Community for Mindful Living – Berkeley and Bolinas, CA (San Francisco Bay Area)

Berkeley, California, United States

  • Last updated: September 11, 2018 (1 second ago)
  • Listing created on: January 12, 2016

Mission Statement

Who are we?

We are a community of people who feel modern society is going a bit too fast. While we accept it and live within the modern world, we also try to live in a slower, simpler, and more balanced way.

We’ve created this website to lay out a vision for living in community and connect with other people who are interested in joining and molding our efforts. We are families, couples, and individuals committed to cultivating a practice of simple, healthy living within a modern community that we collectively create. It would most likely follow the model of a cohousing/ecovillage community (private units with shared common house, gardens, etc.), but with a deep commitment to being a place of personal and collective transformation, for both residents and visitors.

For those of you familiar with the Plum Village tradition, one of the community models we admire, one could think of our efforts as a desire to create a year-round lay person Plum Village environment for us all – though not “religious” or tied to any single religious tradition.

We feel the dominant cultural focus on the “individual” and “independence” has gone too far and we’re beginning to lose our innate understanding of how all things are interconnected. We choose to intentionally live in and build “community” – so that we can learn to be more “interdependent” and to better maintain healthy relationships with ourselves and others.

We consider living in a supportive community a valuable opportunity for both personal and societal transformation. The benefits for our children, ourselves, our neighbors, and our planet are innumerable.

Are we a Meditation Community?

Meditation is a practice for many, though not all, of us. However becoming more present and insightful by cultivating mindful awareness of the present moment is something we all aspire to.

What is Mindfulness?

“Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.” Psychology Today

Are we a Spiritual Community?

We believe building and living in community are in fact spiritual practices. We’re not affiliated with any specific religion, and most of us don’t consider ourselves to be “religious.” However, we do embrace various contemplative practices found in all religions, and many of us rely heavily on various Buddhist traditions, though we believe most of our mindfuless practices are common to all wisdom traditions.

Community Description

We’re committed to cultivating a practice of family-friendly mindful living within a modern cohousing community.  Residents own their living spaces and a shared interest in a large common house, gardens, and other communal spaces.

We consider living in a supportive community a valuable opportunity for both personal and societal transformation.  The benefits for our children, ourselves, our neighbors, and our planet are innumerable.

We are involved in three active initiatives.

1. Bolinas/Stinson Beach, CA Project. This is our BIG NEWS. We are in very early stages, but seriously looking at creating an intentional community on agricultural land in this beautiful seaside community, 50 minutes from San Francisco. If you have in interest in joining us, please let us know.

2. Berkeley, CA Project.  In 2011, we converted a well located 4 unit Berkeley, CA property into a small cohousing community with 8 adults and 5 children.  Currently, there are no openings, though we eventually hope to acquire the two adjacent properties, ultimately growing to 10-12 units.  Contact us to be alerted when openings become available.

3. Madrid Project. We have a small 5 unit cohousing prototype project up and running in Madrid, Spain with a high level or intentional living and mindfulness practices at our core. It is full at the moment but we regularly welcome guests from all over the world.

We Are United By:

1) A Shared Insight that all things are interconnected. We inter-are.

2) A Shared Practice of mindfulness and living in the present moment as a way of cultivating insight and wisdom.

The community’s success is measured by its effectiveness in supporting the growth and happiness of those it influences.

We Embrace Two Primary Values

1) Communitarian – Living in harmony with others. We share the strong intention to live more collaboratively and closely with others in order to better understand ourselves and the world we live in. We see living in true community among supportive friends as an opportunity for, both personal and societal transformation.

2) Educational – Spreading knowledge and inspiring others. We find purpose in what we do by educating and empowering others beyond our core community. We endeavor to model an attractive, healthy, joyful, sustainable way of living in a compassionate, cooperative and less consumptive manner.

Other Values Follow

1) Simplicity – Living simple lives in the present moment. We are living in fast-paced, distracting, chaotic times. It is increasingly easy, and hazardous, to lose our bearings in the modern world. We aspire to live simply, and slowly, in a supportive community that helps us stay focused on what matters most.

