For those of us who live at Four Quarters, simplicity has always been a way of life, either through necessity or foresight. In the early years we relied on gifts of food and clothing from Members simply to survive and make it through the hard winter into the next season. By the turn of the millennium times were easier, and we focused on maximizing the money available for the camp by minimizing our living costs. Five years ago we began a very conscious effort to put into practice the skills required for long-term adaptation to the emerging Age of Limits. It has been a process that began from simple need and has grown to be seen by us as an integral part of our Earth Spirituality.
We have learned a lot over the past ten years, and we have quite a few “facts on the ground” to show for it. Energy efficient buildings, gardens, orchards, root cellars, tools and equipment. As important as the physical is the social, the mechanics of how a diverse group of people can come to share their everyday living needs and arrangements in an emotionally and financial productive way. And as we have learned on our local level we have expanded our understanding of the global predicament, the exponentially growing ecological load on our very finite planet. The Age of Limits.
Ours is a rural strategy, obviously; but we believe there are urban strategies of “Power Down” that are just as valid. And we use the word strategy, because the challenge before us is that of evolving adaptations to address how we live and interact with the planet. It is not a set problem that is amenable to a set solution.
Earth Living -
Earth Living Pages
“It is a time when there is much in the window,
but nothing in the room.”-Dalai Lama
Boy, it’s getting tough out there. Everyday we hear about another bank, another company going under. We see the unemployment numbers rising, homeowners in crisis, and feel the pain of it all when we try to buy our groceries.
Peak oil, economic crises, global warming, even seed shortages ...yep we’ve got it all. Perverse consumption, consumerism and a culture that feeds on instant gratification are all symptoms of what I believe has caused the situation we now find ourselves in. And until we realize why we got into this mess in the first place, I don’t think we can effectively change our way of doing things.
We have forgotten that we are stewards of this planet and everything on it, including our fellow humans; and so we are depleting our resources, fouling the environment and have disavowed the responsibility we have to that which sustains us. We seem to believe that we can take what we want and need not give anything back. Living a life that doesn’t require you to prepare your own food much less grow it, where its acceptable to drive rather than walk 2 blocks to get a carton of milk, where people don’t care who their neighbors are ...much less have a relationship with them. All this keeps us from recognizing that we are irrevocably connected to the ebb and flow of life on this planet and our responsibility to sustaining and protecting it.
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Four Quarters Interfaith Sanctuary190 Walker Lane Artemas PA 17211 USA 814-784-3080 firstname.lastname@example.orgIncorporated in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as an InterFaith Non-Denominational Church, Monastery and Spiritual Retreat Center. All donations fully tax deductible as allowed by law. PA EXMP 75-538-546 FED EIN 25-1853964© 1995-2013 The Church of Four Quarters™, Four Quarters™ and Four Quarters Farm™ Free use of text expressly granted for all non-profit purposes; unchanged and with attribution to Four Quarters. All other rights reserved.