Membership Inquiry Form
RESIDENTIAL and/or NATIONWIDE NETWORK
While there are definitely benefits to being in the same physical location with others, "real" community is not limited to that. Since the deep friendship of real community is one of our primary goals, we have both residential and non-residential members who are part of a nationwide network. Being able to travel across the country and be met at an open door by someone with an honest joy at seeing us as they welcome us in, is a privilege and a joy!
The Mariposa Group nation wide NETWORK is comprised of both full residential members and network associates who have been involved in our process. Here is a map showing the primary locations of the network members.
We have a membership process which has become fairly well defined over the years. In part it is based upon a simple but hard earned knowledge that the foundation of real community is the quality of the interpersonal relationships among its members. Simply being attracted to the idea of 'community' or being a 'nice person' is not enough. Learning to lovingly tell your own truth, keep your commitments and not to distance from others when the inevitable discovery of 'differences betweeen us' happens; often takes some time and skill developement for most people. Once this new skill developement is underway, along with an honest mutual supporting of each other's dreams and aspirations; the resulting level of harmony and literally Joy within the community can be more than impressive !
"GateWay to Community" is
an extraordinary process, developed over time and from a great deal of
experience, which successfully guides new potential members into acquiring
these community skills. We use it explicitly as the first part
of the full membership process and as the requirement for entry into the
nationwide community network. After completion of the
GateWay process, if someone desires full residential membership, there
are a couple of increasing involved levels of participation at the central
location in N.E. Texas. There is a trial
membership process which lasts for up to one year. It can be
quicker. Our main goal here is the safe (for both the community and
prospective members) and gradual development of in-depth knowledge of each
other along with a deepening and stable friendship.
We invite you to join with us in
something truly wonderful: Real Community!!
Click on "Contact Us" in the left hand column.
"The Granny House from Hell"
Diana is a very good friend who wanted to both live in community and be fairly close to her children in N. California. So she ended up joining the "40 Oaks" community north of San Francisco. 40 Oaks is an interesting story in itself. It was made possible by the financial success of one man named David who had succeeded quite well in the computer software world. Land is expensive, quite expensive, north of San Francisco and zoning for community projects is next to impossible most times.
David found some truly beautiful country land which was for sale, but it's major challenge was that it was 'land locked'. It was surrounded by existing farms and had no public road access. David purchased the land and then literally bought his way into it via purchasing access right of way from the pre-existing neighbor farms. It was an expensive but eventually sucessful process. 40 Oaks was off and running. It never advertised itself and yet only word of mouth comments about "A new community here?!" was enough to attract potential members.
My friend Diana heard about it, checked the location (very beautiful) and the existing members out. It all seemed wonderful. Very nice people. Friendly, warm, excited about creating community. Diana's major immediate challenge was the task of buying land there and getting financing for building a house. As a highly paid professional, yet single, woman; this very expensive land and house building project with its attendent financial requirements for a bank loan; almost made her community membership dream fall apart. Yet there seemed to be a potential god-send. A 'Granny House'. The local zoning for a full residential house project was fairly restrictive. But it did allow for the building of a small 'granny house' [assumedly where one's aging parent(s) could live] next to the main house.
If Diana could find someone to co-sign with her at the bank on the entire building project (main house and granny house), she could barely afford to buy the land required and get the housing project going in her beloved community location. Her task became to find someone else who was exploring 40 Oaks community and potentially interested in living in a granny house. 40 Oaks was getting a fair amount of atttention, even with its only word of mouth contact route. Many people were going by to see the beauty of the place, smooze with current and other prospective members, and chat over shared community dinners.
It wasn't too long before at one of these community dinners, Diana met a 'nice' couple. They were warm, open, excited about community living and most importantly for Diana; they also were a little shy on the finances needed to go it by themselves at 40 Oaks. A partnership was formed. Myriad legal papers were signed. Diana and the couple co-signed the required bank documents and the building process was off and running. Everyone was happy. Again the major energy seemed to be the excitement about both building houses and being in a "community".
"The hellish transition of the 'granny house'!"
