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Date > 2018 > March
Section > Lucid Thoughts

Lucid Thoughts

The Yoga Shack: Envisioning A Conscious Community March 10, 2018

The Yoga Shack: Envisioning A Conscious Community

Settling Down
Lately, I've been thinking about settling down somewhere in the Philippines after this overseas travel. Because of this intention, I have been coming across exciting things that fortify this vision to become a viable reality - this time with inspiration from a Greek philosopher who lived 350 years before Christ and deliberated on acquiring happiness.

While viewing this documentary, Philosophy: Guide to Happiness, I got inspiration from a Greek philosopher who lived 350 years before Christ who pontificated about acquiring happiness - Epicurus. He talked about 3 things in life needed to be happy:

  1. an examined life to deepen your evolution
  2. freedom to pursue your excitement
  3. friends to share your wonderful moments with

With my blog and nomadic life, I'm already living the first 2. I have to realize the 3rd one in my vision of a Utopian Shangrila.

For friends, Epicurus went all out - purchased a big house and invited his friends to live with him. There, they celebrated life, eating together and exchanging ideas and insight.

Appealing | Daunting
This concept excites me - instead of living alone in a bamboo hut away from civilization, why not add more huts for friends who can stop by, recharge and share themselves before moving on? Of course, this changes everything for me. I find the concept equally appealing and daunting:

  1. Appealing - after traveling all these years, I am drawn to conclude that at the end of the day, it's not about the waterfall or the cave. It's about the people-connection! So, here is a plan to underscore that without the hassle of packing, unpacking and being in transit. Now, that is appealing!
  2. Daunting - for 6 years now since choosing to travel as a minimalist with only the essentials in my backpack, I can turn my whole life on a dime. I can exercise complete nomadic mobility, doing only what excites me at the moment. If I pursue this project, I will now be burdened by ownership and management - I'll be on a leash. This also scares the living daylights out of me! But the imperative is bigger than my fear.

The Vision
For several months now, I've been thinking about settling down somewhere in the Philippines after this overseas travel. I'd been traveling for 6 years now without a home and at this point, I'm tired. Traveling no longer excites me. Because of this intention, I have been getting exciting ideas that fortify this vision of finally settling down. The Epicurus paradigm seem to be the last jigsaw puzzle I needed to complete the picture, throwing in powerful lessons I've learned from Burning Man, Vipassana, Thich Nhat Hanh's Plum Village and Ubud, Bali. I now see this glorious picture in front of me:

  1. a small patch of land (~1000 sqm) either by the water or up with a view, not too far away from town but no neighbor to within 1 km
  2. a few bamboo huts or a sizeable dorm room where invited friends can take turns staying at - only friends, not open to the public...not for-profit either
  3. yoga center for retreats and workshops with yogic friends
  4. calisthenics playground for my fitness indulgence, enjoining friends
  5. chill-out area where friends gather to share insight and thoughts
  6. bicycle for every guest for mobility around town
  7. like Burning Man, friends should, and expect to be interacted upon - with respect to their need for quiet time. Freedom of expression and self-reliance are encouraged. You're a good cook? Cook a meal for everyone! You teach yoga? Conduct a yoga class!
  8. like Vipassana, no money is asked for, but donations are welcome - hopefully, this alone will sustain the project. People can opt for a 'silent mode'.
  9. like Thich Nhat Hanh's Plum Village, a bell will sound every 15 minutes reminding everyone to stay present in the here-and-now
  10. activities will center on healthy habits, fitness, spiritual quest, healing and pursuit of evolution

Given all the beautiful places I've seen in the Philippines, I've narrowed down the possibilities (but not limited) to 3 areas:

  1. Coron, Palawan - access to clusters of islands, snorkeling and mountain bike rides. I will also be spending more time with good buddy Outback Greg
  2. Valencia, Negros Oriental - the air is cool, the land is fertile, cost of living is low, crime is low, 20 mins away from the City of Dumaguete with fruits abundant and cheap
  3. Loboc, Bohol - nestled by the river, surrounded by hills, friendly people, good friends, not too far away from Tagbilaran City, accessible to Cebu City friends
  4. Siquijor - isolated, beaches, coral reef, mountain elevation, waterfalls, spring water, clean rivers
  5. you have an ideal place in mind? Post it or email me.
The Yoga Shack: Envisioning A Conscious Community
a concept: green open space for friends

Multiple wooden huts. Modest but comfortable. Perhaps a bed for 2pax, clean sheets, etc. Common washroom and kitchen. Food in the fridge and kitchen is for everyone. Many things will be common and shared.

Initially, I will be inviting friends - people I met during my travels whose connection begs to be pursued, friends from the Philippines, loved ones, etc. After all, the whole point of this project is to celebrate life through friendship. In all likelihood, this project will house people cut from the same cloth - seekers, yogis, meditators, philosophers, travelers, artists, musicians, free thinkers, iconoclasts, etc.

At some point, this may grow to include "highly recommended people" by friends.

