COUNCIL HUT INITIATIVE
Beyond Boundaries is part of a bigger unfolding story working in parallel with many other individuals and organizations contributing to a healthier world for all.
See Blessed Unrest by Paul Hawken, and Bioneers.org, as testimony to this organic movement. BB fulfills our part of this mission by coming together as volunteers supporting communities to co-create an earth-bag construction Council House to serve as a ceremonial meeting place or prayer hall – a place set aside to listen and be heard, to find the truth and healing in conflicts, to build relationships, to vision and dream the future.
In the process of initiating and overseeing the building project, BB offers and shares the way of council, using the process for co-visioning, team-building and ceremony, for growing together on all levels — body, heart, mind and spirit.
Round council houses are ideal venues for calling a circle, deepening communication and nurturing a sense of community. In addition, earth-bag construction lends itself to round structures and is a low-cost, eco-friendly alternative to energy- and resource-draining conventional building. The nested visions of building an earthen council hut, building interpersonal communication skills, and co-creating a more peaceful culture, spiral together. We hold this endeavor as a demonstration, a modeling of life-skills education vital to the emergence of a regenerative human presence on earth.
In some cases, this initiative can both support new communities at crucial early stages of setting a foundation together, as well as bringing together communities in distress or conflict. We offer the collaborative building project as a way to unite behind a common vision and the council training as a way to seed skills for empathic listening, heartfelt speaking, healing and reconciliation.
As the Council House project unfolds over time, some of those who have gained the skills will be invited to travel to the next project, bringing their expertise in earth-building and council, creating a multicultural, transnational web of relationships. For example, after the Council House was completed in Kenya, participants of the Kenyan team were invited to participate in the next one. BB has and can serve as a virtual hub and resource to this self-generating network of community-based leaders and change agents.
Projects to date have included being part of the inspiration and building of the Council House over many years at the Ojai Foundation, rebuilding the Horizon Hut there, creating The Heron Hut at 3 Creeks, Big Pine, California, with 75 volunteers, and building a Peace Hut with International Peace Initiatives at KACH in Meru, Kenya. All projects are site-specific and part of a response to the needs of the people and place (i.e. they may include co-creative design and building, council training, eco-awareness material use, practice in council for team building and visioning, permaculture design/landscape and/or earth-sky art).
The Council Hut projects are funded by international donors who resonate with this Beyond Boundaries dream of collaboration for the benefit of all. We ask all participants to help to find individual sponsors and also ask for local sponsors to join as part of building this relationship and local support.
The Beyond Boundaries candidates for each project are interchangeable depending on availability, funding and call to the region. Criteria include those age 20 to 75 who have deep experience in council, international relations and some experience in the earth-bag building process or other eco-process determined appropriate. Any interested could attain more experience in any of the areas needed onsite or prior to a commitment.
Most sites benefit from an intergenerational team of mixed genders from different countries coming together to co-create a sacred meeting place as part of a restorative, regenerative future in a community, village, transition town, etc. A process in which we learn to build on all levels – body, heart, mind and spirit – and together discover the soul of the group and the building itself.