Sunday, November 27, 2005

    Visit To Asheville

    Gwinnet Daily Post in Georgia visits Asheville and has delightful things to say about it.

    My last visit to Asheville was in the early 1990s, and I never would have imagined what it would become in the year 2005: a breathtaking community filled with artists' studios, restaurants, bistros, shops, nightclubs and, of course, eclectic bookshops like Malaprop's.

    Who knew this once-hidden outpost in western North Carolina's landscape would be the center of a strong concentration of creativity and beauty? Nowhere in the Southeast can you find this much class, style and culture.

    [MORE »]

    Wednesday, November 16, 2005

    Communal Living - CoHousing

    Interested in an Intentional Community? Earthaven Ecovillage and Southern Dharma are a few communities in our area.

    The Practice Community at Southern Dharma (PCSD) is an intentional sangha or practice community developed adjacent to Southern Dharma Retreat Center (SDRC) where individuals with a spiritual practice can live, retreat, study and meditate with the support of others.

    The PCSD consists of ten sites or "holdings" that are divided into three clusters along the Dharma Path. Seven of the ten holdings are now owned. These holdings consist of five completed cabins, one pre-existing cabin, and one cabin under construction this Fall 2005.
    * * * * * * * *

    Earthaven Ecovillage is an aspiring ecovillage in a mountain forest setting near Asheville, North Carolina. We are dedicated to caring for people and the Earth by learning, living, and demonstrating a holistic, sustainable culture.

    Since 1995, we have grown to 60 full members--from young children to a great-grandmother--and we expect to grow to 150 people. We are building homes in 14 neighborhoods and developing on-site businesses as part of our own village-scale economy.
    * * * * * * * *

    Zendik ( moved a few years ago to West Virginia, but there's also the Westwood Cohousing Community, and Zim Zam Intentional Community.

    Saturday, November 12, 2005

    Blue Mountain Schoolhouse

    Not so long ago, the traditional one-room schoolhouse was the heart and soul of community education in America. With a couple of changes, it still is.

    The one-room schoolhouse brought students of all ages, all skill levels together – to learn together. That’s the idea behind Blue Mountain Schoolhouse, a return to community-based education. Through independent workshops and classes, teachers offer one-on-one training in fine art, crafts, trades, healing arts, and spiritual disciplines.

    Blue Mountain Schoolhouse is a Western North Carolina teacher cooperative made up of a small administrative staff and an unlimited faculty drawn from the community. It’s a return to natural community-based education.


    Wednesday, November 09, 2005

    Asheville Elects First African-American Mayor

    After thanking a list of Asheville’s African-American pioneers, Democrat Terry Bellamy said the election results show she has a clear mandate that includes:

    • Creating more jobs that pay a living wage.

    • Increasing housing that working people can afford.

    • Keeping students from dropping out of school

    • Reducing drug usage and improving public safety.

    "It is my goal to leave Asheville in a better position than I have found it," Bellamy said.

    She's generating a lot of excitement and hope. Truly great news for Asheville.


    Friday, November 04, 2005

    Bhagavan Das

    Virato of Virato Live radio program on The Revolution, 880 AM, enjoys a lay back rap with Bhagavan Das Saturday, November 5, 11:00 AM - Noon EST, the first American to live with the acknowledged saint Neem Karoli Baba and was the catalyst for the many westerners that followed on a similar journey to the East in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Born in America, and definitely not of Indian extraction (he was a California surfer), he spent six continuous years in India and Nepal. In fact, he was the person who introduced Dr. Richard Albert to Neem Karoli Baba, who gave Albert the name Ram Dass

    While there he studied Hinduism and Buddhism, living the life of a sadhu (ascetic renunciate). During those years, he received numerous initiations and teachings from living Masters including Karmapa, Dudjom Rinpoche, Lama Kalu, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and Anandamayi Ma.

    Back in America, Bhagavan Das met and began working with the likes of poet Alan Ginsburg and Zen spiritualist Alan Watts among others. He also made friends was with many in the pop music world. It was during this time that Bhagavan Das was introduced to Jimi Hendrix’s manager Michael Jeffries who arranged for him to record in the legendary Electric Ladyland studios.

    Those sessions led to his first album entitled AH. AH is one of the earliest recordings in what would be known as "world music". And today, Bhagavan Das is quoted as being "the Jimi Hendrix of Kirtan masters."

    Bhagavan Das has opened for The Grateful Dead, and performed with Bob Dylan, Madonna and many other musical celebrities.

    If you want to feel and hear Virato chanting with this icon you need to buy the CD...

    Wednesday, November 02, 2005

    Asheville: The Top 25

    How do we love North Carolina's favorite mountain town? Brad Tuttle counts the way in no particular order. For Example---

    6. The banned-book list at Malaprop's

    In addition to titles of gay, lesbian, and transgender interest--and separate sections for graphic novels and local writers and poets--this very independent bookstore has several shelves of books currently banned by schools and libraries around the country. Gone With the Wind, Lord of the Flies, Hamlet, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and a few of the Harry Potter titles are all on someone's no-no list. Several times a week, the bookstore-and-café hosts author readings and live music. The bulletin board where locals post events, jobs, and solicitations is absolutely worth a look. One recent flyer read: 2chix lawn care--support the women's movement. 55 Haywood St., 828/254-6734.

    I found this list to be quit handy for both visitors and natives.


    Tuesday, November 01, 2005

    After debunking right-wing propaganda in his bestselling books, Al Franken took the fight to America's airwaves on Air America Radio. Now he's bringing his fearlessly irreverent commentary, comedy, and interviews to Asheville.

    On Wednesday, November 30th, The Al Franken Show will be broadcast live from Thomas Wolfe Auditorium here in Asheville, NC.