Details

Dr. Sailesh Rao has given me permission to use the material from the Sacred Lifeline website which you can find here.

I have made some changes to the description, but I wanted to use most of the description because it is so well-written and in alignment with my values.

As I work more with the organizations which Dr. Rao founded and leads, Climate Healers and  Vegan World 2026, I feel increasingly inspired and hopeful that I have finally found people who naturally align with the values I have been discovering over the past 45 years since, at age 19, I returned transformed after a 13 month solo trip traveling from Europe to Asia.

I hope that as time goes on, the Vegan Visions Teaching Center and Community can be officially designated as a Sacred Life Line community. At this point in time, there are no physical locations which are being worked on. According to Dr. Rao, the Vegan World 2026 basecamp project management platform is the virtual community that he and others envision.

Here is my revised description.

A seed is transformed in the process of becoming a plant. Likewise, we have to be willing to change our old identities to evolve into new beings. To quote Susan Pitcairn, an artist and a direct descendant of the US founding Father, President John Adams,

“Life is a creative journey. Each day, each moment, each thought and each act is an opportunity for creative expression. We are all actors in this vast cosmic play and together we are co-creating this very complex thing called human life on earth… In every species, there are two currents: one is the conservative current that keeps the ball rolling, that keeps the farms going, that keeps the garbage picked up and keeps the families together. The others are the creative explorers and the innovators who become the cutting edge of evolution. As we know, these two forces often clash and yet, we need them both. Life is a dance between them, but this is not us versus them. Each of us has both those forces. We have the ability to keep plugging on, to pay the bills, to get the job done, and we each have the spark of the creative that drives us to try new things, to evolve.”

We are now at a pivotal moment in human history where we are called to evolve, in a hurry. Currently, our socioeconomic system concentrates money and power in fewer and fewer economic elites who are proving to be incapable of addressing our problems honestly. As a common Tamil saying goes, “It is possible to awaken someone who is asleep, but it is impossible to awaken someone who is pretending to be asleep.” The only power we have left is the power of the people – our duty to awaken, reclaim our autonomy and create a new socioeconomic system in parallel that serves all life on Earth. We are called to summon our creative juices on behalf of all life on Earth. We are ready to get to work!

Our vision is an eco-centric, life-enriching global culture of normalized nonviolence.

Gandhi’s oft-quoted aphorism, “Be the change you want to see,” requires us to see the change that we want to be. The mission of Vegan Visions project is to embody this change. It is to integrate human economy with natural ecology, creating and cultivating thriving, regenerative, nonviolent systems of joyful living, founded on compassion for all life.

The Vegan Visions project is based on our core guiding principle that compassion for all life is infinitely sustainable. Compassion for all life is consonant with all the faith and wisdom traditions of the world. It is said that it is within human nature to be violent. But it is also within human nature to be compassionate, to adapt, survive and ultimately thrive. Just as in Nature where the caterpillar gorges itself before forcibly undergoing a metamorphosis in the chrysalis, we over-consuming humans have reached a point of being forcibly transformed within the cocoon of our finite planet into compassionate, life-affirming butterflies: Vegan life affirming butterflies. But first, we must build a socioeconomic system that is consonant with that cocoon. The Vegan Visions project is to help humanity imagine, define, implement and cultivate this system.

The Vegan Visions project is founded on the core values of Freedom, Ecological Thrivability and Sacredness of all Life, the true Foundations of Ecological Security (FES). We value that each individual is unique and should be free to contribute to the larger community as they choose within the boundaries of our community guidelines which empowers everyone to realize their fullest potential.

.We value that a thriving human economy is only possible within a thriving natural ecology. We value that all life is sacred, precious and interconnected. From an operational perspective, the change called for is from consumption to contribution as an organizing value and from competition to collaboration as an organizing principle. We will build our community on a set of principles in accordance with the Vegan World 2026! project findings:

Spiritual Principles:

  1. Animal Liberation
    2. Compassion for all Life
    3. Veganism
    4. Acceptance of all faiths and non-belief traditions
    5. Eco-centric
    6. Love of Life

Ecological Principles:

7. Biodiversity (Food Forests)
8. Climate Healing
9. Ecological Thrivability
10. Abundance
11. Life-enriching

Social Principles:

