Intentional Spiritual Community
Our spiritual practice is grounded in the Plum Village tradition of Buddhism, founded by Vietnamese monk and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh. However, we are all deeply influenced by many spiritual and secular traditions and there is a place for all forms of spiritual practice at Morning Sun.
A community of practice helps us to continually renew and deepen our mindfulness, understanding and joy. When we live closely with one another, we are able to receive support in moments when we need, and to offer guidance and care when others are in need. Generosity is the ground for happiness.
We strive to practice communicating in a spirit of harmony and work to embrace and transform old habits. We know that conflict is an inevitable and healthy part of all relationships, and we aim to learn from our differences.
We are aware that happiness is not found in material things but in celebrating the unfolding of life together in each moment.
Living Together in Harmony
There are a number of guidelines, based on shared values and aspirations, that MorningSun members observe.
- We take Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings of the Order of Interbeing as a fundamental practice. While we know that these Trainings can be interpreted in different ways, we seek to engage with them honestly.
- We believe that our stability, clarity and capacity to live mindfully are best served by a life free of all intoxicants. MorningSun members do not use any recreational drugs or alcohol. Our reverence for the land and all life is reflected in the food that we eat. Community meals are vegetarian.
- The backbone of our community is shared practice. While many of us have jobs that take us away from the community, we are all committed to regular practice together; including sitting and walking meditation, community meals and a continuous training in the practice of loving speech and deep listening.
At this time in MorningSun, each of us is responsible for our own financial stability. Morning Sun does not yet have the resources to financially support staff, although there are some small opportunities for income through construction, land work and creative entrepreneurship (eg: sugarbush, woodlot management). As it is established and grows, many residents will likely be employed by the Mindfulness Center (which may include farming and craft activities). Other residents will work outside of MorningSun, and we believe this is healthy for a community. We hope that those who do will strive towards a sustainable and compassionate livelihood.
Members of MorningSun are able to live in community-owned spaces or to build their own homes. There are some spaces to accommodate visitors who may wish to join our community; a place to stay as we get to know one another. There are also some rental opportunities and those will expand over time. As we grow in size, community buildings and individual sites will be built out by community members. (In order to be a model of healthy development, construction of the built environment will have a high degree of ecological sustainability.)
MorningSun has an ownership structure similar to a modern subdivision with a “homeowners association”. The majority of the land is held in common trust and homes are built on lots that are clustered around the land of the Mindfulness Center. Members can purchase a lot on which to build, or buy existing homes, or rent. As many as 18 homes will be built at MorningSun.
There are opportunities for creative financing regarding the purchase of house sites including owner financing, and scholarships based on income and one’s capacity to contribute to the community.
All intentional communities have some sort of membership process. Our begins with the person or family contacting us to arrange a visit and a period of getting to know each other through visiting (that could be a single visit or many). Please see the Pathways to Membership page for more information.