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I have been living in Sadhana Forest, a reforestation-focused community in the Auroville ecovillage in India for the last two months. There is so incredibly much to say and so much learning to share, but I wanted to start by sharing just three morsels that have evolved over the past two months, in accordance with The Watson Philosophy:

“To remove oneself from the comfort and stability of Home, exploring the World selectively in focused pursuit of one’s Passion, and discovering along the way one’s potential for humane and effective participation in the world community.  The Watson journey is a “solo” experience, to be lived independently but shared broadly with those who cross your path.”

In the spirit of sharing my experience broadly, while at Sadhana I created an “Ecovillages around the World” PowerPoint presentation about my experiences in the first five ecovillages I traveled to: Crystal Waters in Australia, Findhorn in Scotland, Tamera in Portugal, Damanhur in Italy, and Torri Superiore in Italy. Though it is basically a rough first draft attempting to comprehensively document my travels thus far, I wanted to share a copy in order to quench your update thirst. Two test audiences of roughly 50 each eagerly lapped up the first and second manifestations of my presentation, so I hope you enjoy it as well!

Another thing I would like to share, which I also presented while at Sadhana, is an essay I pulled together as part of a weekly “This I Believe” essay-writing series. The theme of this essay was my beliefs concerning “the environment.” I used it not only to cover this, but also my thoughts on the environmental movement being a human potential movement aimed at the full expression of Life (all in 531 words!) After presenting, many people came up to me and said “sign me up,” genuinely expressing their wholehearted acceptance of what I spoke, which was humbling. See what you think by reading it here: Environment This I Believe

Finally, I wanted to take a moment to promote the Watson Fellowship. Wow, what a godsend. I am being paid to live my dreams; the freedom is unbelievable and vital. It has been amazing in my life personally and I think also bodes well for the rest of humanity and for the planet. In my opinion, it’s actually one of the best things happening on the planet and should be available to everyone. To this end, I wanted to share a list of resources that could allow you to craft a similar experience for yourself. It is from one of the most important slides in my presentation, the connections page. I have been receiving quite a few inquiries about finding communities or about opportunities for travel or volunteering, so here is a list of great resources to these ends:

Great resources for traveling and/or exploring other ways of life:

 

Get out there! The world outside your country is gigantic and begging to be known. As Mark Twain said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” Purposeful travel and intentional exploration are powerful educational experiences – I can attest to this firsthand. You could argue that instead of spending tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on University education, you would learn more by using significantly less money to travel for a few years and do things you’re passionate about listed on the sites above.

I have formed a goal to have visited at least as many countries as I am years old for the rest of my life. Even though I have been traveling fairly extensively for the last 5 years, I have only been to 16 countries in my 23 years. And that’s only if you count England and Scotland as separate countries. There are roughly 200 countries, depending on how you count them, so that is far more than a lifetime of exploration – not to mention that many of the countries are so large that you couldn’t explore one in its entirety in a lifetime! To again quote Twain: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

I offer you my friendship, personal correspondence, and support in whatever journey you want to undertake. I want to spread the goodness of this Fellowship and my associated experiences and thoughts as broadly and deeply as possible, to make it alive and relevant for many lives besides my own. This blog is the main avenue I have for doing so; I will continue to update it whenever I am able. Send me an email at thequestionofwhy (at) gmail.com and I will reply in full.

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6 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing. I have spent a lot of time in Auroville, some of it in Sadhana Forest and agree it is a very special community,

    In addition to the excellent resources you mention, I would like to add Living Routes (http://www.LivingRoutes.org), the nonprofit I direct, which partners with the University of Massachusetts – Amherst to offer study abroad programs based in ecovillages around the world – including Auroville and Sadhana Forest.

    In community,
    – Daniel

  2. I can hardly believe that I forgot to mention the Living Routes link, which has connected me with awesome students in the program both here in Auroville and also in Findhorn. Fantastic program with fantastic people – I only wish that “elite” schools like Haverford had allowed students like me to attend. I guess with the links I was thinking about things accessible to everyone; because I had been unfortunately excluded from the awesomeness that is Living Routes, it didn’t come readily to mind. I added the link above.

    • Susie Ankhara Haslam
    • Posted March 24, 2011 at 8:48 am
    • Permalink
    • Reply

    Thankyou for your inspiration, Tim, truly living the dream. I have recently returned from San Ignacio lagoon in Mexico, staying on an ecocamp with beautiful people, having close encounters with the whales and their new borns. Your resource list is just what I need to encourage me to continue to discover the wonder of life outside the U.K.
    Blessings, Susie Ankhara.

  3. Very comprehensive stuff. Thanks for putting time and effort into this information.
    On seeing all the countries: ambitious. But I applaud the dream and hope to read about its manifestations.
    It’s nice to see blogging be useful. I’m still a little shy to admit I blog… I don’t know why I have this prejudice/skepticism about it. But blogging is such a great way to channel alternative knowledge/experiences/ways of think/etc.
    And to (the second quote by) Twain I say: that’s only if you live life through the mind, through a past dictating some predicted future. No need to look back, no need to compare moments of time.

  4. Hey Tim, nice rave/blogg. I tried unsucessfully to send you an email. I also called Verite but no answer on sunday. i have pobchan’s cell number but i can’t give it to you due to email error and Verite not picking up…and tomorrow flat out, but if you want to hear about what Harvest is up to and the issues of sustainable agriculture in India, come to my presentation at Town Hall from 2-4p on Monday (18). take care tlaloc

  5. I’ve been to Sadhana Forest before and it is really a wonderful place. Takes you as close as possible to your roots and makes you realize the art of living. Thanks for the share mate.


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