12. Guaranteed Equality
13. Community Oriented
14. Collaboration
15. Cooperative and Consensual
16. Openness and Truth
17. Durable Peace
18. Selflessness and Contentment
19. Radical Inclusion
20. Partnership/Respect relating
21. Individual Privacy / Institutional Transparency
22. Normalized Nonviolence

Economic Principles:

23. Gift Economy
24. Development
25. Ecological Currency
26. Distributed Renewable Energy
27. DC Grid
28. Robust Durability
29. Labor based on Volunteerism
30. Decommodification
31. Conscious Simplicity
32. Non-toxic Products and Processes
33. Preventive/Lifestyle Medicine

Political Principles:

34. Eco-Governance
35. Distribution of Power
36. Participatory Democracy

Goals:

A global transition to a simple, Vegan lifestyle allows for massive carbon sequestration through re-wilding of the planet. In the “Lifestyle Carbon Dividend” paper that Atul Jain, Sailesh Rao, and Shijie Shu  presented at the AGU Fall Meeting in 2015  we estimated through an Earth Systems Model (ESM) developed at the University of Illinois, the Integrated Science Assessment Model (ISAM), that 265 Giga tons of Carbon (GtC) can be sequestered on just the 41% of grasslands that used to be forests in 1800, prior to human intervention for Global Animal Agriculture (GAAg). That is more carbon than the 240 GtC that was added to the atmosphere since the industrial era began in 1750 until 2015! That is such a stunning result and yet, even climate scientists don’t want to talk about it, since that requires dismantling GAAg, which is such a “Keystone”  aspect of the current system.

Therefore, our primary goal in the Vegan Visions project is to implement and demonstrate that it is possible for humanity to live comfortably in a nonviolent vegan lifestyle, while utilizing less than half the Earth’s ecological capacity, thus allowing wildlife to flourish and massive carbon sequestration to occur in recovering forests in the other half.

Our second goal is to cultivate such nonviolent vegan lifestyles throughout the world so that we realize a largely vegan World by 2026. Specifically, our goal is to ensure that at least half the citizens in developed countries such as the United States self-report to be vegan by 2026.

Our third goal is to re-wild the planet so that the biomass of wild vertebrates in 2026 is equal to or greater than the biomass of wild vertebrates in 2010 and the alarming declines reported by the World Wildlife Fund are reversed.

Tools and Technologies:

We now have the tools and technologies to build a new socioeconomic system that promotes selflessness not selfishness, generosity not greed, and activism not apathy, while ensuring that radical equality and ecological sustainability are built-in from the outset. The Internet with Holochain software technology enables true peer-to-peer communication, distributed data storage and large trust networks, Cryptography enables individual privacy, Open-source enables institutional transparency, Solar panels with DC Grid technology enables distributed energy sourcing.

The Vegan Visions project will utilize all of these available tools and technologies to create the new system. Specifically, we will support the building of two key Open-source Apps: the AhimsaCoin currency system and the TrueCost accounting system.

AhimsaCoin would be similar to Bitcoin, but with authenticated members automatically receiving one AhimsaCoin every 50 minutes into their account during their lifetime. Each AhimsaCoin entitles the owner to the productivity of 1m2 of the Earth’s surface for one year so that humanity’s global ecological footprint does not exceed half the Earth. The TrueCost value of AhimsaCoins are retired when a product is consumed by a member. As the human population increases, the frequency of AhimsaCoin issuance would decrease to one every 51 minutes, etc., to create a feedback loop for human population stabilization.

TrueCost is a measure of the true ecological footprint of any product. While we work to convert all products to be biodegradable and ecologically harmless, we are forced to use some products in the interim that are not. TrueCost accounting is essential to ensure that the AhimsaCoin economy uses no more than half the Earth. Initially, we will populate the TrueCost database with existing biodegradable, ecologically harmless, vegan products in the market and then add in possible exceptions, as we need them.

Concept:

The Vegan Visions project envisions a network of radically inclusive, sustainable, off-grid, zero-waste communities, modeling and exemplifying a compassionate, vegan lifestyle. These communities will be located around the world to provide opportunities for a steady flow of local visitors to experience such a lifestyle during their visits.