Some months later the building process was completed. Diana moved into her lovely, new big house and the couple had their smaller, but quite acceptable to them, granny house. In their legal agreement there had been the demarcation of property lines between the granny house and the main house. At some point after the completion of building, Diana decided to start landscaping and put in a row of small ornamental trees along her side of the property line between her house and the granny house.
One day upon her return to the community after being gone on a trip, Diana discovered to her dismay that the row of small trees she had lovingly just planted, was completely gone. It took a little detective work to finally establish that the wife of the granny house couple had "disapproved" of the trees and even though they were not on her land, she "Felt they were an imposition on her view from her house and as such, she had a 'right' to remove them." 'Nice' folks and perceived community 'harmony', quite rapidly dissolved into chaos, uproar, conflict, and finally the silent standoff of "She's not even willing now to talk to me about why she removed my trees!"
Community heaven had evaporated into conflictual hell. The major points here are that the people had not really gotten to know each other well at all before entering into major and legally binding ties. They had all seemed to be really 'nice' folks with an interest in community. Also they hadn't acquired (or demonstrated the ability to acquire) the skills necessary to resolve the conflicts which are almost always going to come up when people are both living close to each other and legally bound together. A recipe for disaster.
Long story made short: It pays to develope these needed community skills ahead of time and to truly get to know each other before moving physically into community. Without the necessary skills and/or indepth knowledge of each other, the invitation is for chaos. With the skills present along with indepth mutual knowledge, community living can be a marvelous gift!
We choose the
'gift' approach and "GateWay to Community"
is the vehicle which gives it.
there are a number of members in different locations. Right
now we are in a transition state from the original development of The Mariposa
Group in California, to moving it's primary location to it's beautiful
rural property in N.E. Texas. Most of the members are still primarily
located in California, while the housing is being developed on the new
land. It is a dynamic and creative new time for us. It
is exciting with the possibilities that are manifesting.
If you have felt yourself moved or excited in response to viewing this web site and hopefully learning some of the more important things we are about, we urge you to contact us and consider joining with us in continuing the development of "real" community which benefits all of us !!
To enter into the membership trial period involves participating in work/study program which can be (residentially) for approximately 4 months in length, up to a one year time period for non-residence applications. There is a fee which can vary depending upon financial resources (approximately a sliding scale) and work contributions in and for the community. Money obvious is an important subject and one which has been abused and manipulated in various ways throughout human history. Our governing principle regarding money (both in any membership consideration and in the resulting community's own internal dealings) is: "In every human interation there is some energy exchange. The iimportnat questions are: Is it fair? Is it equitable? And perhaps most importantly, does it support and uplift the life within each of us?"
So in that context: Membership
requires participation in the "GateWay to Real Community" program.
This normally is a series of 3 to 4 retreat study/experience, 3-day events,
spaced out over time, with a total cost of approximately $1250. Again
work exchanges can be made at times depending upon financial resources
and time availability.
The non-residential membership process (no work exchange) has a $4500 membership fee, the first $1250 of which is for inclusion in the GateWay to Real Community process, trail membership supervision and mentoring aid during the up to one year trial membership period. Thus the maximum cost is approximately $12.33 per day for the full non-residential, one year trial membership period. Variable payment arrangements and/or work-trade arrangements can be made. And if at the end of the one year period of trial membership, a person either decides not to fully join the community or the community decides not to offer full membership to the person; all of the $4500. is returned, excluding the $1250. for the GateWay to Real Community process and supervision/mentoring.
Full financial disclosure is required.
In cases of strong monetary lack, work exchange will be considered.
The trial membership requires additionally a minimum of 4 hours of work per week on the community property. Thus a total of 200 hours work at a minimum is required to successfully complete trial membership. This is usually independent of any other work-exchange arrangements. And for the non-residential program, various larger (than 4 hours of work per work) blocks of time can be arranged to accumulate the total of 200 hours. We are flexible here in how this can be arranged.
After one full year of active, full membership participation (after the trial membership period is successfully completed) a person is eligible if they desire, to enter into the MG land holding arrangements. During the trial membership period, a person may only rent space on the community property. After becoming a full member, a person may elect to obtain a 49 to 99 year, renewable lease on a plot of land for house building purposes from the MG.
Pearls of Wisdom regarding "Real" Community