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Welcome to FIC – Fellowship for Intentional Community

Humanity thrives when people work together.An IntentionalCommunity shows what happens when people take this premise to the nextlevel by living together in a village of their own making which reflectstheir shared values.

Intentional Communities come in many shapes and sizes, and go by manynames. This includes cohousing, ecovillages, cooperative houses, communes,and so on. We believe there is strength and beauty in this diversity, andour aim is to support it.

IC.org exists to serve this community movement. We offer tools,resources, and information to find, start, or join an intentionalcommunity, and to make the most out of your community project. Learnmore About IC.org.

See more here:

Welcome to FIC – Fellowship for Intentional Community

Intentional community – Wikipedia

An intentional community is a planned residential community designed from the start to have a high degree of social cohesion and teamwork. The members of an intentional community typically hold a common social, political, religious, or spiritual vision and often follow an alternative lifestyle. They typically share responsibilities and resources. Intentional communities include collective households, cohousing communities, coliving, ecovillages, monasteries, communes, survivalist retreats, kibbutzim, ashrams, and housing cooperatives. New members of an intentional community are generally selected by the community’s existing membership, rather than by real-estate agents or land owners (if the land is not owned collectively by the community).

The purposes of intentional communities vary in different communities. They may include sharing resources, creating family-oriented neighborhoods, and living ecologically sustainable lifestyles, such as in ecovillages.

Some communities are secular; others have a spiritual basis. One common practice, particularly in spiritual communities, is communal meals. Typically, there is a focus on egalitarian values. Other themes are voluntary simplicity, interpersonal growth, and self-sufficiency.

Some communities provide services to disadvantaged populations, for example, war refugees, the homeless, or people with developmental disabilities. Some communities operate learning or health centers. Other communities, such as Castanea of Nashville, Tennessee, offer a safe neighborhood for those exiting rehab programs to live in. Some communities also act as a mixed-income neighborhood, so as to alleviate the damages of one demographic assigned to one area. Many intentional communities attempt to alleviate social injustices that are being practiced within the area of residence. Some intentional communities are also micronations, such as Freetown Christiania.[1]

Many communities have different types or levels of membership. Typically, intentional communities have a selection process which starts with someone interested in the community coming for a visit. Often prospective community members are interviewed by a selection committee of the community or in some cases by everyone in the community. Many communities have a “provisional membership” period. After a visitor has been accepted, a new member is “provisional” until they have stayed for some period (often six months or a year) and then the community re-evaluates their membership. Generally, after the provisional member has been accepted, they become a full member. In many communities, the voting privileges or community benefits for provisional members are less than those for full members.

Christian intentional communities are usually composed of those wanting to emulate the practices of the earliest believers. Using the biblical book of Acts (and, often, the Sermon on the Mount) as a model, members of these communities strive for a practical working out of their individual faith in a corporate context.[2] These Christian intentional communities try to live out the teachings of the New Testament and practice lives of compassion and hospitality.[3] Communities such as the Simple Way, the Bruderhof[4] and Rutba House would fall into this category. These communities, despite strict membership criteria, are open to visitors and not reclusive in the way that certain intentional communities are.[5]

A survey in the 1995 edition of the Communities Directory, published by Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC), reported that 54 percent of the communities choosing to list themselves were rural, 28 percent were urban, 10 percent had both rural and urban sites, and 8 percent did not specify.

The most common form of governance in intentional communities is democratic (64 percent), with decisions made by some form of consensus decision-making or voting. A hierarchical or authoritarian structure governs 9 percent of communities, 11 percent are a combination of democratic and hierarchical structure, and 16 percent do not specify.[6] Many communities which were initially led by an individual or small group have changed in recent years to a more democratic form of governance.

More here:

Intentional community – Wikipedia

Commune – Wikipedia

Not to be confused with comune.This article is about a group of people sharing a common life. For administrative units and other uses, see Commune (disambiguation).

A commune (the French word appearing in the 12th century from Medieval Latin communia, meaning a large gathering of people sharing a common life; from Latin communis, things held in common)[1] is an intentional community of people living together, sharing common interests, often having common values and beliefs, as well as shared property, possessions, resources, and, in some communes, work, income or assets.

In addition to the communal economy, consensus decision-making, non-hierarchical structures and ecological living have become important core principles for many communes. There are many contemporary intentional communities all over the world, a list of which can be found at the Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC).[2] For the usually larger-scale, political entities in communist political theory, see socialist communes, which are similar but distinct social organizations.

Benjamin Zablocki categorized communities this way:[3]

Many communal ventures encompass more than one of these categorizations. Some communes, such as the ashrams of the Vedanta Society or the Theosophical commune Lomaland, formed around spiritual leaders, while others formed around political ideologies. For others, the “glue” is simply the desire for a more shared, sociable lifestyle.

The central characteristics of communes, or core principles that define communes, have been expressed in various forms over the years. Before 1840 such communities were known as “communist and socialist settlements”; by 1860, they were also called “communitarian” and by around 1920 the term “intentional community”[citation needed] had been added to the vernacular of some theorists. The term “communitarian” was invented by the Suffolk-born radical John Goodwyn Barmby, subsequently a Unitarian minister.[4]

At the start of the 1970s, “The New Communes” author Ron E. Roberts classified communes as a subclass of a larger category of Utopias. He listed three main characteristics. Communes of this period tended to develop their own characteristics of theory though, so while many strived for variously expressed forms of egalitarianism Roberts’ list should never be read as typical. Roberts’ three listed items were: first, egalitarianism that communes specifically rejected hierarchy or graduations of social status as being necessary to social order. Second, human scale that members of some communes saw the scale of society as it was then organized as being too industrialized (or factory sized) and therefore unsympathetic to human dimensions. And third, that communes were consciously anti-bureaucratic.

Twenty five years later, Dr. Bill Metcalf, in his edited book “Shared Visions, Shared Lives” defined communes as having the following core principles: the importance of the group as opposed to the nuclear family unit, a “common purse”, a collective household, group decision making in general and intimate affairs. Sharing everyday life and facilities, a commune is an idealized form of family, being a new sort of “primary group” (generally with fewer than 20 people although again there are outstanding examples of much larger communes or communes that experienced episodes with much larger populations). Commune members have emotional bonds to the whole group rather than to any sub-group, and the commune is experienced with emotions which go beyond just social collectivity.

With the simple definition of a commune as an intentional community with 100% income sharing, the online directory of the Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC)[2] lists 186 communes worldwide (17 August 2011).[7] Some of these are religious institutions such as abbeys and monasteries. Others are based in anthroposophic philosophy, including Camphill villages that provide support for the education, employment, and daily lives of adults and children with developmental disabilities, mental health problems or other special needs.[8] Many communes are part of the New Age movement.

Many cultures naturally practice communal or tribal living, and would not designate their way of life as a planned ‘commune’ per se, though their living situation may have many characteristics of a commune.

In Germany, a large number of the intentional communities define themselves as communes and there is a network of political communes called “Kommuja”[9] with about 30 member groups (May 2009). Germany has a long tradition of intentional communities going back to the groups inspired by the principles of Lebensreform in the 19th century. Later, about 100 intentional communities were started in the Weimar Republic after World War I, many had a communal economy. In the 1960s, there was a resurgence of communities calling themselves communes, starting with the Kommune 1 in Berlin, followed by Kommune 2 (also Berlin) and Kommune 3 in Wolfsburg.

