Living Off the Grid


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!


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.


About Sadhvi

Sadhvi's trying to find the balance in life over 50 without having any surgery, taking any pills, or killing anyone. She doesn't want to look or feel the way she felt when she was 20 or 30. Trusting that everything is really OK unless you think about it helps her make it through each day. Also realizing that nothing can be done, and, that nothing matters really helps. Gardening (and weeding), poppies and flowers, painting on things, baking, and sharing on Oops50 helps to make it all right too.

12 thoughts on “Living Off the Grid

  1. It’s no wonder a house that is hand built and gets named is a house that gives hugs. I often dream about communal living and have always thought I’d wind up someday living with other “women of a certain age and situation”. I’m sure it would require some major adjustments, but I still look forward to it.

  2. Dear Malika,
    Nice to hear from you.
    And hey, you live so close…you should go take a look at Arjuna’s house. I think she will be offering it as a vacation rental this summer, too.

  3. I enjoyed the article and photo of Arjuna’s home. It is a lovely and quite unique way to live off the grid! I saw it a couple of years ago in its early stages, and it would be nice to see it finished.

  4. Carrie, don’t you just love that about the Asheville schools? The kids that go to them can explore many cool places, like Earthaven. I really like the feel of nature there. And I marvel each time I visit, at how much more together it is. The houses make me squeal…and, they are off the grid to boot!

  5. When I win the lottery, I will find a place where many of us can “Be”, and you will be one of those people that come. It might be in Portugal, it might be in the France, and then again, it might be someplace that is completely unknown to us right now. It really won’t matter too much. I just don’t want to be around fracking (that could = Europe), nuclear power plants and missile bases, and places where water is going to be an issue. I’ll let you know when I get those numbers right, Lisa!

  6. Yes, there is something special about a home that is real… Looking forward to a visit myself sometime when the weather is a bit kinder…

  7. Carrie, a friend, writes:

    Hey Sadhvi,
    What a beautiful house she has there. I had the pleasure of going to Earthaven on a field trip with Fin’s class at Rainbow Mountain. It is such a wonderful place.
    Thanks for sharing.

  8. There are so many more cool views of Leila, Jennifer, but I was using Sakshi’s iPhone, and was not familiar with it, and had my finger over the lens…the eating room is so cozy, and the kitchen and living area…such a work of love…interesting to know that you helped; that makes it even more special.

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