Muddy Creek Satyagraha
Corvallis, Oregon, United States
- Last updated: March 31, 2017 (1 month ago)
- Listing created on: August 19, 2016
Muddy Creek Satyagraha is a network of people dedicated to living the ethical life free from the global economy, in an atmosphere optimal for natural living and nonviolent thinking.
“You cannot build nonviolence on a factory civilization, but it can be built on self-contained villages. Rural economy as I have conceived it eschews exploitation altogether, and exploitation is the essence of violence. You have therefore to be rural-minded before you can be nonviolent, and to be rural-minded you have to have faith in the spinning wheel.”
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
Muddy Creek Satyagraha is a nomadic community living and traveling on our hundred-mile foot path, and within the dozen ecovillages connected by it. The path, known as the peace trail, avoids roads and development traversing the Luckiamute, Muddy Creek, Alsea and Siualaw watersheds in the Central Willamatte Valley and Coast Range Mountains of Western Oregon.
Satyagraha was a Sanskrit word created by Gandhi to engender his movement with one of the least understood yet most active forces in the universe, ahimsa, or nonviolence. “Satya” can mean truth and “graha” incites firmness or grasping. So satyagraha is the energy of nonviolence and can be translated as truth force or soul force.
The twelve ecovillages served along the peace trail are diverse and unique to each other but have in common three traits traditionally considered requisites for a nonviolent society. First that people are on the land together, second that they turn to nature, or ethnobotany, to some degree, as opposed to purchasing a life, and third that there is a desire that everybody’s needs be met.
Life on the peace trail is supported by what can be termed the “true gift economy,” or “moment by moment true giving and receiving.” This means we relinquish the privilege of payment, trade, barter, and expense, and instead enjoy giving in a voluntary way, giving without expectation of payback and with no relationship to previous receiving. Conversely through our Muddy Creek Satyagraha Nomadic Souperfood Soup Kitchen and through our own receiving of it’s palio and phytonutrient rich superfoods, everyone’s needs are addressed without correlation to past or future giving, living as our ancestors did before the loss of the tribal and extended family systems, and the communal cooking pot, and the cradle to grave social security that came with it, in exchange for a system that puts food under lock and key. Our practice of the gift economy directly reverses this historic trend.
Traversing the peace trail can be described as a meditation or prayer-walk or pilgrimage. The trail is designed to support barefoot walking, so with silent, steady, weightless striding, the sacred landscape goes by at ancient foot speed, and with the torso effortlessly suspended, the journey enters into an extended meditation. The trail connects places of spiritual interest as we walk between two small zen temples, two inipis (sweat lodges), an Kalapuya earth mound and many traditional and beautiful natural places as well as twelve unique ecovillages.
- Type(s): Ecovillage (organized around ecology and sustainability)
- Location: Rural
- Decision Making: Nonviolent decision making
- Identified Leader: No
- Additional Comments:
The process of nonviolent decision making is outlined in the many books, videos, and training sessions of the late Marshall B. Rosenberg founder of nonviolent communication. Here’s a brief outline:
Under the paradigm of nonviolent decision making strategies are made only after everyone receives all the empathy they need and everyone in the circle feels a real and tangible change in the atmosphere where everyone knows their needs are fully heard and understood and that their needs matter, and can be met, whereupon the problem becomes an opportunity for giving and something quite natural gives us strategies and requests and the rule or direction is created by everyone and cherished by everyone. If there is any deviation from this then there is, at least within the person, some conflict. It can be said that the power of nonviolence is dependent upon the sincere honesty of all involved and the grace of experiencing conflict as a catalyst for reestablishing relationship and renewed connection. The language needed for this is typically far from the one taught to us by the culture and so can be considered a real skill.
There is a propensity in the larger society to make choices simply based on the rules. To blindly follow a rule is to break the great rule of nonviolence as it robs the community of conflict and communication and vitality and relationship. We ask members to not follow such rules but instead to engage the community in the honesty process classically referred to as empathy. We hope to share our experience and dedication to this process.
- Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: No
- Shared Income: All or close to all
- Required Labor Contribution: No
- Open to members with existing debt: Yes
- Additional Comments:
Our practice of the gift economy means we relinquish the privilege of trade, barter, or expense, and instead enjoy natural giving and receiving which is never costly and can be confirmed by feelings of satisfaction and joy. Through our practice of traditional skills and through our nomadic superfood soup kitchen we can enjoy having no cost of life, living freely and apart from development and dominant society.
- Energy Infrastructure: We are totally off grid.
- Current renewable energy generation: 100%
- Energy sources: Brush fuel
- Planned renewable energy generation: 100%
- Current food produced: 100%
- Planned food produced: 100%
- Food produced locally: 100%
- Common Facilities: Garden(s), Outdoor Kitchen, Fire pit, Waterfront access
- Internet Available: No
- Internet Fast?: There is no internet access at our community.
- Cell Phone Service: Good for most people.
- Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals), Paleo (no grains, dairy, processed foods, or legumes), Local (food sourced within 150 miles), Organic (no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers), GMO Free (only non-genetically modified organisms), Mostly Vegetarian, Opportunivore (dumpster diving, nature harvesting, etc.), Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free
- Dietary Choice or Restrictions: No – people may eat however they wish.
- Special Diets OK: Yes
- Additional Diet Comments:
We grow, glean and forage all of our food so our lives are focused on slow food and bushcraft projects and nonviolence and in contributing to the many gardens and stops along the way. In being supported by the organic nuts, seeds and berries and local colorful in-season plant part foods of our nomadic superfood soup kitchen, we’re stronger and more able to handle fasting while traveling between food sources. We rescued two goats and a horse badly in need of adoption, and began using their support in moving our things. They are on another journey now but at some point may return to the peace trail. We may want to explore goat milking and cheese making and walking with a donkey who could pack our tipi.
- Common Spiritual Practice(s): Nonviolence
- Spiritual Practice Expected?: Yes
- Education Style(s): Up to each family or individual
Fair Housing Laws
This community acknowledges that their listing does not include any potential violations of the Fair Housing Law, or that they do not provide housing. For any questions about this topic please see our Content Policies and contact FIC with any questions or concerns: [email protected].