In November 2010, my husband Jarek and I gave our first workshop on ‘Creating Homa Farm Communities’ at the Resonance Point, the center for Baltimore Homa Community (BHC) in Baltimore, Maryland. What follows is the gist of what we shared in the workshop.
In the workshop everyone had an opportunity to envision a Homa Farm community and share those visions with each other. We also focused on how to find a farm, which was of particular interest to the people there. It was fun and dynamic. We look forward to offering this workshop in various countries.
We are grateful to BHC for hosting us and giving us the opportunity to come and share our experiences. Many thanks to Henry and Jannette Gregory for letting us stay with them, and to the whole BHC community for their heartfelt welcome home!
One of the great benefits of community life – and there are many – is that it is a training ground for all our nuances of character to be smoothed out, all our abilities to shine. It is like creating or re-creating the functional family.
Many of us come from what are now known as ‘dysfunctional homes’, environments which were perhaps not as conducive for healthy self-esteem as we would have hoped. There is a saying that ‘it is never too late for a happy childhood.’ So, in a sense, community is like the second chance to evolve in a safe environment amongst people of like mind and heart. Because of the air of acceptance which ideally grows in community life, people can learn to trust each other and, with encouragement and support, learn to believe in themselves.
In Bhrugu Aranya, located in Jordanow, Poland, we are a community of varying nationalities and a wide range of ages. The mix of elders and young people, plus growing children, is exciting, inspiring and uplifting. There is always someone to talk to; there is always support when it is needed. These are the emotional reasons for coming together in community.
Financially, it is simpler, because to try and make it on one’s own is far more difficult and, especially for young people and older people, it is a real challenge. In community, many things are shared, from our deep water well which serves all the homes, to bees which provide us all with excellent Homa honey, cows for dung and milk, and a community garden which feeds us all. It makes sense, as our economic reality becomes stretched to the limit, to gather together and create alternative income sources, alternative energy, and alternative living conditions which support us in all stages.
As a Homa community farm, we share in the responsibilities and in the fruits of our labour. We all benefit from the four hours of Yajnya being done in the Yajnya Shala, twenty-four hours on full and new moon, and regular Agnihotra at sunrise and sunset in both the Yajnya Shala and Fire Temple. We share in making the ghee, collecting the dung, preparing garden beds, mending fences, building bee houses, cow maintenance, and so on. It is far more possible to create Arks of Fire in community. Many hands are needed on a Homa Organic Farm to make it sustainable, a real resource for future. Something tells me, the future is NOW!
One thing which comes to me, as we have been developing Bhrugu Aranya Homa Farm community for fifteen years, is that in order for a community to be all it can be, each individual has to go through his or her own inner process of becoming all that he or she can be. This is one thing which I find so exhilarating, watching as we all change before our very eyes–helping the younger ones believe in who they are and encouraging them to develop their gifts, watching as they evolve into healers in their own right, or apply their innate creative energy to make an income for themselves. Seeing the formerly shy ones branch out and teach others, having such compassion that could only be borne of experience balanced with Grace.
Often, without the support, people are not able to fulfill their purpose in life. In a healthy Homa community, they can. And the byproduct of all the coaching and encouraging is that we elders develop patience and tolerance, the art of compassion and the eye for talent and for helping people discover their gifts. In sharing the light, ours burns brighter too.
At Bhrugu Aranya, we began with 3½ hectares of land (about 8 3/4 acres), an old rundown log house in need of repair, a dilapidated barn which needed to come down and an apple and plum orchard which hadn’t been pruned in many years. We began with two of us, Jarek and Parvati. My son Jacob arrived in his teenage years to live at the farm. The situation seemed rather bleak, as we were economically challenged! We persevered. Many times I wondered if it was worth it, staying in a country where I did not yet speak the language or understand the culture. But it was where I was guided to be, so be it!
Slowly our log home was revamped, a second floor office/living room created basically out of a hay loft, electricity and running water also added! The rest is history. The community now consists of five family homes including Rory and Asia’s new ecological straw-bale house, a log guest cabin and many out buildings, a healing temple, Yajnya Shala, Deva Shoppe, several guest caravans and a new cow barn, not to mention the kids’ tree house and the bee homes! When we look around, we are also amazed by how the place evolved. I think it is because we had and have a higher purpose than just having a nice place to live.
It may be beneficial to create an environmental/educational foundation (an NGO), such as we have started here in Poland. Our Homa Therapy Foundation was created with the goal of teaching Agnihotra, Homa Organic Farming and Homa Therapy. Being a part of the Foundation also galvanizes the community and helps to keep our focus on the higher purpose.