In the German commune book, Das KommuneBuch, communes are defined by Elisabeth Vo as communities which:

Kibbutzim in Israel, (sing., kibbutz) are examples of officially organized communes, the first of which were based on agriculture. Today, there are dozens of urban communes growing in the cities of Israel, often called urban kibbutzim. The urban kibbutzim are smaller and more anarchist.[11] Most of the urban communes in Israel emphasize social change, education, and local involvement in the cities where they live. Some of the urban communes have members who are graduates of zionist-socialist youth movements, like HaNoar HaOved VeHaLomed, HaMahanot HaOlim and Hashomer Hatsair.[12]

In 1831 John Vandeleur (a landlord) established a commune on his Ralahine Estate at Newmarket-on-Fergus, Co. Clare. Vandeleur asked Edward Thomas Craig, an English socialist, to formulate rules and regulations for the commune. It was set up with a population of 22 adult single men, 7 married men and their 7 wives, 5 single women, 4 orphan boys and 5 children under the age of 9 years. No money was employed, only credit notes which could be used in the commune shop. All occupants were committed to a life with no alcohol, tobacco, snuff or gambling. All were required to work for 12 hours a day during the summer and from dawn to dusk in winter. The social experiment prospered for a time and 29 new members joined. However, in 1833 the experiment collapsed due to the gambling debts of John Vandeleur. The members of the commune met for the last time on 23 November 1833 and placed on record a declaration of the contentment, peace and happiness they had experienced for two years under the arrangements introduced by Mr. Vandeleur and Mr. Craig and which through no fault of the Association was now at an end.[13]

In imperial Russia, the vast majority of Russian peasants held their land in communal ownership within a mir community, which acted as a village government and a cooperative.[14][15] The very widespread and influential pre-Soviet Russian tradition of Monastic communities of both sexes could also be considered a form of communal living. After the end of Communism in Russia monastic communities have again become more common, populous and, to a lesser degree, more influential in Russian society. Various patterns of Russian behaviortoloka (), pomochi (), artel’ ()are also based on Communal (“”) traditions.

A 19th century advocate and practitioner of communal living was the utopian socialist John Goodwyn Barmby, who founded a Communist Church before becoming a Unitarian minister.[16] The UK today has several communes or intentional communities, increasing since the New Towns Act 1946 to recuperate a lost sense of community at the centralization of population in Post-War New Towns such as Crawley or Corby.

The Simon Community in London is an example of social cooperation, made to ease homelessness within London. It provides food and religion and is staffed by homeless people and volunteers. Mildly nomadic, they run street “cafs” which distribute food to their known members and to the general public.

The Bruderhof has three locations in the UK[18] and follows the example of the earliest Christians in the Book of Acts by living in community and sharing all things in common.[19] In Glandwr, near Crymych, Pembrokeshire, a co-op called Lammas Ecovillage focuses on planning and sustainable development. Granted planning permission by the Welsh Government in 2009, it has since created 9 holdings and is a central communal hub for its community.[20] In Scotland, the Findhorn Foundation founded by Peter and Eileen Caddy and Dorothy Maclean in 1962[21] is prominent for its educational centre and experimental architectural community project based at The Park, in Moray, Scotland, near the village of Findhorn.[22]

The Findhorn Ecovillage community at The Park, Findhorn, a village in Moray, Scotland, and at Cluny Hill in Forres, now houses more than 400 people.[23]

There is a long history of communes in America (see this short discussion of Utopian communities) which led to the rise in the communes of the hippie movementthe “back-to-the-land” ventures of the 1960s and 1970s .[24] One commune that played a large role in the hippie movement was Kaliflower, a utopian living cooperative that existed in San Francisco between 1967 and 1973 built on values of free love and anti-capitalism.

Andrew Jacobs of The New York Times wrote that “after decades of contraction, the American commune movement has been expanding since the mid-1990s, spurred by the growth of settlements that seek to marry the utopian-minded commune of the 1960s with the American predilection for privacy and capital appreciation.”[25] (See Intentional community). The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC) is the best source for listings of and more information about communes in the United States.

While many American communes are short lived, some have been in operation for over 50 years. The Bruderhof was established in the US in 1954,[26] Twin Oaks in 1967[27] and Koinonia Farm in 1942.[28] Twin Oaks is a rare example of a non-religious commune surviving for longer than 30 years.

As of 2010, the Venezuelan state has initiated the construction of almost 200 “socialist communes” which are billed as autonomous and independent from the government. The communes have their own “productive gardens that grow their own vegetables as a method of self-supply. The communes also make independent decisions in regards to administration and the use of funding.[29] The idea has been denounced as an attempt to undermine elected local governments, since the central government could shift its funding away from these in favor of communes, which are overseen by the federal Ministry of Communes and Social Protection.[30]

Visit link:

Commune – Wikipedia

Welcome to FIC – Fellowship for Intentional Community

Humanity thrives when people work together.An IntentionalCommunity shows what happens when people take this premise to the nextlevel by living together in a village of their own making which reflectstheir shared values.

Intentional Communities come in many shapes and sizes, and go by manynames. This includes cohousing, ecovillages, cooperative houses, communes,and so on. We believe there is strength and beauty in this diversity, andour aim is to support it.

IC.org exists to serve this community movement. We offer tools,resources, and information to find, start, or join an intentionalcommunity, and to make the most out of your community project. Learnmore About IC.org.

View original post here:

Welcome to FIC – Fellowship for Intentional Community

Intentional community – Wikipedia

An intentional community is a planned residential community designed from the start to have a high degree of social cohesion and teamwork. The members of an intentional community typically hold a common social, political, religious, or spiritual vision and often follow an alternative lifestyle. They typically share responsibilities and resources. Intentional communities include collective households, cohousing communities, coliving, ecovillages, monasteries, communes, survivalist retreats, kibbutzim, ashrams, and housing cooperatives. New members of an intentional community are generally selected by the community’s existing membership, rather than by real-estate agents or land owners (if the land is not owned collectively by the community).

The purposes of intentional communities vary in different communities. They may include sharing resources, creating family-oriented neighborhoods, and living ecologically sustainable lifestyles, such as in ecovillages.

Some communities are secular; others have a spiritual basis. One common practice, particularly in spiritual communities, is communal meals. Typically, there is a focus on egalitarian values. Other themes are voluntary simplicity, interpersonal growth, and self-sufficiency.

Some communities provide services to disadvantaged populations, for example, war refugees, the homeless, or people with developmental disabilities. Some communities operate learning or health centers. Other communities, such as Castanea of Nashville, Tennessee, offer a safe neighborhood for those exiting rehab programs to live in. Some communities also act as a mixed-income neighborhood, so as to alleviate the damages of one demographic assigned to one area. Many intentional communities attempt to alleviate social injustices that are being practiced within the area of residence. Some intentional communities are also micronations, such as Freetown Christiania.[1]

Many communities have different types or levels of membership. Typically, intentional communities have a selection process which starts with someone interested in the community coming for a visit. Often prospective community members are interviewed by a selection committee of the community or in some cases by everyone in the community. Many communities have a “provisional membership” period. After a visitor has been accepted, a new member is “provisional” until they have stayed for some period (often six months or a year) and then the community re-evaluates their membership. Generally, after the provisional member has been accepted, they become a full member. In many communities, the voting privileges or community benefits for provisional members are less than those for full members.

Christian intentional communities are usually composed of those wanting to emulate the practices of the earliest believers. Using the biblical book of Acts (and, often, the Sermon on the Mount) as a model, members of these communities strive for a practical working out of their individual faith in a corporate context.[2] These Christian intentional communities try to live out the teachings of the New Testament and practice lives of compassion and hospitality.[3] Communities such as the Simple Way, the Bruderhof[4] and Rutba House would fall into this category. These communities, despite strict membership criteria, are open to visitors and not reclusive in the way that certain intentional communities are.[5]

A survey in the 1995 edition of the Communities Directory, published by Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC), reported that 54 percent of the communities choosing to list themselves were rural, 28 percent were urban, 10 percent had both rural and urban sites, and 8 percent did not specify.

The most common form of governance in intentional communities is democratic (64 percent), with decisions made by some form of consensus decision-making or voting. A hierarchical or authoritarian structure governs 9 percent of communities, 11 percent are a combination of democratic and hierarchical structure, and 16 percent do not specify.[6] Many communities which were initially led by an individual or small group have changed in recent years to a more democratic form of governance.

Excerpt from:

Intentional community – Wikipedia

Commune – Wikipedia

Not to be confused with comune.This article is about a group of people sharing a common life. For administrative units and other uses, see Commune (disambiguation).