Visitors could come with nothing except the clothes on their back and they will be provided with everything they need, toothbrush, toothpaste, clothes, towels and other personal items that are guaranteed to be cruelty-free and toxin-free. Visitors would literally be taking on a new material identity in such a community immersion experience.

Roughly half the community would be mentors/educators and permanent residents while the other half would consist of short-term visitors, or longer-term college students working on research projects. Since almost everything needs to be changed in the Caterpillar’s violence-drenched, growth-oriented technological culture that has literally poisoned the planet, there is plenty of research work to be done, including rewriting most of our children’s stories. In addition, all material processes that routinely poison the environment today will have to be re-imagined and researched for the new paradigm as well.

The vegan communities will develop and adopt open-source software tools and technologies to ensure that their ecological footprint does not exceed half the Earth if the whole world were to live that way. The open-source software tools and technologies developed in the project will then inspire and enable these visitors to continue their lifestyle experience remotely. The goal is to spread this view of how to operationalize sacredness to every part of the Earth until we realize a radically inclusive, equitable human society that is in harmony with a thriving natural world.

Living arrangements in the Vegan Visions project would be designed to facilitate individual privacy while connecting with Nature and creating community around food production, preparation, sharing and enjoyment. Critical to the Vegan Visions project are the partnerships with universities, academic institutions, NGOs, businesses and local markets, thereby connecting those who are transitioning towards a sustainable, compassionate lifestyle with suppliers of triple green products which are kind to humans (toxin-free), kind to the planet (pollution-free) and kind to animals (cruelty-free).

The Vegan Visions project will also help to close feedback loops in the current system, for example, through recycling waste water, composting food waste and agro-ecological farming. It will also provide affordable housing and healthy, organic, plant-based food preparation and delivery. There will be a meditation/sacred space in each project location so that people of different faiths can have their sacred experiences in ways that serve them the most.

Each Vegan Visions project location will also offer specialized courses in meditation, yoga, healing of past trauma, rewinding, cold therapy, play, laughter yoga and other techniques to build resiliency in these troubled, transitional times. Revenues generated at each Vegan Visions project communities would be used to fund re-wilding projects throughout the Earth. The goal is to quickly realize the enormous carbon sequestration potential of regenerating native forests as the whole world goes vegan.

Each Vegan Visions project location is a “Model City” based and run on vegan ethics with money generated through donations, retreats, training (online and on site), forest therapy retreats, and vegan agriculture.

Many thought leaders will live in the initial Vegan Vision community with the  mission of teaching veganism and all 7 shifts found on http://www.veganworld2026.org extending out to the world using social media, from their production studios, broadcasting on Zoom cooperating with Radish, http://www.radish.org and creating podcasts to share solutions.

 

The Proposed Show Segments of

·  Vegan Revolution
·  Healthy Mind, Body and Planet Events
·  Vegan Compassion
·  Award Winning Vegan Recipes prepared by Chefs
·  Vegan Spirituality
·  Awakening to Ahimsa (Nonviolence)
·  Vegan Travel Log
·  Staying Committed to Vegan Ethics
·  Saving the World One Bite at a Time

This programming will provide a transformational experience for the mind, body, and spirit for true vegan renewal and awakening.  Most important, we will broadcast to hearts and minds with nourishment for a more loving and compassionate world and to normalize this new way of joyful living.

Legendary environmentalist and executive producer of Conspiracy and What the Health is coming to Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. Do you want to host him?

Dr_Sailesh_Rao_3

I am a volunteer with a fabulous project called Vegan World 2026! with the organization Climate Healers (climatehealers.org). I believe that you may also be very interested in this work given your commitment to veganism, mitigating climate change and/or to creating peace on earth. 

Dr. Sailesh Rao — one of the original engineers of the Internet, an Executive Producer of the documentaries Cowspiracy, What the Health, and A Prayer for Compassion, and founder of Climate Healers and Vegan World 2026! — will be offering lectures, documentary screenings and Q&A sessions to groups and organizations across North America during April, May and June, 2020. This will be an exciting opportunity to bring clarity to all the issues we collectively care about such as ending cruelty to farmed animals, stopping the mass extinction of wild animals, mitigating climate change, improving human health, addressing social justice issues and doing so with a plan that will be good for all living beings on earth.  

