Category Archives: Co-Housing

Living Off the Grid

ARJUNA’A HAUS

We went to visit a friend who lives in a community about an hour away that is off the grid. I’ve been there many times before, but this time was special because it’d be the first time we would see Arjuna’s new home, named “Leila”, all finished and lived in.

Walking up to it, the curves and rounded shapes in the structure made me smile. Inside there were more rounded edges, with walls and floors having an earthiness and sensuality that is lacking in practically every house that I’ve even seen, and I have seen a lot of houses!

THE ROUNDNESS OF THE STAIRS

I have to wonder why most homes are not made to feel good?  Having lived in a 1903 home in Switzerland, where the design was based on Pythagoras’ Golden Mean, where each room and every room that it touched was in harmony, I can truly say that this small detail makes a big difference. And since we spend so much time in our home, doesn’t it make sense that it should feel good?

It was a cold winter afternoon outside, but going inside “Leila” was like a familiar hug, and the fire that heats the house by heating the walls smelled so good!

Alternative housing, alternative living, communal living: I’ve lived that way when I was in my 20’s. Being in a community of like-minded people is something that is hard to describe. And if I told you that it was the best time of my life, being in the middle of nowhere in Oregon, not owning a car, not getting paid but having everything that I could possibly want, either you wouldn’t believe me, or you would want to be living there right now!

In Switzerland, we often found ourselves living in houses with others.  One of the things that people often think is that there would be no privacy with this type of housing.  And the funny thing is that I had the feeling that I had more privacy; maybe because I was more inside myself, finding my own space and being there?

And now as I get older, having lived the chapter of my life called “remodeling the old farmhouse, having a nice garden and chickens and rabbits with my partner”, I can again see the benefit of having people around me, friends that share the garden, the shopping, and get together for things that matter to me, like meditation. I don’t know what the future will bring, but I can see it more clearly after spending that afternoon at Arjuna’s in her beautiful house at Earthaven.

CHIWA THE ARTIST’S WORK