A commune (the French word appearing in the 12th century from Medieval Latin communia, meaning a large gathering of people sharing a common life; from Latin communis, things held in common)[1] is an intentional community of people living together, sharing common interests, often having common values and beliefs, as well as shared property, possessions, resources, and, in some communes, work, income or assets.

In addition to the communal economy, consensus decision-making, non-hierarchical structures and ecological living have become important core principles for many communes. There are many contemporary intentional communities all over the world, a list of which can be found at the Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC).[2] For the usually larger-scale, political entities in communist political theory, see socialist communes, which are similar but distinct social organizations.

Benjamin Zablocki categorized communities this way:[3]

Many communal ventures encompass more than one of these categorizations. Some communes, such as the ashrams of the Vedanta Society or the Theosophical commune Lomaland, formed around spiritual leaders, while others formed around political ideologies. For others, the “glue” is simply the desire for a more shared, sociable lifestyle.

The central characteristics of communes, or core principles that define communes, have been expressed in various forms over the years. Before 1840 such communities were known as “communist and socialist settlements”; by 1860, they were also called “communitarian” and by around 1920 the term “intentional community”[citation needed] had been added to the vernacular of some theorists. The term “communitarian” was invented by the Suffolk-born radical John Goodwyn Barmby, subsequently a Unitarian minister.[4]

At the start of the 1970s, “The New Communes” author Ron E. Roberts classified communes as a subclass of a larger category of Utopias. He listed three main characteristics. Communes of this period tended to develop their own characteristics of theory though, so while many strived for variously expressed forms of egalitarianism Roberts’ list should never be read as typical. Roberts’ three listed items were: first, egalitarianism that communes specifically rejected hierarchy or graduations of social status as being necessary to social order. Second, human scale that members of some communes saw the scale of society as it was then organized as being too industrialized (or factory sized) and therefore unsympathetic to human dimensions. And third, that communes were consciously anti-bureaucratic.

Twenty five years later, Dr. Bill Metcalf, in his edited book “Shared Visions, Shared Lives” defined communes as having the following core principles: the importance of the group as opposed to the nuclear family unit, a “common purse”, a collective household, group decision making in general and intimate affairs. Sharing everyday life and facilities, a commune is an idealized form of family, being a new sort of “primary group” (generally with fewer than 20 people although again there are outstanding examples of much larger communes or communes that experienced episodes with much larger populations). Commune members have emotional bonds to the whole group rather than to any sub-group, and the commune is experienced with emotions which go beyond just social collectivity.

With the simple definition of a commune as an intentional community with 100% income sharing, the online directory of the Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC)[2] lists 186 communes worldwide (17 August 2011).[7] Some of these are religious institutions such as abbeys and monasteries. Others are based in anthroposophic philosophy, including Camphill villages that provide support for the education, employment, and daily lives of adults and children with developmental disabilities, mental health problems or other special needs.[8] Many communes are part of the New Age movement.

Many cultures naturally practice communal or tribal living, and would not designate their way of life as a planned ‘commune’ per se, though their living situation may have many characteristics of a commune.

In Germany, a large number of the intentional communities define themselves as communes and there is a network of political communes called “Kommuja”[9] with about 30 member groups (May 2009). Germany has a long tradition of intentional communities going back to the groups inspired by the principles of Lebensreform in the 19th century. Later, about 100 intentional communities were started in the Weimar Republic after World War I, many had a communal economy. In the 1960s, there was a resurgence of communities calling themselves communes, starting with the Kommune 1 in Berlin, followed by Kommune 2 (also Berlin) and Kommune 3 in Wolfsburg.

In the German commune book, Das KommuneBuch, communes are defined by Elisabeth Vo as communities which:

Kibbutzim in Israel, (sing., kibbutz) are examples of officially organized communes, the first of which were based on agriculture. Today, there are dozens of urban communes growing in the cities of Israel, often called urban kibbutzim. The urban kibbutzim are smaller and more anarchist.[11] Most of the urban communes in Israel emphasize social change, education, and local involvement in the cities where they live. Some of the urban communes have members who are graduates of zionist-socialist youth movements, like HaNoar HaOved VeHaLomed, HaMahanot HaOlim and Hashomer Hatsair.[12]

In 1831 John Vandeleur (a landlord) established a commune on his Ralahine Estate at Newmarket-on-Fergus, Co. Clare. Vandeleur asked Edward Thomas Craig, an English socialist, to formulate rules and regulations for the commune. It was set up with a population of 22 adult single men, 7 married men and their 7 wives, 5 single women, 4 orphan boys and 5 children under the age of 9 years. No money was employed, only credit notes which could be used in the commune shop. All occupants were committed to a life with no alcohol, tobacco, snuff or gambling. All were required to work for 12 hours a day during the summer and from dawn to dusk in winter. The social experiment prospered for a time and 29 new members joined. However, in 1833 the experiment collapsed due to the gambling debts of John Vandeleur. The members of the commune met for the last time on 23 November 1833 and placed on record a declaration of the contentment, peace and happiness they had experienced for two years under the arrangements introduced by Mr. Vandeleur and Mr. Craig and which through no fault of the Association was now at an end.[13]

In imperial Russia, the vast majority of Russian peasants held their land in communal ownership within a mir community, which acted as a village government and a cooperative.[14][15] The very widespread and influential pre-Soviet Russian tradition of Monastic communities of both sexes could also be considered a form of communal living. After the end of Communism in Russia monastic communities have again become more common, populous and, to a lesser degree, more influential in Russian society. Various patterns of Russian behaviortoloka (), pomochi (), artel’ ()are also based on Communal (“”) traditions.

A 19th century advocate and practitioner of communal living was the utopian socialist John Goodwyn Barmby, who founded a Communist Church before becoming a Unitarian minister.[16] The UK today has several communes or intentional communities, increasing since the New Towns Act 1946 to recuperate a lost sense of community at the centralization of population in Post-War New Towns such as Crawley or Corby.

The Simon Community in London is an example of social cooperation, made to ease homelessness within London. It provides food and religion and is staffed by homeless people and volunteers. Mildly nomadic, they run street “cafs” which distribute food to their known members and to the general public.

The Bruderhof has three locations in the UK[18] and follows the example of the earliest Christians in the Book of Acts by living in community and sharing all things in common.[19] In Glandwr, near Crymych, Pembrokeshire, a co-op called Lammas Ecovillage focuses on planning and sustainable development. Granted planning permission by the Welsh Government in 2009, it has since created 9 holdings and is a central communal hub for its community.[20] In Scotland, the Findhorn Foundation founded by Peter and Eileen Caddy and Dorothy Maclean in 1962[21] is prominent for its educational centre and experimental architectural community project based at The Park, in Moray, Scotland, near the village of Findhorn.[22]

The Findhorn Ecovillage community at The Park, Findhorn, a village in Moray, Scotland, and at Cluny Hill in Forres, now houses more than 400 people.[23]

There is a long history of communes in America (see this short discussion of Utopian communities) which led to the rise in the communes of the hippie movementthe “back-to-the-land” ventures of the 1960s and 1970s .[24] One commune that played a large role in the hippie movement was Kaliflower, a utopian living cooperative that existed in San Francisco between 1967 and 1973 built on values of free love and anti-capitalism.

Andrew Jacobs of The New York Times wrote that “after decades of contraction, the American commune movement has been expanding since the mid-1990s, spurred by the growth of settlements that seek to marry the utopian-minded commune of the 1960s with the American predilection for privacy and capital appreciation.”[25] (See Intentional community). The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC) is the best source for listings of and more information about communes in the United States.

While many American communes are short lived, some have been in operation for over 50 years. The Bruderhof was established in the US in 1954,[26] Twin Oaks in 1967[27] and Koinonia Farm in 1942.[28] Twin Oaks is a rare example of a non-religious commune surviving for longer than 30 years.

As of 2010, the Venezuelan state has initiated the construction of almost 200 “socialist communes” which are billed as autonomous and independent from the government. The communes have their own “productive gardens that grow their own vegetables as a method of self-supply. The communes also make independent decisions in regards to administration and the use of funding.[29] The idea has been denounced as an attempt to undermine elected local governments, since the central government could shift its funding away from these in favor of communes, which are overseen by the federal Ministry of Communes and Social Protection.[30]

See the article here:

Commune – Wikipedia

Welcome to FIC – Fellowship for Intentional Community

Humanity thrives when people work together.An IntentionalCommunity shows what happens when people take this premise to the nextlevel by living together in a village of their own making which reflectstheir shared values.

