Re: Circumstantial Community -Relationship expectations.
From: RodLambert (
Date: Tue, 10 Aug 1999 10:53:48 -0600 (MDT)
Thanks again for your hospitality when visiting your community - it was a 
highlight of my trip out to the Northwest.
Re your subject above, I would add that many people in cohousing notice that 
they can't easily define their new relationships with many of the people 
around them. It seems to fall somewhere between "neighbor" and "friend". Here 
at EcoVillage at Ithaca we have started gathering for what we call "deepening 
realtionships" meetings, keeping the groups smallish (6 - 12). The meetings 
may be facilitated or not or have a theme or "starter" question such as "talk 
about some pivotal event in your life that has greatly influenced who you are 
that might not be known by the group". We also typically "check-in" at the 
beginning about what's happening currently in our lives, which often leads to 
a burning subject all by itself.
The object is simply to get to know each other better - many often comment 
that, unlike a bussiness meeting after which one can feel drained, one comes 
away feeling energized from the "deepening" meetings. I think they tend to 
aid in creating relationships that move closer to the "friend" end of the 
spectrum than "neighbor" as well as stirring in other very useful ingredients 
such as tolerance and compassion.
I think they make a good compliment to other types of community building work 
projects such as building a playground - Interesting 'thread'.

Rod Lambert
Development Management
Second Neighborhood
Ecovillage at Ithaca, NY

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