The attached poster contains a wealth of information about the tour and timing, with links to the draft tour route, event options, hosting responsibilities and more. There will be no cost to you or your organization for Dr. Rao’s time or for documentary screenings should you choose one. We are asking for hosts to secure locations, invite their networks and assist with local logistics. Please see the poster link for more detail.

There is no requirement for audience size or any specific space requirements. Dr. Rao’s granddaughter, 9-year-old Kimaya, will be joining him once school lets out in June. Family-friendly and children’s events are welcome and encouraged! Gathering spaces could be classrooms, churches, libraries, animal sanctuaries, universities, community centers, medical schools – anyplace that people can comfortably gather and watch a film or listen to a presentation.  

For an overview of Vegan World 2026!, please check here: https://www.veganworld2026.org

To see Dr. Rao giving a lecture, please check here:  https://www.climatehealers.org/webinar

To see Kimaya in action, please check here: https://tinyurl.com/u5ob6bn

Vegan World 2026! offers the most encouraging and optimistic plans for preserving life on earth. I know this sounds fantastic and it literally is, AND we need your help to engage more people in this life saving, life affirming project. Dr. Rao is most interested in gathering with current vegans and pre-vegans who want access to the knowledge and resources to share the path to a vegan, non-violent world that works for everyone.

Please check out the attached poster and the links in this email, and feel free to email me with any additional questions you may have. We are building the tour as we speak, and we would love to have the opportunity to work with you for a Pinky Promise Tour event to bring clarity, optimism and fun to some pretty serious work.  

Thank you for considering being a part of The North American Pinky Promise Tour 2020!  Sincerely,

Patricia Mikkelson, on behalf of Climate Healers

You can contact me at livablefutureproject@gmail.com or fill out the form below:

PinkyPromiseTour_host-request

 

Our vision and mission

I am adopting the vision of the Sacred Lifeline Project, which is part of Climate Healers,  found here. 

I have changed the words only in regards to the fact that Vegan Visions is not one of the official Imaginal Cell Academies. I will be contacting these folks soon to see how I can best fit in with their network.

The vision is an eco-centric, life-enriching global culture of normalized nonviolence.

The mission of Vegan Visions Community and Teaching center is to create a safe, living spaces as experiential education and research center where such a culture can flourish, where we integrate human economy with natural ecology, creating and cultivating thriving, regenerative nonviolent systems of joyful living, founded on compassion for all life.

Such a Great Transition in culture from our mainstream ego-centric consumer culture of normalized violence requires changes in foundational stories, common attitudes towards others including other life-forms, processes and practices.

This is a multi-disciplinary undertaking involving artists, anthropologists, psychologists, political scientists, engineers, doctors, lawyers, architects and spiritual leaders, among others. Hence we will assembled a strong team with diverse international experience and strong knowledge to mentor this project as it takes shape with primary, hands-on participation of the younger generation.

Vegan Visions intends to be a part and to help create a network of radically inclusive, sustainable, off-grid, zero-waste, communities, modeling and exemplifying a compassionate, vegan lifestyle. These communities will be located around the world to provide opportunities for a steady flow of local visitors to experience such a lifestyle during their visits.

Visitors would come with nothing except the clothes on their back and they will be provided with everything they need, toothbrush, toothpaste, clothes, towels and other personal items that are guaranteed to be cruelty-free and toxin-free. Visitors would literally be taking on a new material identity in such an  experience.

The project is founded on our core guiding principle that compassion for all life is infinitely sustainable. Our core values are Freedom, Ecological Thrivability and Sacredness of all Life, which we assert are the true Foundations for Ecological Security (FES).

We value that each individual is unique and should be free to contribute to the larger community as they choose. We value that a thriving human economy is only possible as a subsystem of a thriving natural ecology. We value that all life is sacred, precious and interconnected.

Our project goals are threefold:

1. We intend to implement and demonstrate that it is possible for humanity to live joyfully in a nonviolent Vegan lifestyle, while utilizing less than half the Earth’s ecological capacity, thus allowing wildlife to flourish using the other half.

2. We intend to propagate this lifestyle to help realize Vegan World 2026! Specifically, our goal is to ensure that at least half the citizens in developed countries such as the United States self-report to be Vegan by 2026.