Intentional Communities come in many shapes and sizes, and go by manynames. This includes cohousing, ecovillages, cooperative houses, communes,and so on. We believe there is strength and beauty in this diversity, andour aim is to support it.

IC.org exists to serve this community movement. We offer tools,resources, and information to find, start, or join an intentionalcommunity, and to make the most out of your community project. Learnmore About IC.org.

More:

Welcome to FIC – Fellowship for Intentional Community

Intentional community – Wikipedia

An intentional community is a planned residential community designed from the start to have a high degree of social cohesion and teamwork. The members of an intentional community typically hold a common social, political, religious, or spiritual vision and often follow an alternative lifestyle. They typically share responsibilities and resources. Intentional communities include collective households, cohousing communities, coliving, ecovillages, monasteries, communes, survivalist retreats, kibbutzim, ashrams, and housing cooperatives. New members of an intentional community are generally selected by the community’s existing membership, rather than by real-estate agents or land owners (if the land is not owned collectively by the community).

The purposes of intentional communities vary in different communities. They may include sharing resources, creating family-oriented neighborhoods, and living ecologically sustainable lifestyles, such as in ecovillages.

Some communities are secular; others have a spiritual basis. One common practice, particularly in spiritual communities, is communal meals. Typically, there is a focus on egalitarian values. Other themes are voluntary simplicity, interpersonal growth, and self-sufficiency.

Some communities provide services to disadvantaged populations, for example, war refugees, the homeless, or people with developmental disabilities. Some communities operate learning or health centers. Other communities, such as Castanea of Nashville, Tennessee, offer a safe neighborhood for those exiting rehab programs to live in. Some communities also act as a mixed-income neighborhood, so as to alleviate the damages of one demographic assigned to one area. Many intentional communities attempt to alleviate social injustices that are being practiced within the area of residence. Some intentional communities are also micronations, such as Freetown Christiania.[1]

Many communities have different types or levels of membership. Typically, intentional communities have a selection process which starts with someone interested in the community coming for a visit. Often prospective community members are interviewed by a selection committee of the community or in some cases by everyone in the community. Many communities have a “provisional membership” period. After a visitor has been accepted, a new member is “provisional” until they have stayed for some period (often six months or a year) and then the community re-evaluates their membership. Generally, after the provisional member has been accepted, they become a full member. In many communities, the voting privileges or community benefits for provisional members are less than those for full members.

Christian intentional communities are usually composed of those wanting to emulate the practices of the earliest believers. Using the biblical book of Acts (and, often, the Sermon on the Mount) as a model, members of these communities strive for a practical working out of their individual faith in a corporate context.[2] These Christian intentional communities try to live out the teachings of the New Testament and practice lives of compassion and hospitality.[3] Communities such as the Simple Way, the Bruderhof[4] and Rutba House would fall into this category. These communities, despite strict membership criteria, are open to visitors and not reclusive in the way that certain intentional communities are.[5]

A survey in the 1995 edition of the Communities Directory, published by Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC), reported that 54 percent of the communities choosing to list themselves were rural, 28 percent were urban, 10 percent had both rural and urban sites, and 8 percent did not specify.

The most common form of governance in intentional communities is democratic (64 percent), with decisions made by some form of consensus decision-making or voting. A hierarchical or authoritarian structure governs 9 percent of communities, 11 percent are a combination of democratic and hierarchical structure, and 16 percent do not specify.[6] Many communities which were initially led by an individual or small group have changed in recent years to a more democratic form of governance.

Visit link:

Intentional community – Wikipedia

Communities Directory – Find Intentional Communities

MagicPalo Alto, California, United StatesEstablished (4+ adults, 2+ years)Visitors Accepted: YesOpen to New Members: YesCommunity Types: Commune (organized around sharing almost everything.), Ecovillage (organized around ecology and sustainability.), Cohousing (individual homes within group owned property.), Shared Housing, Cohouseholding, or Coliving (multiple individuals sharing a dwelling.)

Read the original post:

Communities Directory – Find Intentional Communities

Welcome to FIC – Fellowship for Intentional Community

Humanity thrives when people work together.An IntentionalCommunity shows what happens when people take this premise to the nextlevel by living together in a village of their own making which reflectstheir shared values.

Intentional Communities come in many shapes and sizes, and go by manynames. This includes cohousing, ecovillages, cooperative houses, communes,and so on. We believe there is strength and beauty in this diversity, andour aim is to support it.

IC.org exists to serve this community movement. We offer tools,resources, and information to find, start, or join an intentionalcommunity, and to make the most out of your community project. Learnmore About IC.org.

Here is the original post:

Welcome to FIC – Fellowship for Intentional Community

Intentional community – Wikipedia

An intentional community is a planned residential community designed from the start to have a high degree of social cohesion and teamwork. The members of an intentional community typically hold a common social, political, religious, or spiritual vision and often follow an alternative lifestyle. They typically share responsibilities and resources. Intentional communities include collective households, cohousing communities, coliving, ecovillages, monasteries, communes, survivalist retreats, kibbutzim, ashrams, and housing cooperatives. New members of an intentional community are generally selected by the community’s existing membership, rather than by real-estate agents or land owners (if the land is not owned collectively by the community).

The purposes of intentional communities vary in different communities. They may include sharing resources, creating family-oriented neighborhoods, and living ecologically sustainable lifestyles, such as in ecovillages.

Some communities are secular; others have a spiritual basis. One common practice, particularly in spiritual communities, is communal meals. Typically, there is a focus on egalitarian values. Other themes are voluntary simplicity, interpersonal growth, and self-sufficiency.

Some communities provide services to disadvantaged populations, for example, war refugees, the homeless, or people with developmental disabilities. Some communities operate learning or health centers. Other communities, such as Castanea of Nashville, Tennessee, offer a safe neighborhood for those exiting rehab programs to live in. Some communities also act as a mixed-income neighborhood, so as to alleviate the damages of one demographic assigned to one area. Many intentional communities attempt to alleviate social injustices that are being practiced within the area of residence. Some intentional communities are also micronations, such as Freetown Christiania.[1]

Many communities have different types or levels of membership. Typically, intentional communities have a selection process which starts with someone interested in the community coming for a visit. Often prospective community members are interviewed by a selection committee of the community or in some cases by everyone in the community. Many communities have a “provisional membership” period. After a visitor has been accepted, a new member is “provisional” until they have stayed for some period (often six months or a year) and then the community re-evaluates their membership. Generally, after the provisional member has been accepted, they become a full member. In many communities, the voting privileges or community benefits for provisional members are less than those for full members.

Christian intentional communities are usually composed of those wanting to emulate the practices of the earliest believers. Using the biblical book of Acts (and, often, the Sermon on the Mount) as a model, members of these communities strive for a practical working out of their individual faith in a corporate context.[2] These Christian intentional communities try to live out the teachings of the New Testament and practice lives of compassion and hospitality.[3] Communities such as the Simple Way, the Bruderhof[4] and Rutba House would fall into this category. These communities, despite strict membership criteria, are open to visitors and not reclusive in the way that certain intentional communities are.[5]

A survey in the 1995 edition of the Communities Directory, published by Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC), reported that 54 percent of the communities choosing to list themselves were rural, 28 percent were urban, 10 percent had both rural and urban sites, and 8 percent did not specify.

The most common form of governance in intentional communities is democratic (64 percent), with decisions made by some form of consensus decision-making or voting. A hierarchical or authoritarian structure governs 9 percent of communities, 11 percent are a combination of democratic and hierarchical structure, and 16 percent do not specify.[6] Many communities which were initially led by an individual or small group have changed in recent years to a more democratic form of governance.

