Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Intentional Community: Gaia Yoga Gardens

Gaia Yoga Gardens
Pahoa, Hawaii,
United States
 Gaia Yoga Gardens is a permaculture homestead, holistic culture experiment, and fledgling intentional community on Hawaii’s Big Island. We’re dedicated to living in harmony with the Earth, connecting with Spirit, engaging personal growth and healing, fostering cooperative community, and developing holistic and sustainable life patterns. 
We practice and teach Permaculture and other sustainable food systems, Nonviolent (Compassionate) Communication, natural diet (including raw foods / raw meat and Instinctive Eating / Primal Diet), connection parenting, cooperative living, and spirituality. 
Our lifestyle includes: 
1) Living simply, sustainably, and close to nature - rurally and off-grid in low-impact eco-dwellings; growing food; operating eco-businesses; and trading for goods and services. 
2) Cultivating a healthy self through eating an organic & (optionally) raw diet; having an active work/service life; engaging personal growth work; balancing autonomy and interdependence; having a life-affirming orientation toward sexuality; and being clothing-optional. 
3) Establishing a land-sharing community that's intimate, caring, and feels like family. This includes practicing cooperative decision making, nonviolent communication; cooperating relative to resources and land development; having community businesses; sharing childrearing; and having fun together! 
4) Integrating spirituality into our communal life through morning circles, prayer, hatha yoga, rituals, shamanic journeying, rites of passage, and spiritual study, all according to individual preferences. 
Our dream is for Gaia Yoga Gardens to be a beacon of light and love and a living example of the kind of world we want. 
Gaia Yoga, itself, is a vision and practice that is being pioneered at Gaia Yoga Gardens intentional community. It is the integration of many other teachings into a cohesive consciousness and lifestyle that is intended to support a person in living from their deepest humanity. More than an individual practice, it includes developing bonded-human-social-structures (cultures, tribes, clans, and families) that express our true nature as human beings. GaiaYoga is in many ways the antidote for the predominant culture designed around unchecked capitalism, fantasy, car-and machine-based human settlements, dysfunctional family-systems, emotional illiteracy, fear and oppression of nature, chemical dependence, absence of integrity, and broken relationships. 
GaiaYoga goes much broader and deeper than most “yogas” which primarily address an individuals’ body-mind -- supporting inner peace and connection to Spirit. 
GaiaYoga is a dynamic and holistic “yoga” that addresses Spirit (realizing, integrating, and enjoying the Divine Masculine and the Divine Feminine), the Self (including the physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental bodies), Community (including the intimate, personal, local, collective, and universal spheres of community), and Earth (developing strategies to sustainably live as an integrated “cell” of The Earth, individually and culturally). 
GaiaYoga is a holistic practice that is modeled after the cultural and spiritual wisdom of many of the indigenous cultures of the world, who lived sustainably for untold generations. Sadly, these indigenous cultures have mostly “lost their battles” (literally) with the current “beast” that is running the world. Most of us were raised by this beast and intentionally or not we continue the pattern. To change direction and make life work naturally and be sustainable, we require a new vision, teaching, and daily practice that can heal and transform our lives and our cultures. 
GaiaYoga provides a way to emerge out of the world that we see now, and create something that has the beautiful elements of indigenous cultures, and knows how to wield the new power that’s been found through technological and social evolution, without losing touch with our true humanity. It’s a “take the best and leave the rest” approach. 
What does it take for us have the kind of world we want, and be the kind of people we want to be? How can we grow through the huge pile of compost left by previous generations and find our way to the sunlight, creating both a healthy and full expression of our individuality, and a “container,” a culture, a community for us to live in? For this we need a holistic cultural template. Truly, humans are no different than dolphins, or wolves, or bees, or ants, or giraffes, or apes, or even banana or bamboo: we are naturally “designed” to live in-and-as a bonded social organism. Our full human expression is to live as a unified multi-generational people. Call it a tribe, or a community, or a clan, or a kin, or whatever. 
This is a huge aspect of the yoga we all need to do to create a beautiful and abundant and peaceful and Spirit-filled world. We need to take the energy of yoga – of unification – and bring it to culture. This is a big “stretch” for someone who grew up in a city, or the suburbs, or a fragmented and dysfunctional family. There’s lots of healing, lots of new skills, and lots of buttons to be pressed and worked through. Read more...