Tamera versus Twin Oaks

Tamera is the community i probably should live at.  It has a mandate to be a model to save the world.   In the midst of the Portuguese dessert they create lakes and grow food.   They bring in all manner of experts and geniuses to teach and model all manner of sustainability philosophies and technologies.  They are thinking big and bold.

The other night i had the privileged to share the stage with Kate Bunney from Tamera.  She was an interesting mix of eloquent and pragmatic and a bit new agey.  She spoke and showed a short video about Tamera and it was quite impressive.

And comparisons are a bit foolish, because we are very different communities.  They require donations and workshop tuition to survive financially. Twin Oaks has 5 cottage industries and are income sharing.  They actively are looking for solutions to the worlds problems and promoting them widely, we are looking for solutions to our own collective problems and being somewhat insular about what we find.  Tamera is a culture that celebrates experts, Twin Oaks promotes egalitarianism and all contributions being valued equally.  Tamera is explicitly spiritual, we are clearly secular.

We both consider ourselves Eco-villages, but this is a big class of community types.

But as i watched the crowd, i ditched my prepared remarks and went to story telling.  If you are the second speaker in a long night, if you are not punchy and entertaining, your audience is going to drift off.

What i wish i had more time to do was to investigate the venue where we spoke which is the cool sustainability project in Oakland called PLACE.  Which describes itself as:

We are a public-serving, experiential learning center to showcase and foster sustainable living practices, urban homesteading, community resiliency & preparedness, social justice and artistic expression.

This collection of energetic twenty somethings were converting this old warehouse space into a show case and test bed for various different urban sustainability techniques.

The name PLACE is an acronym for People Linking Art, Community and Ecology.  Which i will certainly stop in the next time i am in the East Bay.

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About paxus

a funologist, memeticist and revolutionary. Can be found on Wikipedia and in locations of imminent calamity. buckle up, there is going to be some rough sledding.

5 responses to “Tamera versus Twin Oaks”

  1. Tina Estes and Val Hammel says :

    PAXUS!!!!!!
    We just this very day are starting our research on Tamera as we are headed to Spain to help put on the first HAI workshop there…in Barcelona, April 13-15….then on to Morocco, then work our way up to Tamera. How synchronicitously fabulousus to find you posting today about Tamera, though wish we were still in Bezerkeley to catch up with you (we are in New York now!). We would love to come in the side door to Tamera in some way as opposed to the visitor front door…and as a gift, if they would like… Val and I have been working on our conflict resolution process for resolving upsets between individuals and would love to share that with anyone we can…are you connected with Tamera at all? Besides sharing the stage with Kate Bunney?
    Love and kisses for your delectable self,
    Tina and Val

    • paxus says :

      Dearest Val and TIna:

      You have been terrible correspondents, i have written you and tried to call and you are just oo busy to bother with me. So i am glad we have a shared agenda so we can be in touch again. I can certainly get you in touch with Kate and help with side doors if possible.

      But it sounded very much like the thing celebrates expertise, so you coming and doing a HAI workshop is likely just the key to your time. You become the experts that you already are.

      How long are you in Portugal?

      I am possibly coming to Europe in April and definitely in October.

      Paxus at Twin Oaks
      31 Pregnancy Blues 2012

  2. Ian Mayes says :

    It would be awesome if you went to visit Tamera and told us (your digital followers) what the place is like in reality. I am a bit skeptical about accepting everything that their propagandists and promotional material is saying about the place, since I am assuming that they are coming with an agenda to get new customers and donors.

    Interestingly enough, I know of two different people who once were members of Tamera and eventually ended up leaving there to go live and work at Camphill Beaver Run (aka: “Camphill Special School”). For them, Camphill offered some things that Tamera did not. So, to each their own, I suppose…

    • paxus says :

      Dearest (I)An-ok:

      I am inspired to go to Tamera, in part because i might be able to work it with my friend George from Ganas. But even if he can not make it, either in April or in October i will head over there.

      Kate was never really critical of any aspect of Tamera. She was i thought slightly surprisingly critical of ZEGG and their forum format being inferior and them not really being a community but more of a conference facility with live in staff. I have been to ZEGG many times, and consider several members and ex-members there friends. ZEGG still uses what appears to be a very powerful interpersonal communication system in the Forum and certainly seems like a residential intentional community to me when i visit (last time in 2010).

      I’ll see if i can drag some other comments to this page on this topic.

      THanks for asking and encouraging me to do this, you are an inspiration.

      Paxus at Twin Oaks
      31 Pregnancy Blues 2012

      • Ian Mayes says :

        Heya Pax,

        I know George from Ganas!

        I am guessing that ZEGG and Tamera have some kind of competition going on. I am wondering if they are both competing in the same market for the same clientele and donor-base?

        Also in Europe, of that same ilk, is Findhorn in Scotland. Have you ever gone there?

        I remember the Forum. I went to one of those that Hawina and Bucket co-led together at Twin Oaks. It was a really awesome experience.

        – (I)

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