The Village at Ananda Laurelwood

Gaston, Oregon, United States

  • Last updated: December 18, 2018 (2 seconds ago)
  • Listing created on: December 17, 2015

Mission Statement

Ananda Laurelwood offers the opportunity to live in community with other inspired, like-minded people who share a foundation in universal spiritual principles.

Community Description

Since 1968, Ananda has been a pioneer in small, conscious communities. Beginning with Ananda Village, this pattern of life has spread around the globe, with Ananda communities in Europe and India as well as here in the US. Ananda Portland has had a community in town since 1993, and it serves as a sister to Ananda Center at Laurelwood.

Building a small community is an art, born of experience, character development, time, commitment and joy. Using the resources at hand, an individual can have direct experience of every aspect of community life at Ananda Laurelwood while also developing the spiritual and character qualities which make for supportive leadership, creative management, dynamic involvement and a richly evolving community life. Situated in a beautiful pastoral valley, our surrounding farm, gardens, forest and wild-lands provide natural beauty, quiet, and a buffer from the conflicting vibrations of more urban environments. Yet when the world beckons, Portland is just a short drive away.

Our 55-acre educational campus hosts a Meditation and Yoga Retreat center, a growing organic farm with wwoof opportunities and weekly public volunteer projects, a fully residential internship program, and certification programs in vegetarian cooking and conscious compassion-based eldercare. Our center is a place of learning and connection, inwardly with the Divine through the practice of meditation and yoga, and then expressed outwardly in our shared activities: vegetarian meals, meditations, service, classes, and recreation. Students in our residential Cities of Light and Karma Yoga internship programs have a private room with bathrooms just down the hall and three vegetarian meals are served each day. We believe in serving food filled with prana – or life energy. Thus we source organically grown and local ingredients as much as possible.

You can begin your journey in conscious community living by participating in the residential Karma Yoga Internship Program for anywhere from 2 weeks to three months, which integrates spiritual practice, service, personal support, and study of the universal teachings of Self-realization. Visit our website at for more information. If at the end of your three-month internship, you’re interested in participating in the long-term Cities of Light residential program, you can apply and interview for acceptance. Costs and fees will be assessed at the time of the interview.

The long-term Cities of Light residential program is tailored to support those who seek to develop the understanding, the skills and the character that allow for the development of community wherever life might take them. Some members contribute their time in service to the center while others commute to nearby cities for work.

On the 175 acres surrounding our campus we are developing an intentional community, what Paramhansa Yogananda called a World Brotherhood Colony, where all of life can be together in one place. We are striving to create a community where the values of simple living and high thinking can be put into practice as an alternative way to live that is more sustainable, and ultimately more fulfilling, where people can find what they truly seek: happiness.


  • Type(s): Ecovillage (organized around ecology and sustainability), Cohousing (individual homes within group owned property), Shared Housing, Cohouseholding, or Coliving (multiple individuals sharing a dwelling), Spiritual or Religious Community, Unspecified, or Other
  • Programs & Activities: School, Educational Institute or Experience, Volunteer, Internship, or Apprenticeship, Neighborhood, Community Housing, or Homeowner’s Association, Organization, Resource, or Network, WWOOF’ing, Guest Farming, Festivals, Conferences, Events
  • Location: Rural


  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 200 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Multi-family homes, Room(s) in a house or building, Lots to build on
  • Current Number of Residences: 25
  • Planned number of residences: 85
  • Planned Residence Types: Single-family homes, Multi-family homes, Room(s) in a house or building, Lots to build on
  • Housing Provided: Purchase, Rental, Work-exchange, Included in Membership
  • Land owned by: The entire community membership


  • Adult Members: 25
  • Child Members: 0
  • Non-member Residents: 0
  • Percent Women: 31-40%
  • Percent Men: 51-60%
  • Percent Transgender: 0%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    You can begin your journey in conscious community living by participating in the residential Karma Yoga Internship program for at least three months.


  • Decision Making: Modified Consensus (everyone agrees, with some exceptions or fallbacks.)
  • Identified Leader: Yes, multiple identified leaders
  • Leadership Core Group: Yes


  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Regular Fee per Month: $0
  • Shared Income: None
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 4
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We are connected to the grid.
  • Current renewable energy generation: 0%, or close to 0%
  • Planned renewable energy generation: Almost All, around 90%
  • Current food produced: Up to 25%
  • Planned food produced: Almost All, around 90%
  • Food produced locally: Almost All, around 90%


  • Common Facilities: Common House, Garden(s), Greenhouse(s), Vehicle Share, Library, Workshop, Outbuilding(s), Large Scale Kitchen, Tractor & Farm Equipment, Stage or Auditorium, Internet
  • Internet Available: Yes, community provides it
  • Internet Fast?: Yes, exceptionally.
  • Cell Phone Service: Good for most people.
  • Shared meals: Approximately all dinners
  • Dietary Practice: Local (food sourced within 150 miles), Organic (no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers), GMO Free (only non-genetically modified organisms), Vegetarian Only (no animal meat; dairy and eggs okay) – Please check this only if you are 100% Vegetarian, Mostly Vegan, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: Somewhat – there are some dietary restrictions or customs.
  • Special Diets OK: Yes
  • Alcohol Use: No, this community does not permit alcohol use.
  • Tobacco Use: No, this community does not permit tobacco use.
  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Ecumenical (accepts all religions or spiritual practices), Self-realization teachings brought by Paramhansa Yogananda and Swami Kriyananda
  • Spiritual Practice Expected?: No
  • Education Style(s): Home Schooling, Private School off the property, Public Schooling, Up to each family or individual
  • Healthcare Options: Up to each family or individual

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Community Network or Organization Affiliations

The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC)