Humans are social beings; we survive only in community. In earlier times, it was village communities, extended families, guilds and religious communities. Often one was bound to the community into which one was born – one could not choose the place, the people, those who did not adapt were excluded. In the present, on the one hand, these communities have become smaller and smaller: There is the nuclear family, which often consists of only two people, with the occasional a pet or one or two children. On the other hand, there are large entities such as states, to which, however, the personal relationship is almost always missing. Apparently, people in the rich, Western world are freer than ever. 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?
That's exactly what our housing project aims to make possible, “all under one roof”. Life in permanent flow and connectedness. Living our lives together, working together, practicing spiritually together. Ideally from birth to death, many generations under one roof. Everything united, everything connected, pure liveliness.
An ordinary day in this housing project begins in communal silence. We meet in the meditation hall, meditate together. After that, 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, some of them on our own, others in small groups, still others in the large community. Those who feel like it meet again in the evening, where we chat, cook and eat together, pursue hobbies or meditate once more.
The foundation for this project should be an existing building, hotel, guesthouse or inn where we can house our community center. Planned are a café and a store where we can sell homemade delicacies and other nice things.
In addition, there will be space for seminar and treatment rooms, offices, guest rooms and other common areas – depending on what the residents want to bring in and realize.
It is intended to become a place of encounter and togetherness.
The initiators of this residential project are also planning living 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 newly released from prison who want to get back into a regular life, simply fellow human beings who are going through a difficult time and need support. As part of the “1000 Hands” project, we would like to reintegrate them into our community first, before they make their way back into society. Of course, it is not mandatory for the other residents to participate in the caretaking. However, we welcome openness and tolerance towards this project.
Everything should be close to a larger city, for example a district capital with the necessary infrastructure and all necessary traffic connections. We do not want to become a “lonely island”, but continue to be connected. Ideally, the housing project is located 1-2 hours drive from Vienna.
Around this building there should be enough space to build housing units for the housing project members. The idea is to create both community and private spaces. We don't think much of the idea of a commune that always has to do everything together under duress, at worst getting “stuck” in an ideal of community and overlooking the specific needs of individuals.
Not far away, in a quiet place, but somewhat secluded, there will be a temple. This space, where we will get the opportunity to meditate together twice a day, will become the silent heart of the residential project.
The financing model is quite classically envisioned in the form of a developer who will rent and lease on a long-term basis. An investor has already expressed serious interest (as of July 2021).
Our housing project consists of four areas
- Community House
- Housing Area
- Live and work
- Support and heal
In this place we bring everything together: living and working, supporting and healing. The kitchen is the focal point: residents and guests meet for a shared breakfast if they feel like coming together, and afterwards we produce baked goods and food for the café and store.
Next door is the seminar room for our “Verbundenheitstraining”, qigong classes, yoga and evening events. Office and treatment rooms offer plenty of space for independent work.
Under this roof there are two kinds of guest rooms, for long-term guests as well as for people who participate in our seminars.
- Taste and enjoy delicacies right away
- Just linger and relax
On a cozy terrace we serve our homemade delicacies. If you are short of time or want to buy a little something for your loved ones, you can buy our homemade products in the attached store, together with beautiful things from Scandinavia: porcelain, table linen, candles and much more. In addition, the café is the first port of call for excursionists and residents from the surrounding area who would like to get a taste of our community project over a cup of coffee.
- Privacy when you feel like it
- Flexible wooden modular buildings
The basis of any functioning community is self-care. That's why it's important to us that our residents can furnish their own private living space and retreat to it at any time. We rely on wooden modular construction: sustainable, cost-effective and with plenty of design freedom. Depending on the space required, we offer living spaces for one to six people – thanks to the modular construction, extensions are possible at any time, and the living space grows with its residents.
- The silent heart
- Place for meditation and ritual
“1000 Hands” is a Zen Buddhist project. Daily contemplative practices such as meditation and ritual form the foundation of our shared life. Architecturally, the building is a fusion of Japanese tradition and Austrian craftsmanship. Intensive Zen practice takes place here as well as parts of our seminars. People from the surrounding area are always welcome to meditate with us.
We see the drawings as a kind of “serving suggestion” – an illustration, like the ones that you know from product packaging. What our project will look like in the end is still written in the stars. What is fairly certain at the moment is that we have an investor who will act as a developer, presumably for the community center and the residential area, and who will rent or lease the facilities to us on a long-term basis at very favorable conditions.
There is a good chance that we will be able to implement the wood modular construction. For our community house, we would like to preserve something old and transform it into something new; if this is not possible, we will also build the community house from wooden modules. A hybrid version is also conceivable. Until we have found a suitable place or property where we can realize the project, we remain open to many possibilities.
We want a sustainable life, shaped by the seasons and the environment in which we live. That's why we rely on renewable energies such as solar power, wind power and geothermal heat/cooling for our energy supply. We are also planning to install eco-friendly systems for water and wastewater. At the moment, we are not yet focusing on self-sufficiency, as there are certainly many experienced farmers in the area with who we'd like to cooperate. What is already being considered, however, is a berry garden where not only fruit for baked goods but also for jams, syrups and other treats can flourish.
Our vision is to live independently and self-determined in harmony with ourselves and nature.
We are looking for:
- A plot of land, 7,000-15,000 sqm2, preferably divided into 2-3 segments, which are not far from each other (walking distance).
- If we are lucky, there is already an old object on it, from which we can create something new (former hotel, inn, pension, farm)
- People of all ages and backgrounds who want to make a home there and participate in the community. We are open to everyone who, like us, understands contemplation, inner silence, as an important element in life and wants to build and live in a community on this basis
- People who want to share their experience and know-how with us
- Institutions that support the reintegration of those we care for
- Donors and sponsors who help us to cover the running costs and to build our temple