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Creating a Life Together: Practical Tools to Grow Ecovillages and Intentional Communities [Format Kindle]

Diana Leafe Christian , Patch Adams

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Creating a Life Together is the only resource available that provides step-by-step practical information distilled from numerous firsthand sources on how to establish an intentional community. It deals in depth with structural, interpersonal and leadership issues, decision-making methods, vision statements, and the development of a legal structure, as well as profiling well-established model communities. This exhaustive guide includes excellent sample documents among its wealth of resources.

Diana Leafe Christian is the editor of Communities magazine and has contributed to Body & Soul, Yoga Journal, and Shaman’s Drum, among others. She is a popular public speaker and workshop leader on forming intentional communities, and has been interviewed about the subject on NPR. She is a member of an intentional community in North Carolina.

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Amazon.com: 4.8 étoiles sur 5  30 commentaires
88 internautes sur 89 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Definitive How-to Book about Housing Communities 22 janvier 2005
Par Judith - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Note: Even for those who aren't interested in living in "intentional communities," there's great guidance in this book that is relevant to forming a nonpfrofit housing community.

Christian candidly explains the many ways that a group of people choosing to live as interdependent residents, whether of just one house or several houses on commonly held land, both complicates and facilitates adjusting to the inevitable quirky expectations, needs and requirements of different, even if simpatico, individuals. Although Creating a Life Together is intended for those who want to start something more like a modern-day commune, some of which qualify as ecovillages, the points and principles in this book are relevant to sharing one residence or living in separate dwellings but making a commitment to share co-owned land with multiple homes. Either way, you're sharing your day-to-day lives as an extended family bonded by choice, not by blood.

Only 10% succeed

Christian's guidance and opinions are based on many years of living in intentional communities and serving as editor of Communities magazine. She starts with describing what the 10% of communities that succeed have and in common and what tends to make the other 90% fail, over before they truly get started.

Then she explains how and where to start and what steps to take in what order - and that is not jumping right into looking for the ideal land or property, despite how tempting that is when you're full of dreams and enthusiasm. Before you even get to that stage - or at least before you make an offer on any kind of property - you'll need to learn a lot about zoning, financing, housing and land trusts perhaps, and certainly what kind of legal entity will work best for what your group has in mind and exactly what each of you have in mind, from contributions of money, time and labor to what's acceptable and what's not in day-to-day living. You'll need to decide going in what happens when someone wants out, so you can protect everyone, both legally and emotionally.

First 6 crucial steps

She calls these six elements "crucial" to address in the formative stages:

Identify your community vision and create vision documents.
Choose a fair, participatory decision-making process appropriate for your group. If you choose consensus, get trained in it.
Make clear agreements - in writing. This includes choosing an appropriate legal entity for owning land [or a dwelling] together.
Learn good communication and group process skills. Make clear communication and resolving conflicts a priority.
In choosing cofounders and new members, select for emotional maturity.
Learn the head skills and heart skills you need to know.
Not a dream for dilettantes

Christian also offers fair warning that if you have a burning desire to start a new intentional community, you'll need that kind of passion and more: "It takes enormous amounts of time to pull off a project of this magnitude. Even if you meet weekly, you'll still need people to work on various committees that work and/or meet between scheduled meetings - gathering information, calling officials, crunching the numbers, drafting proposals, and so on - for at least a year, or even two years or longer, " she says. "The larger your group and/or the smaller your assets, the longer it'll take."
58 internautes sur 58 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Deserves TEN stars 29 décembre 2003
Par Kerry Walters - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
As a member of a group of folks currently planning an intentional community, I can testify to the fact that a million and one totally unexpected questions (not to mention the expected ones!) leap up to bewilder anyone thinking about creating an alternative living experiment. There are philosophical questions--what do we stand for (not just what are we against)? what's our vision?--and there are the nitty-gritty questions that have to do with land ownership, trusts, zoning permits, nonprofit status, and so on. Until you're actually in the process, you have no idea of how complicated the creation of an intentional community can be. No wonder fewer than 10% of planned communities actually get off the ground!
That's why Diana Leafe Christian's book is so invaluable. Written by someone who's been part of the intentional community movement for years, and a member of an ecovillage, "Creating a Life Together" could easily be subtitled "everything you always wanted to know about forming an intentional community but were afraid to ask." Especially valuable is its discussion of composing vision statements, thinking through what kind of land is right for your group, dealing with bankers who are likely to be wary of intentional living in the first place, and different strategies for conducting initial meetings and making group decisions--you'd be surprised how foreign consensus-style decision-making is to most of us.
A growing number of folks are searching for meaningful, peaceful, self-sufficient, and eco-friendly lifestyles-in- community that offer alternatives to the consumer-driven world. But building these communities is hard and sometimes perplexing work. Take all the help and advice you can get-and Christian's book is at the top of the list.
40 internautes sur 40 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Must Read for Aspiring Eco-Villagers 23 septembre 2004
Par Andrew S. Rasmussen - Publié sur Amazon.com
This book is a product of the author's in-depth knowledge of the Intentional Communities Movement. Her intimate experience with successful ecovillage communities makes available key strategies and factors in community building. My only critique of this book is that the most important and useful chapter which should probably be first (choosing who to live with), is placed at the end. Incidently this chapter helped me take an honest look at myself and some of the issues i was carying at the time and made me aware i need to resolve them in order to be a more desireable community member.
18 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Bible for Intentional Communities 15 mai 2007
Par M. Swaim - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
As a cofounder of an aspiring ecovillage I've found this book to be uniquely invaluable to forming a community. Since November 06, a group of us have been using this book to guide us along the path towards making our dreams of a creating a community come true. At each step along the way, the advice that Diana dispenses in this guide have served as discussion tools, as examples and as warnings on how not to proceed. She offers up numerous examples of success stories and of failures. There are many books on life in cohousing, or general overviews of the community concepts, but as far as I know, this is the only one to tackle the nuts and bolts issues of creating a community from scratch. This book is absolutely essential reading to anybody interested in forming a community or cohousing project. [...]
12 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 useful for explorers of intentional community issues 7 juin 2006
Par Jonathan Betz-Zall - Publié sur Amazon.com
As a longtime member of an intentional community I've made good use of this book in introducing people to the promises and conflicts that surround the concept. Although it's aimed more at founders than at people joining established communities, it provides enough background (and interesting stories, to boot!) for explorers to develop a certain familiarity with the issues that will serve them well as they seek their own special place.
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