Everywhere we look around, the buzz words these days are living green, being eco-friendly, promoting sustainability, saving the environment etc etc. Slowly but surely we all are becoming more and more aware of issues that are creating negative impact on our planet. New businesses, products are markets are coming up to promote eco-friendly living. We have Green Building movement going on and buildings are following new codes and rules to create a healthy living environment. All of this to restore and rebalance the relationship between our species and mother nature. All of a sudden the growth of using natural materials in our buildings, food, clothes and everything else we can imagine has spiked. Every time I read an article or book related to this topic, my heart dances with joy. I get super excited to learn new ways of living naturally and knowing that we are thinking about caring for our planet and healing the wounds that our mother earth has incurred because of our unconscious and most of the times short term goals.
But despite of this growth in sustainability and the growing needs of eco-friendly living, we are forgetting a very important component of ecology – HUMANS. We worry about the imbalance between the nature and our living, between different species and environment, but what about us? Isn’t the relationship we have amongst ourselves as important? Isn’t one of the greatest imbalances these days seen within our own species? Yes, we are better connected globally. We know what someone thousands of miles away is doing at noon on a random weekend….but what about our next door neighbor? Or the friend who lives couples miles away? Or the bus driver who drives our kids safely to school everyday? Or a two year old who has to spend time at the dinner table watching a video on I-pad? Are we really as connected as we think we are? Yes we all live in neighborhoods, gated communities and high rises….but where is the sense of “community” in all these? Most of us don’t even know who all lives in our neighborhood! What is the use of all this healthy and eco-friendly living when at the physical level we all are globally connected but at soul level we are growing far apart?
WHERE IS THE ECO IN OUR LIVING????
This has been in front of me all along….because this is what I have adapted to in my adulthood. I had gotten so absorbed in it that this all was becoming natural to me. But this past week in Thailand, in a small town of Bang Phra, something changed. We lived in a “real” community….and it was beautiful. It was joyful, exciting, adventurous and peaceful at the same time. We stayed with a group of beautiful souls in an eco-farm called Daruma Eco-Farm (www.ecovillageasia.com). A small full of life and loving group of people – doing what they love to do and living in a place that supports and nourishes their dreams. We both went there to learn more about a subject very dear to me, which was forgotten and ready to be re-discovered – building using natural materials (www.darumanaturalbuilding.files.wordpress.com). And we came out learning more about everything! From natural buildings, permaculture, farming, rocket stoves to making fire, tea, bread, pickles, spreads while sharing whole lot of love, wisdom and delicious food from all over the world. We cooked and cleaned together everyday. We exchanged stories and experiences. We played in the mud. We plastered walls. We made some bricks. We laughed. We shared. Life is already slow while we are traveling but this past week it was crazy busy and slow at the same time. We felt connected to each other and things around us. Everything felt simple….and uncomplicated.
Wouldn’t it be amazing to have such communities all around us? And not just our neighborhood….even in our families. Where we do things together – not because we are supposed to or we have to but just because we want to. Where we are connected thru our senses and thru our hearts not thru social media. Where we talk and listen. Where we learn from each other irrespective of our age. Where we stargaze at nights and take long walks in the forest. Where we pick vegetables for our meals together instead of driving to a supermarket. Where we all share, care and love – our own Selves and each other. Where everything is abundant.
No it’s not an imaginary community. These communities exist all over the world and are growing everyday. The principles of such communities have been with us for ages. They seem impossible in today’s capitalist society but believe me these same principles can be incorporated at any level – be it your own home, office or your gated community. The concepts are easier than learning to use a new gadget….because they are not something “new”. We just got distracted a bit and forgot about it :o) Just remember your childhood and it will all come back. Would you not want your children and your current Self to have all that back? I know I would! So let’s slow down, take a breather and bring that “eco” back in our living! :o)