I had a serendipitous inspiration to design a living environment that would promote spontaneous kirtans! The layout is a result of the last decade that my husband and I have been living a simple living, high thinking lifestyle and really experiencing what sattva guna is like. When I look at this design/layout, I can imagine myself walking across the courtyard that is ringed with flowers to share some extra corn from the garden, and coming across a group of devotees sitting under a tree singing a Bhaktivinode Thakur bhajan. I can easily imagine joining the singing and perhaps encouraging the singers to accompany me to my friend’s residence on the other side of the courtyard and even starting a circutious sankirtan event spontaneously.
Here is a rough sketch of the design:
Devotees who are part of the community will have living quarters that are adjacent to their work space for their service. For instance the weaver’s workshop will face the courtyard while the weaver’s living space will be behind with a patio/yard that opens to the pastures and gardens of the project.
The layout of the design started with a synchronicity: someone shared a video with us that showed how water forms much more beautiful crystal formations when the water has been exposed to “good vibes”. Interestingly my health challenge path had led me to start contemplating the effects of consciousness on health, so it logically followed that consuming water and food that had been infused with positive akasha (chi, qu, ether) would promote healing. So I watched the video and had a flash of serendipity when the video showed a snowflake that reminded me of a building complex.
I sat down and designed a hexagon shaped courtyard with a temple prominently placed at one of the tips of the hexagon. Rectangular shaped living quarters form the boundaries of the courtyard and other communal buildings (hexagonal) are at each corner. One wall of the courtyard is open to permit easy access to the inner compound. Vegetable gardens, field crops and cow facilities are beyond the outer walls of the courtyard. Our New Nandagram Project in Western Washington State already has over 15,000 sq. ft. of buildings on the 14 acre property.
Just as the idea for the project was beginning to take shape, we were blessed with two house guests who had spent the majority of their lives (from the early 70s until now) in New Vrndavana. Sobhavati and Pavana Prabhus shared their experiences and contributed ideas, giving us practical illustrations of various successes and failures in New Vrndavana. Six devotees have so far contributed to the development of the design of this project.
It is designed to be built on our property and to house up to 8 families and a number of single people of various ashrams. Using Cyvana Swami’s idea of approaching the county building permit department with plans for a “teaching facility/summer camp”, it is plausible that we will be able to obtain the necessary permission to build it on New Nandagram’s 9 acre parcel that is currently being used as a cow pasture.
We have a number of options for funding, including raising the money through devotee contributors. Lately we’ve noted that the beautiful large Laxmi Conches on our alter are glowing.
I’m presenting the rough sketch of the layout for this project here in hopes that someone with CAD experience will volunteer to help further develop the plans. Actually we could use several drafters because the elements are modular which can accommodate teamwork.
I’ve also had some incredible breakthroughs with my health which I will detail in a future e-mail.
I hope you are intrigued with this idea to help implement Srila Prabhupada instructions for a lifestyle which complements Krsna consciousness.