04 November 2013

Being Part of an Eco-Village Network

When we began this journey nearly seven years ago we did not set out to form an eco-village, nor did we have any conscious concept of what an eco-village even was. Over the years of our experimenting and sharing, creating and growing we began to have an awareness of the concepts of permaculture or sustainability or organic and to meet others on similar journeys. It has been a process of observation and of changing consciousness for me.

Three years ago we went to our first Eco-Chile gathering, PermaSur at El Manzano Eco-School, and recognizing ourselves reflected in the other groups present, joined the eco-village network in Chile. Since then I have visited several different eco-villages in the network and in every one I have found resonance, understanding, friendships that feel like extended family. Travel is sometimes difficult when you awaken your ecological consciousness because you are used to composting most of your waste or have a deep, near religious appreciation for water conservation or really enjoy eating what's in season and produced locally, but visiting eco-villages, their pace and rhythms, their creative shapes and ideas, their building materials, their garden patterns, has always felt like home away from home to me. Just the conversation topics alone fill me with harmony to know others who share my passion for a peaceful, abundant, life-giving transition from our current global consumerism travails, who have or are actively changing their lives to live in an alternate consciousness from the modern, competitive paradigm. We recognize one another, see our reflections manifesting in fractal patterns where all over the world people are awakening, changing directions, putting their hands, hearts, and minds to the good work of fulfilling dreams instead of bank accounts, building sanctuaries instead of debts.

But we ourselves are in transition, in stages of transformation born of the modern, dominant consciousness and we bear its scars, its traumas, its immature emotional patterns, its struggles of ego. We are not perfect, we are on a journey, we are learning by doing. Even the courage to begin is remarkable. The courage to stare-down your own ego, shed pride, and give yourself over to collaboration, letting go of internal fears, experiencing truer freedoms beyond that which you had previously accepted as the outlying boundaries, that is the courage necessary to continue, to transform.

Eco-villages are forming everywhere and since 2012 we have seen exponential growth in the number of groups forming, sharing, learning, creating. If you want to get to know more about eco-villages, try volunteering at one during the summer months of the growing and building season, or attend a workshop class hosted by an eco-village. Read the monthly newsletters from the Eco-Chile network at www.permacultura.cl (in Spanish) where participating eco-villages send in photos and blogs of their activities throughout the year. Dreams awakening take on many forms.