Solheimar, Iceland

Solheimar, Iceland
Solheimar Ecovillage in Iceland

Earthaven Ecovillage

Earthaven Ecovillage
Earthaven Ecovillage in Black Mountain, NC

Yogaville, Satchidananda Ashram

Yogaville, Satchidananda Ashram
Yogaville in Buckingham, Virginia

Thursday, September 23, 2010


What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured. -Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Our tiny CELL community of fifteen people is beginning to settle into the larger Solheimar community of about one hundred. We are getting to know the residents better, experimenting in different workshops in the village, and refining the goals of our individual service learning projects. We are all expected to offer something to the Eco Village of Solheimar to either increase sustainability, disseminate knowledge, improve well-being, facilitate growth, or simply benefit the community. I am getting involved in two projects. I am teaming up with Cassie to work on maintaining existing paths throughout the village as well as creating new paths to promote travel by foot rather than vehicle. I dug one natural staircase today outside our guesthouse, but it needs more work. My second project is yoga. I will be teaching yoga classes for all people here on Sunday mornings and Tuesday evenings every week for the next two months. I am excited because I have never lead a yoga class before & to bring the joy of inner union to new people.
Some other projects being looked into by this year's CELL group include, creating an outdoor music garden, building or remodeling a meditation hut, compiling educational materials about sustainability & writing a workbook for children, organizing a week-long summer camp in Solheimar for special needs children around Iceland, improving the role of compost and fixing the amount of nitrogen in the soil, and spending time with the elderly and disabled population in Solheimar.

Another thing that helped make Solheimar feel more like home was our recent departure from it. Last weekend we embarked on a four day backpacking trip through the southern interior of Iceland. We walked 56 kilometers from Landmannalaugar to Þórsmörk. We saw indescribable landscapes, crazy boiling water pools, geothermal mud pits, steaming vents and volcanoes, massive melting glaciers, deep dark ice caves, innumerable caverns and hills to hike, wading glacial rivers & drinking from the streams all weekend, black sand deserts, ash-covered mountains and eating wild blueberries... just too much to process in four days.

We went to the base of Eyjafjallajökull, the glacial volcano that erupted this past April, which was still steaming.


Today we discussed the importance of personal change, and that you must live the way you would like others to live before you can point fingers at others and tell them how to live. It's also very important to be pro-active about the future of our species rather than living in fear and adopting a threatening doom & gloom method of facilitating change. I am willing to change for the sake of the Earth. I don't want to use a car. I want to consume less. I want to create a quieter and subtler existence and smile and love.

My experience with community here has been profound. I wonder if stronger community is a key to harmony with the Earth and it's other inhabitants. The splintering & expansive division of humanity can be repaired and reversed through strengthening community and recognizing the existence of those around us, moving from individualism and separateness to entity and oneness.

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