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Idealistic & Spiritual Communities: A Thriving Ecovillage Template

Posted on September 26, 2019 by
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Submitted by Pacific Domes — Cristina Chadwick

Many people, going about their busy lives, take pride in calling themselves realists. Realists tend to view idealism as impractical – however, in contrast to the hectic consumer-based pace of modern life, it might be argued, that idealistic and spiritually-minded individuals and communities seem to lead happier lives. 

The back to the land movement of the sixties and seventies gave rise to a number of idealistic and spiritually-based communities, some of which have flourished and evolved into exemplary models for living contented lives – modern day ecovillages. As humanity faces significant global challenges to our survival, these communities continue to inspire the birth of new communities worldwide.

You may be familiar with a few world-renowned ecovillages, such as Findhorn and Damanhur that attract thousands of visitors each year? This begs the question, “If being idealistic can significantly improve our lives, then shouldn’t we make every possible effort to live that way?”

Below, are just three model ecovillages that are answering the call to be the change you want to see

1.) Telethrion Eco-Building Academy: Evia Island Greece 

“Creating Sustainable Communities Together” — Telethrion Project

Separated from the Greek mainland by the narrow Strait of Euripus, the pristine beaches of Evia Island, are home to the Telethrion Project (aka Telaithrion Free and Real), a non-profit research center and sustainability school for self-sufficiency – Telethrion’s Eco-Building Academy.  The slopes of Mount Telaithrion provide a perfect backdrop for Eco-Building Academy workshops to explore ways of living in harmony with Nature.

The main area of research at Telethrion’s Eco-Building Academy, focuses on alternative structures and buildings, which provide sustainable solutions while staying compliant with Greek construction laws. Research emphasis is, also, on natural farming methods, including fruits, vegetables, herbs and nuts.

The idea for the Telethrion Project was conceived in 2008, when a group of idealistic young Greeks, disillusioned with the daily grind of city life, collectively decided to leave it all behind to create a self-reliant rural community based on sustainable practices and living in harmony with Natural Law. Coined in January of 2009 and officially founded later that year in Athens, Greece, Telaithrion ‘Free and Real’ is an acronym for Freedom of Resources for Everyone, Everywhere, and Respect, Equality, Awareness and Learning

The vision of Telaithrion’s Free and Real founders is to promote daily living practices offering authentic incentives and selfless giving – food, shelter and resources are communally shared. Just a little more than a decade later, the vision that a self-sufficient sustainable society can exist and flourish has been further fueled by a collaborative initiative with Erasmus plus and the European Solidarity Corps – a community of organizations, who are responsible for recruiting volunteers for various worthwhile ‘hands-on learning projects within their membership.

 “Creating Sustainable Communities Together” – is a collaborative initiative with Erasmus plus and the European Solidarity Corps at Free and Real, Evia Island Greece. It’s perceived as a joint effort to contribute creative, sustainable models and locally applied solutions to global challenges.

Event Dome Renovation Begins

The Eco-Building Academy renovation aims to transform Telethrion’s  free-standing, semi-permanent dome into a permanent building using natural building methods. The diagram below illustrates steps:

Summer of 2019

Maintaining the project with a “community and educational” character Telethrion opened its doors to as many as 100 people from all around the globe, that might be searching for precisely this opportunity. The journey began with a 2-month academic intensive with hands-on applied theory in designing and creating an ecological community.

September 2019

The September 2019 Eco-Building Academy continues the journey by providing a unique lifetime opportunity to participate –  with no previous experience required and absolutely no restrictions – the only requirement was a thirst for knowledge, energy – a willingness to act, – and a smile.

Telethrion’s Eco-Building Academy focuses on informal education through seminars, practical workshops, talks and presentation held in the following categories:

  1. Raising awareness around global environmental challenges 
  2. Natural environment and community design 
  3. Eco-building, bioclimatic architecture and regenerative design – eco-design tools, relevant to present and future technologies.
  4. Celebration of cultures merging with sustainability.

Through inspiring presentations, informal and experiential methods – and, with the support of the dedicated facilitators, the participants receive valuable training, knowledge and skills – as well as, answers to questions they’ve had , but never had the chance to ask.

We will do all we can to animate, empower, educate and inspire all people we meet, so they will be able to follow their own path towards a more possible, more balance coexistence of races and species on the planet. All that has happened until now is on our website and Facebook page.”

For more information visit: https://news.freeandreal.org/2019/06/27/eco-building-academy-telethrion/

Ekistics – The Science of Human Settlements

It goes without saying, that the rich legacy of Greek architecture has inspired many modern thought leaders. Constantinos Aposolou Doxiadis, the Father of Ekistics, was a Greek architect and town planner, who coined the term Ekistics in 1942.  

Doxiadis proposed Ekistics as a science of human settlement and outlined its relevance, scope, intellectual framework and goals. In many ways, Ekistics facilitated the global movement for Sustainable Ecovillages during the 1960’s and 70’s. 

2.) The Madre Grande Vision 

Located amidst the boulder-strewn hills outside Dulzura, California lies Madre Grande Monastery. Founded in 1975,  and known by many old-timers as the sister-community to the famed Findhorn Foundation in Northern Scotland, there’s something mystical about Madre Grande that draws people from many walks-of-life to the joy of coming home to a place they’ve never been before. 

Learn More Here.

3.) Crest 13 Ecovillages

People have been searching for inner peace and happiness since time immemorial – it seems that the more technologically sophisticated we become, the more happiness eludes us. Forging ahead with a new vision for how we can responsibly walk in balance with Natural Law, idealistic, spiritually focused ecovillages have been pioneering new frontiers for decades.

Learn More Here.

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