Length of Stay
Because there are not enough cottages for everyone, and because this is not a residential area but a recharging pitstop, a guest can only stay a maximum of 7 days. This ensures many things:

  1. there will be space to accommodate more friends who wish to stay
  2. there is no room to be complacent - this is a rest-stop to heal, find center and celebrate friendship, not to settle down
  3. the fresh influx of new people keeps the energy fresh, alive and always vibrant

Ending Thoughts
All the above is just a vision...a mental draft of what might happen in the future. It's highly speculative since I don't even have the resources for land...and I have not identified where this takes place. But reality starts from intention. And I'd like to think I architecture reality through intention, due diligence and going the whole 9 yards.

--- Gigit (TheLoneRider)
YOGA by Gigit Yoga by Gigit | Learn English Learn English | Travel like a Nomad Nomad Travel Buddy | Donation Bank Donation Bank for TheLoneRider

Leave a comment?

Reader Comments:
Ronx RonquilloRonx Philippines
(March 2018) Beautiful vision

Edlyn KalmanEdlyn Kalman
Sounds good! Just give rooms their own bathrooms 🙂 and make it safe for special kids

Mel PanganMel Philippines
(March 2018) go for it. take the next step to fruition

Ana KostakosAna Kostakos Greece
(March 2018) This place sounds amazing. Personally I love the beach. It’s something about the sounds of the waves. I would love to help build when you find the perfect location. xa

Carina Guevara GalangCarina Philippines
(March 2018) Absolutely

Sharon DalionesSharon Philippines
(March 2018) Yes

Greg HutchinsonOutback Greg Australia
Tribal Adventures
(March 2018) Ah, I like what I read. It can be done, it will happen, mate!

Rachel ConsingRachel Philippines
(March 2018) Terrific idea!

Lovorn AngLovorn Philippines
Theosophical Society in the Philippines
(March 2018) Yah perfect. I've been toying around this kind of "Village " for a long time. We even have site development plans. Mushroom like structures all over the area, be it for sleeping quarters, retreat rooms, yoga, fitnes, detox & wellness studious etc. Organic farming & Butterfly garden. Adapting also the concept of Auroville in India to screen individuals (before accepting to stay permanently) as to wether his/her character or spiritual maturity is in alignment w/ the vision of the said Village.

Alix CrichtonAlix
(Apr 2, 2018) Your idea is wonderful! I hope that will be possible and I will be pleased to participate to that project! Enjoy the rest of your travel in Kuantan 🙂. Namaste!

Rimu AtkinsonRimu New Zealand
(Mar 12, 2018) It's nice to see so much enthusiasm for this idea. Maybe the next step is a gofundme page to raise some initial capital... Then we'll see how many people truly support it.

(Mar 12, 2018) I am surprised myself. Not really sure in what direction this goes, but I'll let the 'unseen hand' take it where it takes it. It seems to be growing a life of its own! But for now, I am just glad friends find this initiative relevant to the times and are supportive 🙂

(Mar 12, 2018) I'll help raise funds also. I want to support your project. 🙂

Juliet PamintuanJuliet Philippines
(Mar 12, 2018) It's a wonderful idea. Go for it!

Jeanne PaulineJeanne Philippines
(Mar 12, 2018) this is a wonderful idea Gigit! hoping and praying that this vision will be realized someday. the world needs this. we all need to re-charge and be with like-minded people to be of further service to others. will be waiting for updates and progress from you!! ❤❤❤

(Mar 12, 2018) ...consider it your home away from home ❤❤❤

jeanne_dumlaoJeanne Pauline
(Mar 12, 2018) music to my ears ❤❤❤

Katia PerezKatia Colombia
(Mar 12, 2018) Awesome! Great idea and it can happen! It will be great to share and contribute 🙂 🙏 May the universe act upon your intention.

(Mar 12, 2018) it is equally great to see you again and attend your class 🙏

Rachel ConsingRachel Philippines
(Mar 12, 2018) Glad to see Valencia in your short list.

(Mar 11, 2018) If you are happy to receive my contribution to your dream, I would like to contribute $200 to be a part of it.

Sandrine LegrandSandrine France
(Mar 11, 2018) Dear Gigit, first of all thank you for including me in your friends list after so many years 🙂 I feel grateful and honoured. And second, it is a fantastic intention that will - I'm sure - turn into reality. I can visualize it and already sense the vibe! I know and loved Palawan, I don't know the two other places but trust they are equally beautiful. Anyway, I believe in power-spots and you will find it or it will find you 🙂 You should also check out Aurore Ville (the city of Dawn) in Tamil Nadu. It is not quite the same concept but some of the philosophy and ideas behind might inspire you.

(Mar 11, 2018) You are good energy, my dear Sandrine . You'll always be in my radar

Joan ChristineJoan Philippines
Fox & The Firefly Cottages
(Mar 11, 2018) We're all behind you, Git! One day it'll come to fruition. Exciting yan!

