Hi, I'm 18 years old and I really want to find a place to live with my cat where I can solely focus on a spiritual life close to nature and the animals without any social pressure or want. I'm heavily into animals so this is one of the reasons why I want to start a life outside of cities and all that comes with that. I'm Native American and that's my main spiritual path, although I do like things about Buddhism. I'm happy with my family and the numerous opportunities where I live, however what I really want is to not belong to mainstream America; I don't want to use IDs or money, but live in a community where a little effort can help me have my own place with my cat. I guess I want to go back to a tribal life, I don't know, but I do want to be able to live without IDs or money, just like old times, taking care of a garden. All I need is a place where I can live with my cat. Please help me. I've heard of communities called Sanghas where people kinda share the similar views and want to live differently, something like this would be so awesome. Thank you so much for your help !!!
Check out www.ic.org It's the premier website for intentional communities, with hundreds of listings worldwide, and is searchable both by location and keyword (as in "permaculture", "spirituality" etc.
Hello Alder, I wish you the best of luck with finding what you need!
I'm a homeless advocate, and part of my advocacy is the need for more such places as you describe, and more diversity among them for people with all manner of needs and interests to be able to find a place to call home. Everyone should have access to such a community.
There is no reason these communities shouldn't be found everywhere, open and affirming to all peoples, on all walks of life to find space to live, explore, learn, produce together.
Our society emphasizes too much the productive, the exchange value, the profit margin, and it corrupts our relationships and communities. We need people like yourself to explore, and support alternatives, and I wish you the best in this hard search, in this hard work that is developing such things so that all peoples may have a suitable place to call home.
No Excuses Suburban Garden
300 total sq. ft. intensively cultivated, hugulkultur beds, producing at over 500lbs or $1500-5k of food annually in Zone 5b.
6 chickens worth of droppings, bedding, and 3 peoples worth of food waste provide plenty of compost to keep the beds growing indefinitely.
$500 up front cost(minus reclaimed materials): includes loam and compost, lumber for building beds and chicken coop, tools, chickens, and fencing for garden and chicken run, rain barrels or buckets
$300 upkeep costs(minus reclaimed supplies): includes seeds, chicken feed, mulch and water.
What an awesome adventure you're soon to embark on. The tool Alder shared is a great one, but extensive.
Stop reading here if you do not want to read advice from someone who doesn't live in an IC, but has studied small cultures for decades including the kibbutzim.
I only decided to respond to your post because of your name and the chance that you may be Shawnee and therefore not far from the IC I will provide a link to.
How do you choose? How do you sort through all the information? How do you trust what's written about an IC to be an accurate reflection of the community? Each place is so different from the others, it's impossible to think there is a universal kind of experience with ICs. For example, in another thread someone was inviting people to come join them in their IC for joyous living, but they said that you must integrate Irish Wolfhounds into your life or don't consider coming. The best you can do, short of trial living in one, is to talk to others in person, via email, phone, chat, text and in this forum, such as you have done. Good on you, Ender! As I indicated, I've never lived in an IC as most think of them, but I have heard good feedback on one in our state (Missouri). I'll provide a link to their website below. But, be advised that whenever you gather human beings together negative social issues will arise - it's inescapable. One of the secrets to a successful IC, in my non-expert opinion, is how the IC has a system set in place to deal with negative social issues. This is critical to living in a collaborative way with others. Additionally, equity is a key issue. I'm not referring to who owns what or what assets are accessible. I'm referring to equity of inidviduals. I personally wouldn't live in an IC where I wasn't considered equal to other members of the IC regardless of our tenure in that IC. Without equity, a class system forms. Maybe that's okay with some folks. Others don't want that. In the USA, age is a definer of class. The very old and the young are often second class. You'll need to protect yourself because people will see your youth in various ways. It sounds as if you want a bit more independence in your way of life. That can be a challenge in an IC that is trying to help people live in harmony with each other, but require each other's participation in order to make the place operate successfully. Living cash free is one thing. Living without an official record may limit your choices in an IC. Though an IC may have its own order, rules, and governance, they also exist in a county, state, and federal system that some ICs won't want to violate. Be sure you are clear about your desires when you are interviewing leaders of any IC you are considering. You'll need to know what you won't settle for and what you might compromise on. Then, ask about their trial period or their probationary period. Anyway, I've rambled too long. Here is the link to Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage about which I've heard good things.
Because society has been around for so long as a mainstream influence, you cannot just expect to have a clear path for yourself at 18 to take care of yourself, without someone projecting their past unto you. Just like any kind of attack, there is a process of learning to defend yourself well. Running away from your own defense is also a trigger for others to seek to defend you and take ownership over you as a tribe 'elder'. Those ownership and so called leadership values are very common throughout the community world and anywhere else I'm afraid.
I'm myself in the process of forming an answer to this issue, by making a community formed on at least social expectations as possible. Where free and wanting to be free people can live without papers and rules from top down. It is not forming in the US, but it is in America down south in Chile. My idea is in the community forum list. The basic plan is to start from nothing and have only true freedom people live there with their own plan and self development (in healthy ways). 'Leadership is decided on whether or not there is a connection between people that is naturally there without having to talk or share with other in any kind of ritualistic or routine fashion. As long as a person is connected that way, peaceful, not addicted to any major distractions and not aggressive or too damaged spiritually, they are welcome to live by their own rules. We would only need to see your picture and get a sense of how much space you want.
We are planning on buying 1 or 2 hectares close to a natural reservation. People from all over the world would be invited over time to come help out, but the same rules apply to them. It should be an calm place for people to find their center and only reason from that point outward over time as to not attract the artificial world you mentioned.
This might not be exactly what you are looking for right now, because you want to join an active community if I understand correctly. But when you are young and thinking to be able to get your own space to be free, over time people will project on you for turning your back at your own abilities to overcome them. This is just common sense, but good to hear from people a bit older then yourself. Next month I turn 34 and I have a month old baby. When I was 18 I wanted to escape society too, and it SHOULD be possible, were it not for a major energy system in place to feed of your good intentions. Of course you are aware of this system already, but resisting them requires to understand many principles that I would offer upfront and not spread them out in 'getting to know you period while you are working for me'... I would test your intelligence to protect my area on where multiple people should feel welcome to be on their own, but together as well.
I'm sure you understand somewhat of what I mean.
Good luck in any scenario!
Have you ever considered experiencing a nomadic lifestyle? I am deeply connected to the national Renaissance Festival community, and for 3 years I lived on the road, crisscrossing the country every 2 months, working only Saturdays and Sundays when the festivals were open. You are not entirely off the grid, but it is an exceptional way to experience nature, community and spiritualism all within a [mostly] self-sustained community of artists and fun, funky people.
I started doing this when I was 19, and it dramatically changed my life for the better. I spent almost a decade with this community, ironing out my emotional and spiritual walk of life, which eventually put me on the path to recovering from severe trauma, and settling into my passion for nature by going to college with clear and precise direction that I did not have when I was 19.
It's just a thought... feel free to contact me with questions.