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July 2019
Earthaven Ecovillage
Compassionate Consciousness and Lifeways
In this issue we’ll…
  • Hear from Steve Torma on the Value of Compassion
  • Celebrate a successful Restorative Circles Conference
  • Learn about mutual aid… one weird trick for transforming industrial civilization
  • Lay eyes on some of the colors and shapes of life that have blessed us this season

Compassion Camp

Steve Torma on the Value of Compassion
Steve Torma laughs when he remembers his first exposure to nonviolent communication (NVC), the system of compassionate human relations developed by psychologist Marshall Rosenberg. As a fresh-faced 25-year-old at the Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida, he attended exactly one afternoon in-service program about the practice. "I thought that I knew what NVC was after that introduction!" he recalls.
But it wasn't until 2007 that Steve truly began to understand the transformative potential of NVC. After an eight-week intensive course by one of Compassion Camp’s facilitators, Jerry Donoghue, he saw that the practice went far beyond a way of talking with others. "It's a postmodern understanding of what all religions basically talk about at their core, which is the Golden Rule: Love thy neighbor as thyself," Steve says. "For me, NVC has become a spiritual path."
Since that revelation, Steve has founded The REAL Center and 10,000 Love Letters, two projects for spreading the word of NVC, and has instructed nearly 600 people in the practice. He brings that mission to Earthaven in partnership with School of Integrated Living (SOIL) through Compassion Camp, taking place August 15-18. Read Steve's interview on the School of Integrated Living website, where he shares more about the camp, the power of NVC, and its value to sustainability advocates.
Compassion Camp is a four-day event for adults and children where we create a community of people who learn, play, and celebrate together, empowered to send each other back into the world to spread these seeds of justice and love. Our time together is designed to foster community among the growing number of people who are passionate about living and promoting compassionate consciousness. Be inspired, empowered, and connected.

Restorative Circles Conference

Celebrating the Third Biennial Restorative Circles Conference
July’s Restorative Circles (RC) Conference hosted by Culture's Edge at Earthaven brought together about 30 Restorative Justice and Nonviolent Communication practitioners from around the world to strengthen the network of resources for deep, global societal change, starting with right where we are. Using Open Space technology, the conference sessions were collaboratively curated on site. Sessions included: "notes from the field" of RC educators and practitioners, "semi-simulated circle" practice sessions, discussions about dealing with trauma and other hardships met in this work, and using RC with children and in families. The Conference enhanced the growing connections between those who've been working together over the past six years and those new to the group. If you’re interested in being a part of the planning and design for the next Restorative Circles Conference in 2021, email the Culture’s Edge staff at:

Co-operate WNC Mutual Aid

Try This One Weird Trick for Transforming Industrial Civilization 
What Earthaven Taught Me About “Mutual Aid” as a Cultural Survival Pattern
By Zev Friedman, Co-operate WNC Creative Director
Earthaven was conceived as the heartchild of 12 founders who saw the trajectory of our species mostly as a violent mess with an ugly ending, and wanted to grow another way. They recognized the interconnected nature of both our challenges and our opportunities, so they courageously set out with an ambitious attempt to heal everything, all at once: how we make decisions, distribute power, and exist in relationships; how we make buildings and gather energy; how we grow and eat food; how we are born, initiated and educated, and die; and how we make a living and participate in economics. 
Writing as an unauthorized Earthaven historian, I suggest that these founders and those who have come since, through a combination of intention and instinct, included several main ingredients that set the stage for the survival and relative success of Earthaven to this point:
  1. Grounded  and visionary imagination;
  2. Appropriate scales for each initiative;
  3. Long-term trust and reciprocity; and
  4. A specific collection of skills and knowledge amidst an attitude of lifelong learning.
By including these essential ingredients, through their own ingenuity and the largesse of ancestral remembrance, they somehow recreated one weird trick for transforming industrial civilization: a type of cultural-economic-ecological phenomenon that exists in many diverse cultures and that anthropologists call “mutual aid”. 
Visit Co-operate WNC, a Western NC mutual aid initiative for a regenerative future. In addition to the heaps of information on their website, you can sign up for their newsletter or join regional learning circles and online webinars.
Life that has blessed Earthaven this summer
… in our gardens and on the edge of the wild.

Visit Earthaven

It is in the wild places, where the edge of the earth meets the corners of the sky, the human spirit is fed. ~ Art Wolfe
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Earthaven Ecovillage  |  5 Consensus Circle  |  Black Mountain, NC 28711  |

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