Residential Spiritual Community for Elders at Sevenoaks?
I have a vision of a residential community for active old people who want to focus the remaining years of their lives on spiritual matters, gradually letting go of the activities and achievements of the small ego, and allowing the greater wisdom within us to guide our lives and prepare us for our passing at death. This vision has been realized in a number of ElderSpirit communities, including one in SW Virginia which encourage mutual support, consensus decision-making, and shared spiritual practices, in a co-housing community.
In a co-housing community, each person (or couple) has complete autonomy over his/her/their own private living space, including kitchen and bath, but we also create shared living spaces—a community kitchen and dining room, extra guest rooms, a meditation room, laundry room, exercise room, etc.—which we create, care for and use collectively.
Sevenoaks offers a potentially ideal environment for such a community, which could offer a rich mutuality with the retreat center and with the Mid-Atlantic Pathwork. Two areas of the land are being discussed as possible locations for such a venture: 1) nine acres to the south of the main driveway (left side as you are driving in from the main road/mailbox), just after the woods on the right side gives way to an open pasture space. Or 2) thirteen acres on the right side of the driveway from the mailbox until the open pasture area.
In addition to the acreage on which the houses will be built, however, residents would have access to the whole 120 acres of the entirely pesticide-free Center—including 5 miles of walking trails, organic garden, river and pond. The Center has been a place for personal transformation and spiritual awakening for over forty years; the vibration here is very strong.
When we are in the presence of this vibration, when we experience harmony with nature, we also can come into harmony with all of what we are. As Adyashanti, a contemporary spiritual teacher says, “When we expose ourselves to that awakeness, to that environment where spirit and matter are harmonized, it helps us awaken.”
There are many questions about how this all might come to pass. If you are interested in continuing the dialogue, please contact Susan Thesenga at firstname.lastname@example.org I will set up some electronic forum for extending the conversation (let me know if you have a suggestion as to the best way to do this), and before long, we’ll set up a day at Sevenoaks where we can be in face-to-face conversation about community, walk the land, and seek guidance about our next steps.