Continued here:

Intentional community – Wikipedia

Welcome to FIC – Fellowship for Intentional Community

Humanity thrives when people work together.An IntentionalCommunity shows what happens when people take this premise to the nextlevel by living together in a village of their own making which reflectstheir shared values.

Intentional Communities come in many shapes and sizes, and go by manynames. This includes cohousing, ecovillages, cooperative houses, communes,and so on. We believe there is strength and beauty in this diversity, andour aim is to support it.

IC.org exists to serve this community movement. We offer tools,resources, and information to find, start, or join an intentionalcommunity, and to make the most out of your community project. Learnmore About IC.org.

Read more:

Welcome to FIC – Fellowship for Intentional Community

Intentional community – Wikipedia

An intentional community is a planned residential community designed from the start to have a high degree of social cohesion and teamwork. The members of an intentional community typically hold a common social, political, religious, or spiritual vision and often follow an alternative lifestyle. They typically share responsibilities and resources. Intentional communities include collective households, cohousing communities, coliving, ecovillages, monasteries, communes, survivalist retreats, kibbutzim, ashrams, and housing cooperatives. New members of an intentional community are generally selected by the community’s existing membership, rather than by real-estate agents or land owners (if the land is not owned collectively by the community).

The purposes of intentional communities vary in different communities. They may include sharing resources, creating family-oriented neighborhoods, and living ecologically sustainable lifestyles, such as in ecovillages.

Some communities are secular; others have a spiritual basis. One common practice, particularly in spiritual communities, is communal meals. Typically, there is a focus on egalitarian values. Other themes are voluntary simplicity, interpersonal growth, and self-sufficiency.

Some communities provide services to disadvantaged populations, for example, war refugees, the homeless, or people with developmental disabilities. Some communities operate learning or health centers. Other communities, such as Castanea of Nashville, Tennessee, offer a safe neighborhood for those exiting rehab programs to live in. Some communities also act as a mixed-income neighborhood, so as to alleviate the damages of one demographic assigned to one area. Many intentional communities attempt to alleviate social injustices that are being practiced within the area of residence. Some intentional communities are also micronations, such as Freetown Christiania.[1]

Many communities have different types or levels of membership. Typically, intentional communities have a selection process which starts with someone interested in the community coming for a visit. Often prospective community members are interviewed by a selection committee of the community or in some cases by everyone in the community. Many communities have a “provisional membership” period. After a visitor has been accepted, a new member is “provisional” until they have stayed for some period (often six months or a year) and then the community re-evaluates their membership. Generally, after the provisional member has been accepted, they become a full member. In many communities, the voting privileges or community benefits for provisional members are less than those for full members.

Christian intentional communities are usually composed of those wanting to emulate the practices of the earliest believers. Using the biblical book of Acts (and, often, the Sermon on the Mount) as a model, members of these communities strive for a practical working out of their individual faith in a corporate context.[2] These Christian intentional communities try to live out the teachings of the New Testament and practice lives of compassion and hospitality.[3] Communities such as the Simple Way, the Bruderhof[4] and Rutba House would fall into this category. These communities, despite strict membership criteria, are open to visitors and not reclusive in the way that certain intentional communities are.[5]

A survey in the 1995 edition of the Communities Directory, published by Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC), reported that 54 percent of the communities choosing to list themselves were rural, 28 percent were urban, 10 percent had both rural and urban sites, and 8 percent did not specify.

The most common form of governance in intentional communities is democratic (64 percent), with decisions made by some form of consensus decision-making or voting. A hierarchical or authoritarian structure governs 9 percent of communities, 11 percent are a combination of democratic and hierarchical structure, and 16 percent do not specify.[6] Many communities which were initially led by an individual or small group have changed in recent years to a more democratic form of governance.

Excerpt from:

Intentional community – Wikipedia

Intentional community – Wikipedia

An intentional community is a planned residential community designed from the start to have a high degree of social cohesion and teamwork. The members of an intentional community typically hold a common social, political, religious, or spiritual vision and often follow an alternative lifestyle. They typically share responsibilities and resources. Intentional communities include collective households, cohousing communities, coliving, ecovillages, monasteries, communes, survivalist retreats, kibbutzim, ashrams, and housing cooperatives. New members of an intentional community are generally selected by the community’s existing membership, rather than by real-estate agents or land owners (if the land is not owned collectively by the community).

The purposes of intentional communities vary in different communities. They may include sharing resources, creating family-oriented neighborhoods, and living ecologically sustainable lifestyles, such as in ecovillages.

Some communities are secular; others have a spiritual basis. One common practice, particularly in spiritual communities, is communal meals. Typically, there is a focus on egalitarian values. Other themes are voluntary simplicity, interpersonal growth, and self-sufficiency.

Some communities provide services to disadvantaged populations, for example, war refugees, the homeless, or people with developmental disabilities. Some communities operate learning or health centers. Other communities, such as Castanea of Nashville, Tennessee, offer a safe neighborhood for those exiting rehab programs to live in. Some communities also act as a mixed-income neighborhood, so as to alleviate the damages of one demographic assigned to one area. Many intentional communities attempt to alleviate social injustices that are being practiced within the area of residence. Some intentional communities are also micronations, such as Freetown Christiania.[1]

Many communities have different types or levels of membership. Typically, intentional communities have a selection process which starts with someone interested in the community coming for a visit. Often prospective community members are interviewed by a selection committee of the community or in some cases by everyone in the community. Many communities have a “provisional membership” period. After a visitor has been accepted, a new member is “provisional” until they have stayed for some period (often six months or a year) and then the community re-evaluates their membership. Generally, after the provisional member has been accepted, they become a full member. In many communities, the voting privileges or community benefits for provisional members are less than those for full members.

Christian intentional communities are usually composed of those wanting to emulate the practices of the earliest believers. Using the biblical book of Acts (and, often, the Sermon on the Mount) as a model, members of these communities strive for a practical working out of their individual faith in a corporate context.[2] These Christian intentional communities try to live out the teachings of the New Testament and practice lives of compassion and hospitality.[3] Communities such as the Simple Way, the Bruderhof[4] and Rutba House would fall into this category. These communities, despite strict membership criteria, are open to visitors and not reclusive in the way that certain intentional communities are.[5]

A survey in the 1995 edition of the Communities Directory, published by Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC), reported that 54 percent of the communities choosing to list themselves were rural, 28 percent were urban, 10 percent had both rural and urban sites, and 8 percent did not specify.

The most common form of governance in intentional communities is democratic (64 percent), with decisions made by some form of consensus decision-making or voting. A hierarchical or authoritarian structure governs 9 percent of communities, 11 percent are a combination of democratic and hierarchical structure, and 16 percent do not specify.[6] Many communities which were initially led by an individual or small group have changed in recent years to a more democratic form of governance.

Read the original:

Intentional community – Wikipedia

Welcome to FIC – Fellowship for Intentional Community

Humanity thrives when people work together.An IntentionalCommunity shows what happens when people take this premise to the nextlevel by living together in a village of their own making which reflectstheir shared values.

Intentional Communities come in many shapes and sizes, and go by manynames. This includes cohousing, ecovillages, cooperative houses, communes,and so on. We believe there is strength and beauty in this diversity, andour aim is to support it.

IC.org exists to serve this community movement. We offer tools,resources, and information to find, start, or join an intentionalcommunity, and to make the most out of your community project. Learnmore About IC.org.

Here is the original post:

Welcome to FIC – Fellowship for Intentional Community

Why Americans of All Ages Are Embracing Communal Living

Everyone Needs Someone Else

WHY Americans OF ALL AGES are coming together in intentional communities

By Jeffrey Kluger

Theres not a lot to do in Syracuse, N.Y. when youre living alone and a winter storm system dumps 3 feet of snow on the city. Theres no going outside, but theres no staying inside at least not for too long if you want to remain sane. A dinner with friends would be nice; so would a yoga class or a shared movie and a good long talk. And when thats all done, it would also be nice to have just a little bit of that wintertime solitude, watching the snow fall, all alone, from the privacy of your own home.