3. We intend to promote the re-wilding of the planet so that the biomass of wild vertebrates in 2026 is equal to or greater than the biomass of wild vertebrates in 2010 and the alarming declines reported by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) are reversed and YEAR ZERO : 2026 is averted.

 

 

Analysis of the property

 

The site is 18 acres of mostly wooded land, which includes a newly-built, almost completed common house, established hugel-kultur gardens, accessible building sites for tiny houses and huts, two large decks for various uses, a wet-weather creek and swimming hole and yurt-like structure.

The land lends itself easily to have clustered living arrangements so that most of the land can be made into food forests and areas where the native vegetation can be encouraged so that we can make the least impact on the land. Thus a prototype for the E.O. Wilson’s “Half Earth Solution” can be implemented.

The land is located on the edge of Living Springs,  a rural neighborhood comprised of about 700 acres of land where the owners envisioned that Christians would move from all over the world to own individual parcels of land while creating an ideal community that demonstrated how living out Jesus teachings together could result in a kind of heaven on earth.

About 50 people (including about 9 children) live in the neighborhood, and  are not required to be Christian. Many are not. Although some people might prefer that only Christians live on the acreage, residents co-exist peacefully with some people interacting in very cooperative ways, including Christians and non-Christians.

More information on the Living Springs neighborhood can be found here.This website has not been updated since it’s inception, yet you can still learn a lot about the Northwest Arkansas region, Madison County, and the vision of the founders/owners.

Huntsville, Arkansas, 20 minutes away, is in great need of support because it has many impoverished residents, increasing amounts of drug usage, and corruption in the family court and the school system.  The local history is very distressing, with Native Americans being forced to leave Arkansas during the 1800’s Indian Removal. African Americans were also forced to leave many cities, and the former headquarters of the KuKlux Clan is only about one hour from our community. Learn more here about this tragic history. Much healing is needed in this area, as you can tell. Learn more about the land and its surrounding area here. 

Vegan Visions Teaching Center and Intentional Community is intended to be a place were we exemplify sustainable living in the eco-centric, life-enriching culture f normalized nonviolence of the future., while also showing how the world can transition to such a culture in the current environment. As such, it should demonstrate the integration and marked improvement in the lives of the local community.

Making a right livelihood. 

Because the site is relatively remote, being one hour from major area cities, we need to create businesses that are online and connected to the land.  Developing a coaching platform to support people in making a transition to the new cultural norms we are wanting to establish is one idea in the works. Growing abundant food which can be sold to neighbors and nearby towns serves the dual purpose of making money and helping people eat a heathy, nutrient-dense, plant-based diet. As people are increasingly downsizing and simplifying their lives, my experience with leading teams in radically transforming hoarder’s environments will come in handy. Helping people create hugelkultur gardens and food forests using vegan permaculture principles will also be a great business to develop.

In addition, we will be inviting people to do projects which are in alignment with our values, and their investments in leasing the land (but not buying) will add to our income.

We will be an income sharing community, in alignment with the gift economy that we envision creating. The Federation of Egalitarian Communities has a wealth of information and member communities who have thrived using the shared-income model. I am overjoyed that I had lived at East Wind, one of the oldest intentional communities in the USA where I was able to experience first hand the egalitarian model. Learn more here.

SWOT Analysis of the Community Site

Strengths

The property, including soil, water and plant resources, have been, for the most part, lovingly cared for with no pesticide use over the past 15 years.

The site is located on a dead-end road and thus we have little traffic on the private road where we are located.

There is land directly adjoining the site which has a beautiful waterfall and a large “hollow” with stunning bluffs and natural beauty with no road access.

The community building is only two years old, and could be used for kitchen, co-working, sound/video studio during spring/summer/fall. With minimal investment, a wood heater could be installed along with insulation both already purchased) so that at least part of the building can be warm and cozy.

An old but weather proof 16 x 32 foot trailer is available for office space or living space.

There are virtually no building restrictions on the land because we do not plan on building septic tanks and traditional plumbing. Compost toilets are completely acceptable.

We have a variety of solutions for getting water for irrigation, showering, and cleaning that can be relatively quickly formulated.

