Humans are social beings; our survival depends on communities. In earlier times, we organized ourselves in village communities, extended families, guilds and religious groups. Often one was bound to the community into which one was born – unable to choose the place and people. Those who did not fit were excluded. In the present, these communities have become smaller and smaller: there is the nuclear family, which often consists of only two people, sometimes with a pet or one or two children in addition. On the other hand, there are large entities like states, to which we seldomly have deep, personal connections. It seems like people in the wealthy western world enjoy more freedom than ever before. In theory, we could communicate with anyone, we could live almost anywhere – but where do we find a home? Deep down, we all long for communal living – but how can we make it happen?
Our residential project is designed to enable just that, under one roof, living in permanent flow and connectedness. Spending everyday life together, including work and spiritual practice, from birth to death, many generations under one roof. All aspects of life united, connected, pure liveliness.
An ordinary day in this housing project stars in communal silence. We meet in the meditation hall, meditate together. Afterwards, the normal workday starts – some go to work or take their children to school, others go back to bed, still others meet for coffee in the communal kitchen. We spend the day doing our tasks and chores, some of them on our own, others in small groups, still others in the large community. For those who feel like it, there’s the possibility to meet again in the evening for a chat, to cook and have dinner together, to pursue hobbies or meditate again.
An existing building, such as a hotel, guesthouse or inn will be the foundation, a house in which we can accommodate our community center. Our plans include a café and a shop where we can sell homemade delicacies and other nice things. There will be seminar and treatment rooms, offices, guest rooms and other community spaces – depending on what the residents want to bring in and create for themselves and others. We envision a space where people can find and be with each other.
The initiators of this residential project are also planning to install spaces for people who need support and want to live in the community for a certain period of time, for example homeless people or people who just came out of prison and want to return to a regular life. Simply put, fellow human beings who are going through a difficult time and need support. As part of the “1000 Hands” project, we would like to re-integrate them into our community first, before they make their way back into society. Participation in this care project is voluntary for all other residents. However, we appreciate openness and tolerance towards the project and its participants.
The location should ideally be close to a larger city, for example a district capital with all the necessary infrastructure and transport connections. We do not want to become a “lonely island”, but continue to be connected to the world. Ideally, the housing project is located 1-2 hours away from Vienna.
We’re looking for a building located in a site with enough space to individual build housing units around the main community house for the housing project members. The idea is to create both community and private spaces. We’re not overly fond of the idea of a “commune” that always has to do everything together under duress, and at worst gets “stuck” in an ideal of community, neglecting the specific needs of individuals.
Not far away, within walking distance, in a quiet place but somewhat secluded, there will be a Zendo, a Zen meditation hall. This space, where we will have the opportunity to meditate together twice a day, will become the silent heart of the residential project.
Our intended financing model is quite conventional, we are aiming for a non-profit owners’ association that rents and leases. One investor has already expressed interest in financing the project (July 2021).
What We’re Looking For:
- A former hotel, inn, guesthouse, with a ground area from 3,000 square meters, with an associated plot suitable for construction
- People of all ages and backgrounds who want to make a home there and participate in the community. We are open to anyone who, like us, regards contemplation and inner silence as an important aspect of life wants to build a community and a life based on these practices and values.
- People who want to share their experience and know-how with us
- Institutions that support the re-integration of our clients
- Sponsors who are willing to help us pay the regular expenses.