At one place in Syracuse, all of that happens on those long snow-filled nights. That place is Commonspace, a co-housing community on the fourth and fifth floors of a restored 19th-century office building. The community is made up of 25 mini-apartments, fully equipped with their own kitchenettes and baths, with access to a larger, shared chefs kitchen, library nook, game room, coffee lounge and media room. The 27 residents (couples are welcome) live together but only sort of in private apartments that are, once you step outside your door, un-private too. And theyre part of a growing trend in an increasingly lonely country: intentional communities.

In cities and towns across the U.S., individuals and families are coming to the conclusion that while the commune experiment of the 1960s was overwhelmed by problems, the idea of living in close but not too close cooperation with other people has a lot of appeal. An intentional community is a very different beast from the more familiar planned communities, which can be big, unwieldy things hundreds or thousands of families living on small parcels across hundreds of acres of land. While there may be some common facilities a swimming pool or golf course or community lake the communities are really just villages writ large or cities writ small, easy places to be anonymous.

Intentional communities, by contrast, are intimate: a couple dozen apartments or single-family homes, built around central squares or common spaces. And theyre operated in ways intended to keep the community connected with weekly dinners at a community center or other common area, shared babysitting services, shared gardens or games or even vacations. If you dont want to participate, fine; no one will come pester you to play a pick-up game you dont want to play or join a committee you dont want to join. But when you need the community because a spouse is away or a baby is sick or youre just plain lonely and would like some companionship its there for you.

Its that business of relieving loneliness thats key to the popularity of intentional communities. Human beings may not always get along, but the fact is, we cant get enough of one another. There are currently 7.6 billion of us in the world but we inhabit only about 10% of the planets land, and roughly 50% of us live on just 1% of that land.

We evolved to depend on our social connections, says Dr. Vivek Murthy, former U.S. Surgeon General. Over thousands of years, this got baked into our nervous systems so much so that if we are feeling socially disconnected, that places us in a physiologic stress state.

According to a study by AARP, over 40% of American adults suffer from loneliness, a condition that, Murthy warns, is as dangerous to our physical health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and more. Worse, loneliness is a condition that makes no demographic distinctions; it affects millennials just starting their careers, widowed boomers just ending theirs, empty-nesters, new divorcees, first year college students a thousand miles away from family and high school friends. Social media, which ostensibly draws people closer, in fact may be atomizing us further, creating virtual connections that have little of the benefits of actual connections.

A gusher of studies since the early 1990s have established the health dividends of social ties. Among people with cardiovascular disease, those with more social connections have a 2.4 times lower risk of mortality within an established period than those with poor social ties. Social connections lower the risk of cancer, speed recovery among people who do contract the disease, and reduce the risk of hypertension and other cardiovascular illnesses. Even wound-healing improves with social connections. Multiple studies suggest that part of this may come from the psychological boostincluding the sense of responsibilitythat meaningful relationships provide. When friends and family members are counting on you to be around, you make better health choices, even if theyre unconscious. Other studies have shown that similar brain structures control both physical pain and social painand that pain relief, through analgesics in the first case and relationships in the second, operate similarly as well. Being socially connected doesnt simply make you healthier, it just plain feels good.

Intentional communities are about creating attachment, the feeling that someone has your back, says Harvard University psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, a decades-old survey of the health of a population of Harvard graduates and their descendants. We often ask people in studies, Who would you call in the middle of the night if you were really sick or scared? Intentional communities can help you have an answer to that question.

Its not easy to come by a firm count of how many intentional communities are out there. Only about 160 of them have been built from the ground up with co-housing in mind, but the regularly updated Fellowship for Intentional Community lists 1,539 communities in all 50 states that have also used existing housing stock to establish co-housing arrangements.

There are urban communities like Commonspace in most major cities. There is Milagro in Tucson, Ariz., 28 single-family homes on 43 desert acres built around a central green space with a shared community center and other facilities. There is Village Hearth Co-Housing, a similar set-up in Durham, N.C., but one intended for singles, couples and families in the LGBTQ community. There are other communities for seniors or artists or veterans; there are even rural communities for people who want the independence of owning their own homes but the collective experience of farming the same land.

For each of the communities, the relative compactness of the population is what creates the feeling of togetherness. You cant possibly know three hundred people, says Troy Evans, real estate developer and the co-founder of Syracuses Commonspace. But you can know fifty. What we try to do in Commonspace is create a neighborhood in a building.

To all appearance, theyve succeeded at that. The communitys 25 apartments rent for an average of $850 per month, which is admittedly pricey for a tiny, 200 sq. ft. space, though services like thrice-weekly cleaning of all of the common spaces and the costs of activities like the weekly farm-to-table dinners are included. And the social benefits which are impossible to measure in dollars and cents are included too.

We set everything up with a town square feel so when you come out of your door theres not a long, dark hallway like in most apartment buildings, says Evans. Town squares, of course, can be noisy not to the liking of even some people who choose to live semi-communally. Thats why one of the floors has fewer apartments built a quiet lounge where locally roasted coffee is always on offer.

The mini-apartments are cleverly laid out, with a platform bed built atop storage cabinets and floor-to-ceiling windows that create an open feel. The bathroom is complete though it has a shower without a tub and the kitchenette is limited only by the fact that is has two electric burners instead of a full stove, because local regulations forbid open flame in such small quarters. The apartments are all equipped with TVs and high-speed Internet, and a Slack channel allows residents to stay in touch without having to remember 26 other email addresses.

Still, its the 6,000 shared square feet, not the 200 private ones that really defines the Commonspace experience, providing what Evans describes as a lot of collision space, which is something people who would otherwise be living alone often crave. What weve found is demand from people who were landing in Syracuse for the first time and not knowing anyone, he says. Weve got people from eight different countries and seven different states. Its a really cool, diverse group.

That diversity is not only cultural but temperamental. Rose Bear Dont Walk, a 23-year old Native American studying environment and forestry at the State University of New York, Syracuse, moved in to Commonspace over the summer and soon grew friendly with another resident who works in computer coding. His mind operates arithmetically, hers works more emotively, and they took to talking about their different ways of approaching the world.

Hes always building something or talking about building something or listening to podcasts, she says. One day, when she was weaving decorative strands out of plant fibers, she decided to make him a bracelet. It was just this way that our worlds connected, she says. He is very logical and mathematical and was very excited about this little tiny rope bracelet that I was bringing home.

Meaningful as those kinds of connections can be, Commonspace residents dont always have a lot of time to make them. Millennials can be transitory characteristic of most people early in their careers and the average length of tenancy is just eight months.

Things are very different at other intentional communities, like Milagro in Tucson. There, the buy-in is typically for life. The 28 homes in the landscaped desert space are sometimes available for rent, but are typically owned by their residents and have sold for anywhere from $175,000 to $430,000, depending on the market. The investment in house and land means an equal investment in the life of the community.

Brian Stark, a married father of two, has lived in Milagro since 2003, two years after the community opened, and considers himself a lifer. For him the appeal is not so much the community-wide dinner in the dining room every Saturday, or the happy hours or the stargazing sessions or the shared holiday parties. Its the easy, collegial pace of the place, unavoidable when neighbors all know one another.

You almost have to assume that someone may stop to chat with you when youre coming or going, he says. It took some getting used to but when were in a hurry for school or a meeting, weve learned to explain our rush and connect another time.

Even more important are the benefits that accrue to any communitys most vulnerable members: babies and seniors. For families with very young children, we do baby care trades, Stark says. And having a supportive community to help as you grow older is also a wonderful alternative to assisted care living.

Intentional communities are not without stressors. Stark recalls the decade of committee meetings that went into the simple business of deciding whether there should be path lights in the community important for safety, but murder on the deserts spectacular nighttime sky. Even when the community agreed that lights were a good idea, there was continued wrangling over cost, wattage and more. A similar struggle ensued when it came time to have all 28 homes painted, as residents debated color schemes for the homes stucco, trim and side boards.

Still, the long meetings and compromises are a small price for those suited to intentional communities. Thats true of diverse, cross-generational communities like Milagro, and it can be even more so when residents come together with a particular shared need for a particular kind of solidarity as in the LGBTQ or aging Boomer communities.