2) Ecological – Living in harmony with nature. We strive to live more sustainably by embracing permaculture principles. We pursue renewable energy, green building methods, the reduction of waste, compassionate consumption, and other methods of treading lightly on our planet.

3) Inclusion – We value and embrace inclusion. We are non-sectarian and deeply respect the many different cultural and lifestyle traditions. Our common thread is our commitment to cultivating an awareness of the divine in all things. We are open to everyone who shares this respect and see strength in diversity.

Characteristics of our Community Include

1) Participatory process. Residents participate in the design and management of the community, help prepare common meals, and together solve problems and develop policies for the community.

2) Common facilities. Common facilities and open spaces are designed for optional daily use, are an integral part of the community, and are supplemental to the individual residences.

3) Non-hierarchical structure and decision-making. No one person (or persons) has authority over others, though we value expertise and seniority. As people join the group, each person takes on one or more roles consistent with his or her skills, abilities or interests. We use a form of modified consensus for all decision-making.

4) No shared community economy. Currently, the community is not a source of income for its members and typically work done by anyone will be considered that member’s contribution to the shared responsibilities.

About

  • 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), Unspecified, or Other
  • Location: Rural

Housing

  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Current Residence Types: Single-family homes, Multi-family homes, Room(s) in a house or building, Tiny house, Lots to build on
  • Current Number of Residences: 5
  • Planned number of residences: 30
  • Planned Residence Types: Single-family homes, Multi-family homes, Room(s) in a house or building, Tiny house, Lots to build on
  • Housing Provided: Purchase, Rental
  • Land owned by: Individual community member(s)

Membership

  • Adult Members: 8
  • Child Members: 5
  • Percent Women: 50%
  • Percent Men: 50%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    Please schedule a visit by email.

  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    Visit CommunityforMindfulLiving.com

Government

  • Decision Making: Modified Consensus (everyone agrees, with some exceptions or fallbacks.)
  • Identified Leader: No
  • Leadership Core Group: Yes

Economics

  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Shared Income: None
  • Required Labor Contribution: Encouraged or suggested
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes (some debt)

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We use both systems.
  • Current renewable energy generation: Up to 25%
  • Energy sources: Solar
  • Planned renewable energy generation: Almost All, around 90%
  • Current food produced: Up to 25%
  • Planned food produced: Almost All, around 90%
  • Food produced locally: Between 26-49%

Lifestyle

  • Common Facilities: Common House, Garden(s), Greenhouse(s), Vehicle Share, Library, Workshop, Outbuilding(s), Swimming pond or pool, Hot tub or hot springs, Outdoor Kitchen, Large Scale Kitchen, Tractor & Farm Equipment, Stage or Auditorium, Fire pit, Swingsets & play areas, Recreational vehicles, Waterfront access, Gym or sports area, Internet
  • Internet Available: Yes, community provides it
  • Internet Fast?: Yes, exceptionally.
  • Cell Phone Service: Good for most people.
  • Shared meals: 2-5 times per week
  • Dietary Practice: Mostly Vegetarian
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: No – people may eat however they wish.
  • Special Diets OK: Sometimes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used seldomly, or ceremoniously.
  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used seldomly, or ceremoniously.
  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Ecumenical (accepts all religions or spiritual practices)
  • Spiritual Practice Expected?: No
  • Education Style(s): Home Schooling, Private Schooling at the Community, Private School off the property, Public Schooling, Up to each family or individual
  • Healthcare Options: Up to each family or individual

Additional Comments

Please visit CommunityForMindfulLiving.com for more information and the latest updates.

Photo Gallery

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC), Coho/US

Community Affiliations

Plum Village, Center for Nonviolent Communication, Spirit Rock, Insight Meditation Society.

Keywords

Mindfulness, Mindful, Cohousing, San Francisco, Bolinas, Tiny, Spiritual, Non-Sectarian