Vijay Laxmi GoyalVijay India
(Mar 11, 2018) Amazing idea Gigit 🙂

Melissa Anne ThomasMelissa USA
(Mar 11, 2018) I love it! I'll come and visit, too! A friend in Big Sur is creating something similar

(Mar 11, 2018) Yey! Let's live the Burn all over again! Burning Man

Marine MalanMarine Malan
(March 10, 2018) That would be amazing!

Erica BoucherErica USA
Erica Boucher: International Yoga Travel
(March 10, 2018) What a beautiful vision. I'd come!

(March 10, 2018) attend my class, my dear teacher, and let me know if I made the grade

Aisling Ni FhaolainAisling South Africa
(March 10, 2018) I Love this idea and the set up you describe (bamboo huts, shared amenities and yoga Shala) conjures up images of the yoga retreat in Siem Reap where I first met you so it feels even more real - and i can't believe it doesn't exist yet?! 🙂 "if you can see it in your mind you will hold it in your hand Gigit"

(March 10, 2018) Aisling, let's invite the whole gang and relive the magic all over again

Andrea PaigeAndi OO
(March 10, 2018) Rock on. I'll come visit. C

(March 10, 2018) would be a dream to see you again, my dear's been a long time!

Jim WardJim Philippines
Thai Plum Village
(March 10, 2018) I would ask for a month a year. minimum. You have certainly (as always) got me interested in a novel idea. I. am. so. sure. this could work.

(March 10, 2018) have you for less time would be a crime 🙂 🙂

Joanna Co LizaresJoanna Philippines
(March 10, 2018) My dear Gigit. I'm relieved, actually. I would love to see you settled somewhere. This plan of yours is wonderful and SO you. As you keep saying...the universe is benevolent and will provide. 🙂

(Mar 11, 2018) attend your class again in this Shangrila would be bliss, my dear Joanna!

Christine CarlosChristine Philippines
(March 10, 2018) Great idea! Could be a community too.

(Mar 12, 2018) ...a revolving-door community comes to mind, each making the place and people a little better when they move on

Nina NahatyaNina Indonesia
(March 10, 2018) It's a wonderful idea. Wonderful intention for a wonderful purpose

(Mar 11, 2018) ...fond memories of Bali would come to mind

Bobette OuanoBobette Ouano Philippines
Principles and Origins
(March 10, 2018) great idea! you are absolutely an awesome visionary, Gigit! I'm all in! I can actually visualize and feel everything that you described. Personally, I prefer BOHOL. it's the nearest and most accessible. how big an area is needed? I can have some friends scout for the ideal place. then we can discuss and do the math. 🙂

(March 10, 2018) ha-ha, always the pro-active "let's roll up our sleeves and get it done!" girl - love you Bobette

Carl JohnsonCarl South Africa
(March 10, 2018) Fantastic concept! Would be happy to participate, even from the initial build phase. Access to the sea would be a plus for me.

(Mar 11, 2018) ...or let's bring the sea up the mountain! 🙂

Marie Estrellita S. Tolentino-RojasJudge Marie Philippines
(March 10, 2018) I the idea, Gigit. It would be an oasis for friends to reconnect, relax and re-energize 🙂

(Mar 11, 2018) ...indeed, an oasis for yogis, meditators, philosophers, travelers, artists, free thinkers and judges! ...miss you, Judge

marie_esrellita_rojasMarie Estrellita S. Tolentino-Rojas
(Mar 12, 2018) Miss you too, Gigit! Take good care of yourself. I do hope I can visit your oasis soon. 🙂

Ksenia NikolaevaKsenia Russia
(March 10, 2018) It's a wonderful step forward, it includes all that you've seen, learned and met before, I love it, good luck to you, may your project make you happy

(Mar 11, 2018) ...and as we explored Battambang after Vipassana, let's explore the town again...wherever that may be

Natalia Klimova BhandariNatalia Russia
(March 10, 2018) Go for it!! 🙏

(Mar 11, 2018) we went for it...with a few laughs 🙏

Kenjie De GuzmanKenjie Philippines
(March 10, 2018) Sounds exciting 🙂

Tom LenehanTom Australia
(March 10, 2018) This is a great idea, I particularly like the idea of it being a retreat for artist, writers and those wanting to just reflect on the true values of life.

Amm Prajna PitchayaAmm Thailand
Prajna Yoga Shala
(March 10, 2018) Good Idea. You may need to set a Foundation for this

(Mar 11, 2018) Another Sivananda class? Yey!

Tammy HayanoTammy USA
(March 10, 2018) Sounds fantastic! 🙂

(Mar 11, 2018) we'll make it as fantastic as you did at Angkor Zen! 🙂

Lalah de DiosLalah Philippines
(March 10, 2018) Love your idea, Gigit! *manifesting* 🙂 🙏

(Mar 11, 2018) if the place is by the river, perhaps another SUP yoga class? 🙂 🙏

lalah_dediosLalah de Dios
(Mar 12, 2018) YES!!!! As many as you want 🙏

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