Inspiring words from Kurt Vonnegut graced the chalk board this weekend. Picture by Nik.

Inspiring words from Kurt Vonnegut graced the chalk board this weekend. Picture by Nik.

People come and go. It’s always been a transient state of being here for most in the ecovillage. It’s not everyone’s cuppa tea to carve out a life of one’s own in the wilds of Missouri. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. When people go, they can be profoundly changed, taking a piece of Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage with them.

Nik here, telling you about some of the incredible summer events floating our way this year. The visitor program is our way to attract people out there from all walks of life who wish to try and live freely outside the world they have been taught is the only way. We always hope that those people will stay and try to make this village and world a better place. But for those who have no intention of jumping into the wilds of Missouri ruralness for years to come, we also have workshops, courses, and conferences, where folks can get their toes wet, meet others interested in fostering community, and learn skills to bring a passion for change out into the world.

The most accessible class starts in early July: the “Ecovillage Experience, Skills for Living Lightly” course. Spend five days with Dancing Rabbit Ecovillagers to gather ideas, concepts, and skills for living lighter wherever you live. This course includes hands-on natural building, low-carbon gardens and kitchens, learning about our alternative energy systems, organic resource recycling, permaculture design, alternative economic systems, skills for human connection and cooperation, and creative fun – all part of life at Dancing Rabbit! The course is really geared to supporting you in creating a plan to bring your knowledge home with you. Ecovillage Experience runs from July 9 to 14, and is open to all individuals and families.

One of the most exciting events this summer for communitarians is the Midwest Sustainable Communities Conference, where members and would-be members of intentional communities around the nation gather for talks and workshops to strengthen our connections and movement.

When first starting a community, or even living in community for a long time, it can be easy to feel alone in our efforts. This 4th of July, join us in thinking of Inter-dependence Day, and come together to learn, network, explore, and inspire each other to create a more cooperative and sustainable world.

Workshops and networking sessions throughout the weekend will bring us new ideas for how to live sustainably, collectively. Program tracks will target the interests of aspiring community founders, current intentional community members, and folks wanting to deepen their understanding of the sustainability-community connection. Talks and casual conversation will bring us insight into the radical contributions community building can make to ending the worst social and ecological ills of our time. We’ll even do some climate change activism together for those who are interested. And of course spending the weekend in the midwest’s premier ecovillage, Dancing Rabbit, will help inspire hope: sustainable is not only possible, it is also here, now, and fun.

Workshops will include Starting an Intentional Community; Collective Carbon Farming and the Commons; Transforming Conflict in Connection with Restorative Circles; Simple Off-Grid Solar; Climate Egalitarianism: Class, Climate, and New Economics; Holistic Animal Management; Learning Good Consent: Patriarchy and Anti-Sexism; and many more. Check the conference webpage for more updates.

For those struggling with the climate crisis, and even more so what can one person do about it, we have a resounding answer: Moved to Act, a 6 Day Intensive Workshop, August 12 to 18.

This intensive workshop is designed to help you be more effective impacting change at a wider systems level and a personal level. When most people turn away from crises, Moved to Act participants face them with courage. Moved to Act is an immersive program for assisting activists and culture creators in the transformation of our unjust social, economic & political structures to a more democratic, sustainable & cooperative world for all.

Direct activism training, public education, personal growth work, discussion of both the barriers and possibilities around addressing climate change, and learning about more low carbon lifestyle choices, all falls squarely in this program. If you want to imagine living your life knowing that your daily actions aren’t contributing to further climate disruption, then this is worth checking out. You can create real change and inspire others to join you.

Oh, did I mention Mathew Human of the Human Revolution will be performing during the training, a solo show on Aug 13th?(http://www.matthewhuman.com) It’s going to be huge.

And one of the biggest and best courses we’ve offered is returning this year, along with the energetic titan, Bill Wilson of Midwest Permaculture. The Permaculture Design Course at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage will run September 17 to 25. It’s nine days of hands-on learning about creating a sustainable home and human habitat—and what better place to learn about sustainable human habitats than an ecovillage?

“I’m sure a PDC offered any ole place is as transforming and educational as this one was,” a student from last year said, “but here, at Dancing Rabbit, it was magical. I laughed, I cried, I ate better than ever, I opened myself up to new experiences and I just really felt the love that exists here.”

Bill and other inspirational teachers bring their vulnerability, integrity, and honesty to this course, and have helped so many students contact on a deeper level to permaculture and to life.

I hope one or a few of these courses or workshops interest you or someone you know. Come and learn, and take that knowledge with you…and make some life-long connections while you’re at it.

So, yes, people can take a bit of our hearts as they leave…but I try to see it as a bright lantern that shines in their life. I let that thought brighten my own lantern, and then it doesn’t feel so dark after they’ve gone. I’m happy knowing the world is a brighter place because of them and because of their time at Dancing Rabbit.

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Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage is an intentional community and educational non-profit outside Rutledge, MO, focused on demonstrating sustainable living possibilities. We offer public tours of the village at 1pm on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month, April-October; the next is May 28th. Reservations not required. Tours are free, though donations to help us continue our educational and outreach efforts are gratefully accepted. For directions, call the office at 660-883-5511 or email us at dancingrabbit@ic.org. To find out more about us, you can also check out our website: www.dancingrabbit.org.