Shortly after the opening of Village Hearth, the North Carolina LGBTQ community, one of the founders explained to a local reporter that she was tired of hearing about this or that intentional community that has a nice lesbian couple or a nice gay couple. She and her wife didnt want to be a curiosity in even the friendliest surroundings, so they founded a community in which nothing would be remarkable about them at all.

There is little science so far that explicitly addresses the medical benefits of co-housing arrangements, but the benefits of the human connections the communities provide are being powerfully established. In one recent meta-analysis of 148 studies gathered from around the world, Julianne Holt-Lunstad, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Brigham Young University, compared subjects reported state of loneliness with their overall life expectancy. The total sample size was more than 300,000 people and produced sobering results: Adults who are socially isolated, she found, have a 50% greater risk of dying from any cause within a given time frame than people who are more connected.

In a follow-up study in which she used census data to assemble an even larger sample group of 3.4 million, the results were a bit less stark, but no less conclusive, with social isolation and loneliness leading to a 30% increase in risk of mortality on average. Of course, being alone is not the same as being lonely, Holt-Lunstad stresses. Many people enjoy their solitude, and other people can feel lonely even in a group. The key is the subjective experience. If that experience is bad, thats when health can be affected.

More often than not, social media falls into the category of bad rather than good experiences. Even without being trolled or cyberbullied, people can suffer merely as a result of having replaced real relationships with virtual ones. Murthy does not believe social media is all bad, provided its often used as what he calls a way station rather than a destination, helping to establish real-life connections.

Using social media as a way station might mean that if Im traveling to a different city, in advance of the trip I look on Facebook or LinkedIn to see if I have any friends there, he says. Then I reach out to them and we get together.

The exact mechanisms that make loneliness so physically damaging are not easy to tease out, but chemical markers in the bloodstream, like cortisol, a stress hormone, or c-reactive proteins, indicators of inflammation, are considered worrisome signs. They indicate a weakened immune system and metabolic disruption, says Waldinger. This is when you start to see signs of illness like rising lipid levels and blood pressure.

Residents of intentional communities also see another kind of benefit to health and happiness in co-housing: as a way of alleviating transitions that can be both stressful isolating. Stark, the Milagro resident, recalls that when his older daughter, Maia, was born 12 years ago, the Milagro community was still new. Unbidden, the neighbors pitched in to help the family, cleaning their house, making them meals, even doing their laundry so that he and his wife could have the luxury of doing what few parents can do: focus their attention exclusively on their new baby. Since then, the Stark family has returned the favor, making food for people recovering from surgery and offering to make a pickup at an airport.

Everyone at some point needs someone else, Stark says. Intentional communities, in their quiet way, are helping to make sure that powerful human need gets met.

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Why Americans of All Ages Are Embracing Communal Living

Communities Directory – Find Intentional Communities

Goloka Sanctuary CommunityCedar Crest, New Mexico, United StatesFormingVisitors Accepted: YesOpen to New Members: YesCommunity Types: Commune (organized around sharing almost everything.), Ecovillage (organized around ecology and sustainability.), Cohousing (individual homes within group owned property.), Shared Housing, Cohouseholding, or Coliving (multiple individuals sharing a dwelling.), Student Housing or Student Co-Op, Spiritual or Religious Community, Transition Town or Eco-Neighborhood (focused on energy/resource resiliency)

Read more from the original source:

Communities Directory – Find Intentional Communities

Welcome to FIC – Fellowship for Intentional Community

Humanity thrives when people work together.An IntentionalCommunity shows what happens when people take this premise to the nextlevel by living together in a village of their own making which reflectstheir shared values.

Intentional Communities come in many shapes and sizes, and go by manynames. This includes cohousing, ecovillages, cooperative houses, communes,and so on. We believe there is strength and beauty in this diversity, andour aim is to support it.

IC.org exists to serve this community movement. We offer tools,resources, and information to find, start, or join an intentionalcommunity, and to make the most out of your community project. Learnmore About IC.org.

See the original post here:

Welcome to FIC – Fellowship for Intentional Community

Why Americans of All Ages Are Embracing Communal Living

Everyone Needs Someone Else

WHY Americans OF ALL AGES are coming together in intentional communities

By Jeffrey Kluger

Theres not a lot to do in Syracuse, N.Y. when youre living alone and a winter storm system dumps 3 feet of snow on the city. Theres no going outside, but theres no staying inside at least not for too long if you want to remain sane. A dinner with friends would be nice; so would a yoga class or a shared movie and a good long talk. And when thats all done, it would also be nice to have just a little bit of that wintertime solitude, watching the snow fall, all alone, from the privacy of your own home.

At one place in Syracuse, all of that happens on those long snow-filled nights. That place is Commonspace, a co-housing community on the fourth and fifth floors of a restored 19th-century office building. The community is made up of 25 mini-apartments, fully equipped with their own kitchenettes and baths, with access to a larger, shared chefs kitchen, library nook, game room, coffee lounge and media room. The 27 residents (couples are welcome) live together but only sort of in private apartments that are, once you step outside your door, un-private too. And theyre part of a growing trend in an increasingly lonely country: intentional communities.

In cities and towns across the U.S., individuals and families are coming to the conclusion that while the commune experiment of the 1960s was overwhelmed by problems, the idea of living in close but not too close cooperation with other people has a lot of appeal. An intentional community is a very different beast from the more familiar planned communities, which can be big, unwieldy things hundreds or thousands of families living on small parcels across hundreds of acres of land. While there may be some common facilities a swimming pool or golf course or community lake the communities are really just villages writ large or cities writ small, easy places to be anonymous.

Intentional communities, by contrast, are intimate: a couple dozen apartments or single-family homes, built around central squares or common spaces. And theyre operated in ways intended to keep the community connected with weekly dinners at a community center or other common area, shared babysitting services, shared gardens or games or even vacations. If you dont want to participate, fine; no one will come pester you to play a pick-up game you dont want to play or join a committee you dont want to join. But when you need the community because a spouse is away or a baby is sick or youre just plain lonely and would like some companionship its there for you.

Its that business of relieving loneliness thats key to the popularity of intentional communities. Human beings may not always get along, but the fact is, we cant get enough of one another. There are currently 7.6 billion of us in the world but we inhabit only about 10% of the planets land, and roughly 50% of us live on just 1% of that land.

We evolved to depend on our social connections, says Dr. Vivek Murthy, former U.S. Surgeon General. Over thousands of years, this got baked into our nervous systems so much so that if we are feeling socially disconnected, that places us in a physiologic stress state.

According to a study by AARP, over 40% of American adults suffer from loneliness, a condition that, Murthy warns, is as dangerous to our physical health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and more. Worse, loneliness is a condition that makes no demographic distinctions; it affects millennials just starting their careers, widowed boomers just ending theirs, empty-nesters, new divorcees, first year college students a thousand miles away from family and high school friends. Social media, which ostensibly draws people closer, in fact may be atomizing us further, creating virtual connections that have little of the benefits of actual connections.

A gusher of studies since the early 1990s have established the health dividends of social ties. Among people with cardiovascular disease, those with more social connections have a 2.4 times lower risk of mortality within an established period than those with poor social ties. Social connections lower the risk of cancer, speed recovery among people who do contract the disease, and reduce the risk of hypertension and other cardiovascular illnesses. Even wound-healing improves with social connections. Multiple studies suggest that part of this may come from the psychological boostincluding the sense of responsibilitythat meaningful relationships provide. When friends and family members are counting on you to be around, you make better health choices, even if theyre unconscious. Other studies have shown that similar brain structures control both physical pain and social painand that pain relief, through analgesics in the first case and relationships in the second, operate similarly as well. Being socially connected doesnt simply make you healthier, it just plain feels good.

Intentional communities are about creating attachment, the feeling that someone has your back, says Harvard University psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, a decades-old survey of the health of a population of Harvard graduates and their descendants. We often ask people in studies, Who would you call in the middle of the night if you were really sick or scared? Intentional communities can help you have an answer to that question.

