Jalada’s letter reaching out to potential members of an envisioned community project.
I’m planning for a miracle. That miracle is to find an affordable living situation together with friends and fellow travelers who, like me, find themselves wanting to connect, deeply, before it’s too late!
I cannot do this on my own, nor do I want to. Present circumstance requires me to reach out to you to join me, in the hope that I am not alone in this pull, once more, to live together in truth and love. The urgency of the moment fuels my effort to reach out and invite those that also feel that it’s time to come together in groups and create a living situation that is more aligned with one’s needs.
Whatever your financial circumstances, all are welcome. I know it sounds rather outlandish and unconventional in today’s world but today’s world is changing at warp speed.
My name is Prem Jalada. I was with Osho from 1977 until he left his body. Shortly after, I lived in Cologne, Germany to spend one year co-creating Osho’s photographic archive for preservation. This archive was the last work for Osho in the commune. But, it was not the end of the inner work on this never-ending path, when I found myself in Lucknow with Papaji early in 1992 and stayed for the next 5 years until he also left his body. During those years with Osho and Papaji, I lived with some of the most beautiful people one can ever know. I’m talking about you! I long to create something where we can live together again.
As we are all aging, we may need a bit more support as time moves on. I for one do not want to spend my last years in an old folks home. Do you? A community of like-minded people (I use this term loosely!) can be supportive for those of us who are going through similar life experiences, mainly aging and feeling isolated and a longing for a space to express one’s creativity among friends. The spiritual and emotional support that comes from those who have been on the spiritual path is so valuable and that’s something we can all give one another.
My location preference is California (northern), Oregon or Washington State; anywhere in these states that fire is not a danger. Hawaii is also an option. But, I would be happy to live nearly anywhere in the US that is beautiful, and near enough to a town to find work and helps make life practical by not driving long distances. So, if you are already in New Mexico, Colorado or any other state, with beauty and possible work opportunities and not in a fire zone and would like to stay there, please contact me.
Start Small and Do It Soon
I envision a small group to start, with the possibility of growing larger if that happens organically. If I only find two or three others to join me, I will be happy to start with that.
This vision has been with me the last few years, but has grown stronger over the last months. No surprise there, and I hope we can form a starting group sometime early next year.
Inexpensive and Simple
I would like to do this at a minimal cost for everyone. This actually means being able to live on whatever you are able to generate on your own, whether that’s what you receive through social security or a pension, and supplementing with some type of work if you need to. Whatever that is, it could be enough if living together collectively, but perhaps not enough if you live on your own, which is my case at the moment. This is not a fancy, resort type, living situation I’m visioning here. Forget the swimming pool, hot tub and fancy yoga and meditation room. I see it more as a very simple, healthy, beautiful life with as little overheads as possible, with lots of natural outdoor space. Hopefully, a couple of fruit trees and a vegetable garden. It needs to be economically viable to work. I love a saying I heard years ago: “Big house, Big trouble, Little house, Little trouble.” I am not looking for big trouble.
Personal Space and Privacy
The vision is to live close to one another but with personal living spaces having clear boundaries and privacy. To start, it could be an area of land with an existing home that would accommodate a few people. With, perhaps, additional independent dwellings that other co-habitants can create or bring themselves. These dwellings could be tiny homes on wheels, trailers, prefab or self-build eco housing, Yurts, or anything that is legal. You can have a complete self-contained unit or an en suite bedroom with shared communal spaces. Shared communal spaces could be laundry facilities, vegetable gardens and office/workspace and maybe a shared kitchen. But, I am not looking at living with chore lists or cooking rotas. For instance, if the communal, shared spaces are not kept clean by our own initiative, then we can employ a community member or outside house cleaner to keep these spaces clean and we can all share in that expense. Cleanliness is a priority.
This endeavor requires a practical and grounded collective effort to create and maintain. I know I cannot do this alone and perhaps you are feeling the same way. This is a big vision requiring unending imagination and, no doubt, the courage to buck the collective conditioning that says you have to be wealthy to live beautifully. I feel that no one should be forced by circumstance to sacrifice one’s desire to live beautifully.
I’m now 69 years old and have been working as much as possible over the last few years, saving up for the move, thinking it’s just around the corner. I see now that I need to reach out to whoever has a similar vision for themselves and ask you to join me. It would help if you have experience in land purchasing and or negotiating any type of co-housing agreements. If you are already a real estate broker or lawyer, that would be very welcome.
What do I mean by pooling resources? This could be anything from buying into the cost of a small piece of land together and setting up living spaces. Or, if you already have land, you could sell portions to other community members and you would use that income to finance your own future. Then, whoever buys portions, can build a few inexpensive cabins to create a small village, or as I mentioned before, bringing in your trailer or tiny home or other dwellings. Another option is to buy into an existing, possibly defunct and hence cheap, trailer park where each would provide their own trailer home or tiny home. Do you know of one? Or perhaps buying into a home and dividing up the space that would give each person a private apartment. If there is enough outdoor space, you could bring in other dwellings or build extra living quarters by adding on. It must all be legal and by the code.
Pooling resources can also mean sharing the cost of cars, WiFi, telephone land line or energy independence and utility bills. Sharing the cost of any general maintenance, including house cleaners that benefits the whole group.
Pooling resources can also mean sharing your own talents. Are you a good landscaper, vegetable gardener or builder? A retired plumber, electrician, doctor, nurse, bookkeeper or car mechanic and driver? Are you good with computers? Are you a retired real estate broker? Do you know how to raise chickens or keep bees?
Whatever you have done in your life and still love to do, has value to all.
So, I want to reach out to all sannyasins and beautiful beings anywhere who find themselves in the same boat of figuring out your next step, or if you know someone who would be interested, please contact me.
Love and blessings to everyone,
Ma Prem Jalada
premjalada (at) gmail.com
- Podcast: Jalada – The power of love – In an interview with Swaram, Jalada reflects on the experience of living in Osho’s three communes, her work in his library – and on a project for a community