Loving Acres’ New Vision
by Banyan Freier
Note to Reader: This neighborhood is referred to on the website as Dancing Shiva.
The Loving Acres neighborhood began in the late 1990s with six folks who started the project and then decided to move closer to the center of Earthaven activity and build at Village Terraces neighborhood instead.
Almost ten years later, Rudy Ballentine, holistic physician and Tantra teacher, decided to ground his vision of a neighborhood. He wanted a place where his own passions—Tantra, permaculture, holistic health and queer identity—could converge. Loving Acres became the place.
There were many challenges at the start, but in 2010, building of a neighborhood common house began. Much of the wood was milled directly from the site and most of the labor came from the Earthaven community and its neighbors. The building was completed in January 2012.
|Rudy Ballentine, Norm Self & Banyan Freier
In the meantime, friends, colleagues and students began to arrive. Norm Self, who has stepped up to a variety of creative and important roles, relocated from San Francisco. I arrived from Washington State offering my skills, from carpentry to yoga, to the neighborhood and community.
In 2011, Rudy purchased a nearby, unfinished house whose owner had moved. That building, which will serve as an ashram and guest housing, is almost complete. The site also hosts a small “shed” that is being refurbished as a homeopathy consultation “hut” and dispensary.
The future of Loving Acres looks bright. How to build a neighborhood that hosts something of a queer ashram is the visioning work at hand, and a new name is likely to be born for the project.
Although Loving Acres is not on the regular Earthaven tour, folks who’d like to visit can connect by request through the Earthaven website. Namaste, y’all!
Banyan Freier moved to Earthaven from Vashon Island, WA almost a year ago and is apprenticing in Holistic Medicine with Dr. Rudy Ballentine. “B” is a certified yoga instructor and last year taught the Forest Children’s Collective yoga class, has begun to see homeopathy patients at Earthaven, and teaches Embodied Voice lessons.