by Ryan Morris
It has been eight months since my Dancing Rabbit (DR) visitor session, and every step since then has been a step back toward DR. I still remember walking up the main path into the village and seeing Javi on the swing in front of the common house, with a big smile on his face.
That day was spent meeting other visitors and the few Rabbits who had time in their hectic summer schedules to mingle with the new crop of visitors. Life in intentional community is busy. No, you don’t need a TV, as there is always another committee task, social event, or food processing chore to do.
I’ve learned since this visit that my life in community is a journey of the soul, and it is in community, and through vulnerability and acceptance, that one may grow beyond the shame and grief the mainstream culture so graciously bestows upon on all of us. I had a glimpse of this during my visitor session when I attended, for the first time in my life, a Men’s Group. That night I saw other men come together and one man in particular opened up in a way I had never seen before. My heart was touched on a fundamental level. I knew immediately I needed this in my life, a container held with reverence and a space for me to fulfill my desire for growth and self-transformation. I have not missed many meetings since.
During the visitor session our group did daily check ins, in which we sat in a circle and were asked to share, if we wished, our physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual experiences with each other. In no time at all this process transformed our group from strangers to close friends.
Sharing my inner reality was not something I was truly ever given space to do before. Initially I found this process terrifying, however it quickly helped connect me to the other visitors on a deeper level than many of my friends, family, and coworkers back home. Hugs and laughter were shared amongst nearly all of us throughout the session and there are still individuals from this group that I feel deeply connected to.
I was brought to the DR visitor program by life crisis and disillusionment. Although this crisis was only one to three years ago, it is a completely different world to me and I am a different person now. I remember coming to grips with a seven-year career that provided me no meaning or fulfillment: an hour and a half of commuting every day, and eight hours of sitting in an office in front of a computer screen five days a week, with the potential of 30 more years of service. My work was ecologically destructive and through self-education I was becoming more and more aware of the economic and ecological crisis our world faces today.
I knew I could no longer live with this misalignment. I was disillusioned with the political system, as it is clear no real change every really occurs, and action must be taken by each and every one of us. I remember selling my home and most of my material possessions, as nor did they provide the meaning or fulfillment I was looking for. I was also dealing with a failing marriage, and after much therapy and two years of trying to make it work we decided to go our separate ways. These crises were a gift and a learning experience on this journey of life.
I am finding that community is a need and Dancing Rabbit is the place I want it fulfilled. I am so thankful for the experiences of my visitor session, as they provided me a place to begin a new chapter in my life.
Ryan was born and raised in sunny Florida. Some of his interests include personal growth work, permaculture, sustainable living, and regenerative agriculture. He currently lives at Red Earth Farms and plans to apply for residency at Dancing Rabbit in the near future.