High speed internet is immediately accessible.

Electricity from the grid is accessible,

Fenced hugelkultur gardens have been installed over past two years, and fertile, organic soil has been built up over the past 10 years.

The road to the community and the driveway are easily accessible by any kind of vehicle.

There is an abundance of materials ready to be used for creative people who want to do creative inventions, build tiny homes and huts, and do  artwork.

A wet weather creek increasingly flows and keeps the small swimming hold full of water as we get more rain.

The main inclement weather in this areas are tornados, and they rarely damage the hilly areas.

A 40 acre private lake, Prayer Lake, is accessible for swimming and non-motorized boating located 10 minutes away by driving, 1/2 hour by walking.

A small dock, volley ball court, basket ball court and picnic park with outhouses are located at the edge of Prayer Lake for residents to use.

The Ozark Mountains are usually lush, green and beautiful. Just the drive, and walking around the land, is inspiring and uplifting.

There is only one other vegan who lives in the neighborhood, Cliff Mikkelson (my former husband and present close friend). His land is adjacent to the site, and he wants to cooperate. He has over 50 years experience in organic gardening and is passionate about promoting veganism especially as relating to the oneness of all life.

Weaknesses

Because of mistakes my family and I made in the past, there is some trash including old paint and chemicals that we collected, that need to be disposed of.  Much of this work has already been done because a generous donor helped pay for the work, but still some works. needs to be done.

There is minimal parking at this time. We do hope to have community cars and trucks that people can cooperatively utilize, so we won’t need a lot of cars. However, visitor parking needs to be considered.

There are two dwellings that are falling apart–and eye sores–a fifth wheel and another house. They need to be either restored or completely taken off the property.

There is a large amount of construction debris that needs to be cleaned up around the community building, with some in side.

It is unknown as to how much it will cost to completely finish the community building. It is a sturdy, weatherproof structure, but there is a deck that needs to be sealed, and water is leaking into the kitchen area. This needs attention, and I am not very good with construction. My second former husband Robert, has committed to repair it, but weather has not been good.

Although I have studied, lived in and visited intentional communities, and facilitated groups over the past 45 years, I have never taken on a project of this scope. The legal process of developing an LLC in itself is daunting. Covering every area of community living before we encounter difficult problems is my goal-and this is a lot of work.

The road leading from the driveway down to the Community Center needs repair. It is where the phone connection is buried and it might be starting to be exposed.

Although there is an area where a bathhouse is planned, there are no showers or clothes washing facilities on the land yet.

Opportunities:

With all the weaknesses I have listed, if the right person(s) came along who has some building and business skills, I have great hope that we could get something very beautiful up and running by spring 2020

Since the community center could have up to 20 people utilizing it, residents could live in tents, tree houses, and other simple dwellings so they can have privacy for sleeping. They can still get their needs for everything else met by utilizing the community building 24/7.

Living Springs neighborhood has a community center where showers and laundry facilities can be used by residents.

The neighbors might be open to doing something like Time Banking, work parties and potlucks. Neighbors have lots of talents including mechanical and building. Neighbors live relatively near by and feel safe with each other for the most part.

A larger community of alternative-minded folks could be interested in participating in events that we host, including potlucks, workshops, retreats and drumming circles.

There are beautiful hiking trails in the area.

An increasing number of people are interested in veganism and/or a plant-based whole food diet who will want to learn from us.

The land next door to us, with the waterfall and beautiful bluffs, is for sale.

With the right group of people, we could make a powerful contribution to the Vegan World 2026 endeavors and help spread the word in Northwest Arkansas and the world.

Future Steps

We definitely want to learn more about expanding our gardens and creating food forests. This link is helpful.

Completing this blog with every consideration of what needs to be done before even one person can join me in this endeavor.

Getting a clear estimate about what can minimally be done in order to get the basic infrastructure up and running so people can live on the site comfortably, without having to spend all of our time just surviving.

Finishing the LLC papers so that the land can be clearly owned by the LLC.

By the time I finish this blog, hopefully by Sunday Feb. 2, I will have a large to do list to make.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the land and surrounding areas

 

I don’t know exactly what happened on the land where we live–how it came to be for sale so that Bob and Joan Rutz could buy it and then sell it to my former husbands and I. I know what happened when I live there with my family, and that just the past fifteen years since we came into possession of the land, and then when I came to own 18 acres. Lots of healing needs to take place.

