There’s not really an established term yet for the kind of way of living that we imagine and seek to pioneer. We’ve come to call it “conscious coliving” reflecting the fusion of two related practices: conscious living and coliving.
Here we want to say a bit more about what we mean by conscious co-living as well as frame within it within the broader space of co-living and intentional communities.
For us, conscious living has two complementary components:
- An active engagement with inner development whether in a spiritual or secular form.
- An explicit awareness of one’s impact on others and the planet
Modern coliving is where people live together with varying degrees of integration and shared space.
This covers the broad spectrum of co-living models, from one where all space is held in common to one where everyone has their own private, personal dwelling along with some shared communal spaces such as a kitchen or a dining area. It can also range from a fully residential model to short-term retreat style approach and much in between.
One important point for us, is that we see co-living as not simply being an economic convenience but involving an active commitment to fostering community.
Conscious living and coliving are complements
We also see these two aspect of conscious co-living as complementary and synergistic. That is, conscious living supports co-living and co-living supports conscious living.
Conscious living supports coliving
First, conscious living provides essential psycho-social foundations on which to build thriving co-living, especially in the long-term. It does so by helping us deal with the challenges that can arise when we live with others. Whilst co-living brings many benefits it also inevitably brings up frictions — who accidentally threw out my leftovers from fridge, who is playing their music too loud etc.
Coliving supports conscious living
Coliving supports conscious living on three levels.
First, living in a community is often a key aspect of sustained engagement with the work of inner development (e.g. it’s easier to meditate when others meditate).
Second, coliving within a strong community provides connection and support that helps us pursue our true wants and dreams.
Third, coliving is a way for us to live more lightly on the planet thus economising our use of resources.
Related Ideas and Work
An intentional community is “a group of people who have chosen to live together with a common purpose, working cooperatively to create a lifestyle that reflects their shared core values.” [From Creating a Life Together]
The Conscious Coliving Manifesto
It is essential to reference the Conscious Coliving project and their manifesto. This is a great piece of work and we think the manifesto and the definition here are closely aligned. The alignment is not entirely surprising: the Conscious Coliving team are close friends of ours and we contributed to the original version of the manifesto which was developed at a Life Itself sprint back in 2017!