Structures and Spaces
Eco-Commitment ~ Generating well being for generations
In the spirit of the Iroquois, we honor the intention to care for the planet for the next “seven generations” and beyond, that the sun may rise for a long, long time on a bountiful and beautiful earth for our children and their children. This is a profoundly important commitment requiring great diligence and care. We at Metta Earth Institute intend to go that extra walking mile and more, and welcome the dynamic exchange with others in this exploration. It takes a village to steward a healthy planet, and we need the brilliant intelligence of all of us to generate well being for generations.
The Main House
The Main House at Metta Earth Institute serves as a common space for guests and staff with kitchen, bathing, library, laundry, dining, living, and teaching spaces. We are in a process of transformation and renovation, which includes plans for solar and wind energy systems, an attached greenhouse, a root cellar, new porches, decks, and patios, and a sauna/hot tub bathhouse. We are committed to renovations that maximize green building techniques and materials in every detail, such as the minimizing of waste through careful reuse and recycling, the use of nontoxic and eco friendly paints and building products, and energy efficient house systems. We hope to demonstrate a green renovation process that others may find inspiring in retrofitting and redesigning houses that help our culture shift from fossil fuel based housing to a more ecological design model. Each time you arrive there will be new spaces and places to enjoy!
Green Yoga Studio
The Yoga Studio, located in the Main House, features sustainably harvested bamboo flooring, lovely views of the garden, and abundant light pouring in through large windows. The room is equipped with comfortable meditation cushions (zafus and zabutons), eco-yoga mats, meditation benches, blankets, and other yoga props. Read more about the space under Green Yoga Studio.
Yurts originate in Mongolia and have been traditionally used for nomadic life. Indeed we know many who have set them up here and there for periods of time…. from Scotland to Vermont with solar panels, wood stoves, composting toilets, and all sorts of innovations for living lightly on the earth. We have four yurts…two 20’ diameter and two 16’ diameter yurts. One of these, called our Yurt Sanctuary has hummed with a wealth of festivals, yoga classes, passage ceremonies, and creative retreats. It has soaked up the resonance of many hearts and still offers shelter for more in a most magical space. Another serves as a session yurt for consultations. The two others provide peaceful dwelling space for guests. The experience of being in a round space has a subtle but strong effect on the psyche, generating circular communications in many wonderful ways. One of the most enchanting sensations is watching the beeswax candles reflected in the dome above…a metaphor for holographic constellations of people and place.
This summer we are taking down a local, heritage Vermont barn in need of restoration and bringing it to our site. Preserving the old timbers and much of the old barn board sheathing, we will be reconstructing it using traditional barn tools and timber framing joinery. The team of Belgian draft horses will be pulling selectively and sustainably cut trees from our forest for the new timbers that are needed to replace the old. This barn will provide winter shelter for the horses and other farm animals, as well as hay storage, and a woodshop.
Many wonderful possibilities are beckoning in the visions for this barn, and you can expect a medley of permaculture, sustainable farming, and green building workshops to learn and grow with us. It promises to be dynamic!
Other farm structures include a run-in shed for tethering and tending the animals and a chicken wagon, which allows for rotational pasturing.
The loveliness of spring, summer, and fall call out for more outdoor living, especially after the long winters of the northern Green Mountains. The simplicity and tradition of these light and airy tents invite the solace of nature. Each tent is a natural white color and has a simple, wooden platform, rain fly, screened window and door, and is furnished with futon, solar lamp, and baskets for storage. We have worked hard to source completely organic materials for these tents and hope that our efforts add to the groundswell beginning with the use of organic fabric. The vastly more ecologically sustainable use of organic cotton makes such choices essential for the well being of the planet. The tents are made from organically grown cotton canvas and treated with organic waterproofing. They were custom made because we seem to be one of the first requests! Hopefully it will take a little less effort for the next person and the next order. We are proud to offer such a space for our interns and residents to sleep and dream.