I know I need to do a healing ceremony to ask for forgiveness. I didn’t personally kick people off the land, yet I am benefitting because someone did. I hope that the community that is built can do things that help redeem the actions of the past owners, including my family and I.

Huntsville, Arkansas, 20 minutes away, is in great need of support because it has many impoverished residents, increasing amounts of drug usage, and corruption in the family court and the school system.  The local history is very distressing, with Native Americans being forced to leave Arkansas during the 1800’s Indian Removal. African Americans were also forced to leave many cities, and the former headquarters of the KuKlux Clan is only about one hour from our community. Learn more here about this tragic history. Much healing is needed in this area, as you can tell.

Yet our neighborhood, Living Springs, and our region, Northwest Arkansas, holds a lot of potential because people moved to this area from all over the United States and even the world. Fayetteville, located one hour from the community site, has been ranked as one of the fifth best cities to live in the USA. Learn more here. 

Madison County, where we are located, is also home to many people who are homesteaders and who have lived here for decades harmoniously with the folks who consider themselves natives.

I hope that some day this county, and definitely the community, can have more racial diversity, and that people can recognize the need for racial reconciliation. Our community can play a leading role in helping this happen.

 

About the founder, Patricia Mikkelson

I think since I was born, I was drawn to community. Even though I don’t remember my first 3 years of life In Lafayette, Indiana, where I was born, I know that this foundation of love and security has helped me throughout my life. My dad was in the Navy, but it just happened that he taught ROTC at Purdue, and thus was home most of the time during this very important and formative part of my life. My grandparents and aunts, uncles and cousins lived in nearby Chicago where we visited frequently, and my parents were connected to their good friends from their church in Lafayette.

Reading my annual recently, I realized that I still have traits that I had since high school and maybe earlier. People said I was weird, a good listener, a great friend, and even some said I changed their life for the better. I was shy growing up, but in the eighth grade a spat with the student body president guided me to realize that I needed to become a servant leader–not someone who bosses people around.

Through a series of totally miraculous events, I went from being a very little known, not all that popular girl to being a class officer for the next 4 years, voted “most active” in my senior class, and a member of many groups.

I was on the college track and thought I would just get a job like everyone else. But when I was in my first year of college, I was on a backpacking trip where I had the revelation from a God I didn’t believe in (I left the Methodist Church, disillusioned, at age 16) that I needed to travel.

One year later, I was on a plane headed to Europe, and I quickly realized that this western culture was not what was going to fulfill me. I was seeking meaning, seeking my “niche” as I called it then.

I headed overland to India, and for 13 months traveled in other countries as well–Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey, Iran, and Sri Lanka. Oh, my goodness-what suffering I experienced–being so lonely at times, and also seeing the suffering around me.

Coming back on the plane I had another revelation: The only way I was going to be happy was to serve and do so using my talents joyfully. I was 20 years old. One year later, I was married and headed to Arkansas.

When I learned about intentional communities from the Federation of Intentional Communities directory, I was hooked. Ever since then, I have studied, visited, and sometimes lived in–intentional communities. this has been the main theme of my life for the past 42 years.

4 1/2 years ago I became vegan (after being an ethical vegetarian for 33 years) and then almost 2 years ago I realized that I needed to make animal rights activism my main focus. A friend who believes in me financially supported me so I was able to partially build the physical infrastructure of the Vegan Utopia Ecovillage and now I am seeking founding members and an assistant director to help me with this project.

The hardships I have endured along this path are many, and yet each one of them has been a stepping stone so that I could be a more loving person with the mission of wanting to do only those things that help all of life thrive. I am friends with my two former husbands and cooperating with them, along with our two children and their spouses.

I feel so grateful because my life-long dream of living in an intentional community is so close to being fulfilled. I see now that if I had formed a community earlier, my values would not have been shaped as they have been.

The values that I list on the website reflect now who I am after 63 years of life. I continue to learn and grow building on the experiences that I have had. I hope you will check out this pageif you feel inclined to explore more.

You can find the values that the community will be based on here. 

You can learn all about my history here.