Saturday, September 24, 2005


i visited an ashram near montpelier a couple days ago. i fell in love with the place. it has so many of the features i'd like to see in the buildings at destiny: careful and loving construction, special details like hand-made doorknobs and hinges, the feel of strawbale (they actually used cob), the rounded windows and the organic window openings, the simple mechanisms for closing doors automatically, and the use of raw logs and branches for timber framing. it's hard to describe how wonderful this place feels, the peace and calm that a place like this brings. seeing a roof sliced open and within that a roof garden was simply amazing. they had composting toilets too.

on the way out we ran into one of the residents. she told us the place had been under construction for about forty years. it is a work in progress, clearly. there is another building that was hard to take pictures of--it's really more of a cave. it is a crack between two enormous pieces of ledge that has been roofed over with timbers. it reminded me of the kind of bathhouse cypress has spoken of. this place was a remarkable place to meditate. not unlike the house i felt completely held, but in this case by warm stone. clerostory windows peek out from the hillside and let very dim light in. there is a masonry stove that keeps the place warm and dry. the flue runs underneath the floor keeping it very warm to naked feet. she told us that in the winter the cave is warmer than the house and that they don't use the house in the winter. i thought that was interesting.
Image468 they cut the roof for a garden

Image457 inside the meditation space

Image455 window

Image462 the stove

Image473 a handmade hinge

Image471 timber framing


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