinner was a presentation about sustainability offered by Lee Warren. She gave us informations about the economy and the economic situation of Earthaven. She explains that being off-grid might be a struggle to some, depending of their financial situation. You might be free of loan and electricity bills, but you still have taxes, some may have depts or need medical services, or need repairs and external needs or luxury.  However, there is no large employers within 20 miles, and local service jobs are mostly 10-15 miles away over winding mountain roads. Jobs must be available onsite nearby. Many community members offer labor to other members and neighbors or the community itself. Several members work offsite. They also have their own local money as well.
She spoke about the decision making process. At Earthaven there is no “leader”. It’s community, everyone is equal. Female and male, black or white (they use the term “Y’all” not “You guys” as equity). They all have the same privilege. The vote has to be almost the unanimity. I don’t know the exact numbers though. If there is members that vote against a decision, there will be a revote and discussions to find an agreement.

3:00PM
IMG_0823.jpg

Nature connection with Kimchi. We went for a walk in the Village Terraces. A family-friendly cohousing neighborhood. She offered us some meditation time with nature to reconnect. She brought us to a great kept river and offered that we separate and find a peaceful spot to rest and meditate with the sounds that surround us. “Down by the river you may often have auditory alucinations, some say it’s the ancestors” she said. So I found my spot, dive my feet on the cold water, closed my eyes and meditated. It took only a few seconds until I found my true inner peace. like never before. I felt free.

 

5:30PM

Dinner, then free time. I decided to take it cool, talk , write and go to bed soon. I played some guitar with Dylan, one of the student and we had great conversation in a gazebo-library. And soon I was to bed.

Day 4

7:00AM

008 Earthaven SOIL 2016.JPG

It was my turn with two others in the group to clean up for the next three days, so I had to wake-up earlier. It was nice to participate. Then what was planned for the morning until din013 Earthaven SOIL 2016.JPGner was a Garlic Harvest at the Yellow Farm with Andy. We first did a little Check-in with NikiAnne, went to the farm where we met Andy, a super nice guy. He explained the process for harvesting. Pretty simple but physical.

Then NikiAnne went back at Earthaven wishing us good luck and said that we should interact with each others while working. “Sing, talk and interact with the  person close to you. It’s great to work while having fun!” she said. And so we did! It was amazing experience and we had a BIG harvest. The ole field was done in a little more than two hours. It was a hot sunny day and it was hard work, but we made it pleasant, we had conversations, jokes and signing. Then we went at the farm to prepare the garlic to dry. So basically, we take a bunch and we tie them with a rope to hang them upside down. It was a lengthy process but we did it quite fast after we found our pace.

1:00PM
We were hungry, but first, we had to jump on water. We needed a river, it was so hot! We found a river not that far. It was ice cold, but whatever. I jumped without a doubt. It was soo good. It felt awesome after that. Then we went for dinner. Everyone looked exhaust. I was. I relaxed a bit, as soon as I was able after cleaning-up, I just lied on a bench for 15 minutes. The day was far from done.

2:00PM

For the next part of the day we walked with Kimchi to Hidden Valley in the direction of the Full Circle Farm. Once there we met Leon. Leon is incredible. He has a huge land094 Earthaven SOIL 2016.JPG with multiple buildings. One of them was a beautiful local for meditation. Working 7 days a week and his mind never stops. So when he needs a little brake, he takes some time to meditate. He also has bees, grow mushrooms, has free goats (he doesn’t kill them) and greenhouses everywhere. One acre was used for wild plants and flowers that grow freely for the bees. We learned so much with him, he shared his uniques technics with us. I found funny when he told us what was the best fertilizer. Bee poo. Yep, I know, that’s weird, but it’s real. He dig a hole to show us how rich was the soil made with his own biochar and compost.
He believes that growing food is what we are meant to do on earth. We are a unique specie with hands, a logical mind and abilities to do so. And we are greatly rewarded by doing so. He says he often has visitor that just came back from vacancies by the beach and the only thing he has in mind, and he yells: “NOOO, YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE GROWING FOOOOOD!” Haha, that was funny. This visit was awesome, it was one of my favourite activity considering the fact that it opened my eyes knowing what a simple family farm can achieve and the possibilities are endless. I learned so much you have no idea.

086 Earthaven SOIL 2016

 

044 Earthaven SOIL 2016

 

IMG_0862.jpg

IMG_0887

6:30PM
Dinner and independent time. We had great conversations with the group, all satisfied ofMead the day. I was also offered some amazing local mead by NikiAnne. The bottle had spiritual design with the Flower Of Life and were identified: Prosperity; Love. I opened a bottle that night and shared with everyone. It was a full moon and some of us decided to take a walk and find a cozy spot to gaze the moon and stars and tell stories. Despite the huge day. I ended up going to sleep late that night, with gratitude for the past day.

 

 

 

PART 3 ->