We hope to provide as many different opportunities for being a part of Morning Sun as possible. We foresee some people purchasing land and building a house as individuals or as a family, others renting an apartment, a room or an entire house. We see people work-trading to live in staff housing or living in dorms as long-term guests. We see groups of friends or sanghas coming together to buy a lot and build a house they will share.
Some people will choose to become full members of Morning Sun and others will choose to participate in the community as non-members. The advantages of being a member are being able to own property at Morning Sun and being able to participate fully in community decisions. Many non-members will reside at Morning Sun and participate in community life. What is common about all members and residents is that they are bringing their solid practice energy and desire to serve in order to support the community.
Becoming a Member
All intentional communities have some sort of membership process.
Ours begins with the person or family contacting us to arrange a visit. After a period of getting to know each other through visiting (usually several visits), the prospective member writes a letter asking to become a resident. This is similar to the process of asking for a prolonged stay at Plum Village. A resident is someone who lives on the land and participates in community practice, but is not yet a member who takes part in community decisions. Residents can live in community-owned housing, rent space, or be the guest of a member. During this time, a resident chooses a member as their “second-body” and meets with that member often to discuss community life. The resident will also use this time to really get to know all of the members and explore the rightness of their fit in the community.
After living on the land for a substantial amount of time (often 6-12 months but it can be shorter), a resident can apply to become a member. There is a meeting of all members and the membership committee of the Board of Directors with the resident to reflect on taking this step. It is very similar to the process of an aspirant applying to join the Core Community and receive the 14 Mindfulness Trainings. If there is a consensus, then a celebration is organized to welcome the new member.
People cannot own property at MorningSun until they have passed through the process and become a full member.