Its not easy to come by a firm count of how many intentional communities are out there. Only about 160 of them have been built from the ground up with co-housing in mind, but the regularly updated Fellowship for Intentional Community lists 1,539 communities in all 50 states that have also used existing housing stock to establish co-housing arrangements.

There are urban communities like Commonspace in most major cities. There is Milagro in Tucson, Ariz., 28 single-family homes on 43 desert acres built around a central green space with a shared community center and other facilities. There is Village Hearth Co-Housing, a similar set-up in Durham, N.C., but one intended for singles, couples and families in the LGBTQ community. There are other communities for seniors or artists or veterans; there are even rural communities for people who want the independence of owning their own homes but the collective experience of farming the same land.

For each of the communities, the relative compactness of the population is what creates the feeling of togetherness. You cant possibly know three hundred people, says Troy Evans, real estate developer and the co-founder of Syracuses Commonspace. But you can know fifty. What we try to do in Commonspace is create a neighborhood in a building.

To all appearance, theyve succeeded at that. The communitys 25 apartments rent for an average of $850 per month, which is admittedly pricey for a tiny, 200 sq. ft. space, though services like thrice-weekly cleaning of all of the common spaces and the costs of activities like the weekly farm-to-table dinners are included. And the social benefits which are impossible to measure in dollars and cents are included too.

We set everything up with a town square feel so when you come out of your door theres not a long, dark hallway like in most apartment buildings, says Evans. Town squares, of course, can be noisy not to the liking of even some people who choose to live semi-communally. Thats why one of the floors has fewer apartments built a quiet lounge where locally roasted coffee is always on offer.

The mini-apartments are cleverly laid out, with a platform bed built atop storage cabinets and floor-to-ceiling windows that create an open feel. The bathroom is complete though it has a shower without a tub and the kitchenette is limited only by the fact that is has two electric burners instead of a full stove, because local regulations forbid open flame in such small quarters. The apartments are all equipped with TVs and high-speed Internet, and a Slack channel allows residents to stay in touch without having to remember 26 other email addresses.

Still, its the 6,000 shared square feet, not the 200 private ones that really defines the Commonspace experience, providing what Evans describes as a lot of collision space, which is something people who would otherwise be living alone often crave. What weve found is demand from people who were landing in Syracuse for the first time and not knowing anyone, he says. Weve got people from eight different countries and seven different states. Its a really cool, diverse group.

That diversity is not only cultural but temperamental. Rose Bear Dont Walk, a 23-year old Native American studying environment and forestry at the State University of New York, Syracuse, moved in to Commonspace over the summer and soon grew friendly with another resident who works in computer coding. His mind operates arithmetically, hers works more emotively, and they took to talking about their different ways of approaching the world.

Hes always building something or talking about building something or listening to podcasts, she says. One day, when she was weaving decorative strands out of plant fibers, she decided to make him a bracelet. It was just this way that our worlds connected, she says. He is very logical and mathematical and was very excited about this little tiny rope bracelet that I was bringing home.

Meaningful as those kinds of connections can be, Commonspace residents dont always have a lot of time to make them. Millennials can be transitory characteristic of most people early in their careers and the average length of tenancy is just eight months.

Things are very different at other intentional communities, like Milagro in Tucson. There, the buy-in is typically for life. The 28 homes in the landscaped desert space are sometimes available for rent, but are typically owned by their residents and have sold for anywhere from $175,000 to $430,000, depending on the market. The investment in house and land means an equal investment in the life of the community.

Brian Stark, a married father of two, has lived in Milagro since 2003, two years after the community opened, and considers himself a lifer. For him the appeal is not so much the community-wide dinner in the dining room every Saturday, or the happy hours or the stargazing sessions or the shared holiday parties. Its the easy, collegial pace of the place, unavoidable when neighbors all know one another.

You almost have to assume that someone may stop to chat with you when youre coming or going, he says. It took some getting used to but when were in a hurry for school or a meeting, weve learned to explain our rush and connect another time.

Even more important are the benefits that accrue to any communitys most vulnerable members: babies and seniors. For families with very young children, we do baby care trades, Stark says. And having a supportive community to help as you grow older is also a wonderful alternative to assisted care living.

Intentional communities are not without stressors. Stark recalls the decade of committee meetings that went into the simple business of deciding whether there should be path lights in the community important for safety, but murder on the deserts spectacular nighttime sky. Even when the community agreed that lights were a good idea, there was continued wrangling over cost, wattage and more. A similar struggle ensued when it came time to have all 28 homes painted, as residents debated color schemes for the homes stucco, trim and side boards.

Still, the long meetings and compromises are a small price for those suited to intentional communities. Thats true of diverse, cross-generational communities like Milagro, and it can be even more so when residents come together with a particular shared need for a particular kind of solidarity as in the LGBTQ or aging Boomer communities.

Shortly after the opening of Village Hearth, the North Carolina LGBTQ community, one of the founders explained to a local reporter that she was tired of hearing about this or that intentional community that has a nice lesbian couple or a nice gay couple. She and her wife didnt want to be a curiosity in even the friendliest surroundings, so they founded a community in which nothing would be remarkable about them at all.

There is little science so far that explicitly addresses the medical benefits of co-housing arrangements, but the benefits of the human connections the communities provide are being powerfully established. In one recent meta-analysis of 148 studies gathered from around the world, Julianne Holt-Lunstad, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Brigham Young University, compared subjects reported state of loneliness with their overall life expectancy. The total sample size was more than 300,000 people and produced sobering results: Adults who are socially isolated, she found, have a 50% greater risk of dying from any cause within a given time frame than people who are more connected.

In a follow-up study in which she used census data to assemble an even larger sample group of 3.4 million, the results were a bit less stark, but no less conclusive, with social isolation and loneliness leading to a 30% increase in risk of mortality on average. Of course, being alone is not the same as being lonely, Holt-Lunstad stresses. Many people enjoy their solitude, and other people can feel lonely even in a group. The key is the subjective experience. If that experience is bad, thats when health can be affected.

More often than not, social media falls into the category of bad rather than good experiences. Even without being trolled or cyberbullied, people can suffer merely as a result of having replaced real relationships with virtual ones. Murthy does not believe social media is all bad, provided its often used as what he calls a way station rather than a destination, helping to establish real-life connections.

Using social media as a way station might mean that if Im traveling to a different city, in advance of the trip I look on Facebook or LinkedIn to see if I have any friends there, he says. Then I reach out to them and we get together.

The exact mechanisms that make loneliness so physically damaging are not easy to tease out, but chemical markers in the bloodstream, like cortisol, a stress hormone, or c-reactive proteins, indicators of inflammation, are considered worrisome signs. They indicate a weakened immune system and metabolic disruption, says Waldinger. This is when you start to see signs of illness like rising lipid levels and blood pressure.

Residents of intentional communities also see another kind of benefit to health and happiness in co-housing: as a way of alleviating transitions that can be both stressful isolating. Stark, the Milagro resident, recalls that when his older daughter, Maia, was born 12 years ago, the Milagro community was still new. Unbidden, the neighbors pitched in to help the family, cleaning their house, making them meals, even doing their laundry so that he and his wife could have the luxury of doing what few parents can do: focus their attention exclusively on their new baby. Since then, the Stark family has returned the favor, making food for people recovering from surgery and offering to make a pickup at an airport.

Everyone at some point needs someone else, Stark says. Intentional communities, in their quiet way, are helping to make sure that powerful human need gets met.

Get the most out of Thanksgiving

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Why Americans of All Ages Are Embracing Communal Living

Welcome to FIC – Fellowship for Intentional Community

Humanity thrives when people work together.An IntentionalCommunity shows what happens when people take this premise to the nextlevel by living together in a village of their own making which reflectstheir shared values.

Intentional Communities come in many shapes and sizes, and go by manynames. This includes cohousing, ecovillages, cooperative houses, communes,and so on. We believe there is strength and beauty in this diversity, andour aim is to support it.

IC.org exists to serve this community movement. We offer tools,resources, and information to find, start, or join an intentionalcommunity, and to make the most out of your community project. Learnmore About IC.org.

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Welcome to FIC – Fellowship for Intentional Community


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