Built by Relationship

by Raven Glomus

I’ve written about this several times before, but I feel like I can’t say it enough.  Community is all about relationships.  I’ve written a piece about an imaginary community that is actually a composite of three communities that I’ve known–and why the founders couldn’t get it to work.  (Hint: they focused on the ecological goals rather than relationships.  Of the three real communities, one lost the alpha male founder and is currently very focused on relationships, one recently seems to be doing better–and likely because relationships are being nourished, and I don’t know what happened to the third–likely it’s not around.)  Polish communal researcher Katarzyna Gajewska wrote a post for us on why tech folks have a hard time building communities. (Hint: Techies focus on design, rather than relationships.)

So, how do you build relationships?  The first step to building relationships is to be gentle with yourself and with others.  That’s harder than it might sound.  Most of us (myself included) have a tendency to be critical, and justify it as being ‘realistic’.  The truth is, being critical alienates people.  It’s not that you can’t point out when something (or someone) isn’t working–or is hurting someone else.  The question is how you do it. (More on this in a moment.)

The next step is to listen.  Listening can be hard.  The problem is that most of us have had some kind of trauma in our lives.  I’ve talked about communities as laboratories for social change.  After spending lots of time living in community, I’ve come to the realization of why social change doesn’t happen (and why communities don’t happen–or do briefly and then fall apart).  My insight was “We trigger each other.”

There are tools to deal with this, whole books written on processes that help with listening.  The difficulty usually lies in actually doing what the books recommend.  I am going to focus on Nonviolent Communication (NVC), not because it’s the only or best way, but because I’m very familiar with it.  NVC is a very useful tool to help with listening and building connection–but only if it’s done right.  I’ve heard criticism of NVC and it usually amounts to people doing what they think is NVC–but not understanding what Nonviolent (also called Compassionate) Communication really is.  If you are telling someone that they are not doing NVC correctly–or at all, you are not doing NVC.  NVC is not a tool to change another person’s behavior, it’s a tool to help you to understand someone else, to listen better.

The goal here is to actually listen to another person and to listen to them first.  I like Stephen Covey’s formulation: “Seek first to understand, then be understood.”  It doesn’t mean that you don’t get to put your viewpoint out.  It means you listen first and make sure that they feel understood, before you try to explain. This is when you can point out, gently, problems.

Listening is really difficult to do when you are being triggered. If you aren’t able to listen, don’t try to get your point across.  Instead, go find someone who can listen to you enough to let you have enough free attention to listen first.  There are lots of practices people engage in to do this (NVC empathy sessions, Re-evaluation Co-counseling, Active Listening, Focusing, etc.) and using any of these can be helpful, but really just finding someone who can listen can be very useful.  

This is one of the advantages of living in a community.  If a community is big enough, generally there’s someone and often several folks who are not triggered by whatever is going on.  That’s not to say that they don’t have triggers, but in a big enough group of folks, different folks will have different triggers.

If there isn’t anyone that’s not triggered, or if the situation is difficult enough, don’t be afraid to bring in outside mediators–someone who is truly neutral and can listen to all sides.

The final thing that I want to suggest in terms of building relationships to build community is that making a real commitment to the community and the people in it, makes a huge amount of difference.  When folks know that they can disagree, and disagree strongly, and it won’t destroy the relationships, it contributes to the longevity of the community.

Building relationships builds community.  I’m suggesting at least three steps that help build those relationships–being gentle with yourself and others, learning to listen and listen well, and making strong commitments to the community and the people in it.  Relationships are not the only part of community building, but they are the glue that holds a community together.

Built by Relationship

Communal Nomads

by Raven Glomus

Not all the folks in a commune stay put. There are some who go from community to community.  Let’s call them communal nomads.

I probably fit in that category, although I seldom think of myself that way.  I helped start two short-lived income sharing communities:  Common Threads (1995-2000) and Cotyledon (2017-2019).  I’ve lived at three Boston area cooperative houses,  visited Twin Oaks and Acorn enough times to make me a familiar face there, done a three week visit at Dancing Rabbit, and lived at Ganas for two and a half years.  I am now at Glomus Commune and while I would like to think that it might be my long term home and last move, I suspect that might not be true.

Me at Cotyledon, early winter 2017

I know several other folk who migrate from community to community.  Many of them, like me, are trying to find a community that fits, but there are also those who choose this as a lifestyle, not wanting to settle down in one place, preferring to sample a bit from one community and then enjoy how different things are at another.

Nomads definitely serve a function in the communal world.  They carry news from place to place and often bring ideas from other communities–and pass ideas from your community on.  Their contributions often live on after them.  I know that here I’ve heard people talking about how this nomad who was here for a while taught them this or built this thing we are using or, even, just telling stories about them and what they did while they were here.  They influence many communities and add lovely touches.

When someone comes here that has been to many communities, I will often ask them about the places that they’ve been and get some vicarious communal education through them.  I am grateful for these travelers and I know that others are as well.

It’s important to have folks that are long-term, stable members of a community but it’s also useful to have nomads travel through the communes and to enjoy them while they are with us and even have them to talk about after they’re gone.  I don’t talk about them often here on Commune Life, but I am certainly happy that they are in the community world–and, as I said, while I don’t think about it often, I still seem to be one.

The crew at Glomus Commune, spring 2020.  Anande is now at East Wind Community.

Communal Nomads

Come Hell or High Water

by Raven Glomus

The two previous book reviews this week (books on sustainable community and collaborative groups) focused on books written about how to do collaborations (including communes and communities) well.  Today I want to review a book about what not to do.  It’s called Come Hell or High Water and is subtitled “a handbook on collective process gone awry”.  It’s published by AK press–“one of the world’s largest and most productive anarchist publishing houses”–that also publishes a bunch of other interesting books (including adrienne maree brown’s book on Emergent Strategy which I based two blog posts here on).

As the cover illustrates, this is a funny, cynical book that has a bunch of cartoons illustrating some frustrating problems.  It also has a lot of hard won lessons about how all these wonderful processes that we talk about here and which other commune building guides extol can go terribly wrong.  It’s written by a couple of anarchists who believe strongly in “egalitarian collectives” but have seen the pitfalls in the process and have looked at ways that form what the authors term “predictable patterns” that can lead well-meaning groups to things like “hierarchy, mistrust, looking out only for oneself, and sometimes even underhanded scheming.”  

Although this is a modest sized book (and a quick read–127 small pages) Delfina Vannuchi and Richard Singer look carefully at issues like misusing consensus, how not to do power sharing, the difference between politeness and kindness, character assassinations and banning, justice and due process and free speech, and how vagueness can lead to authoritarianism.

I’ve seen reviews of this book that complain that this book is overly ‘pessimistic’.  However, I think that it provides a nice counterbalance to all the books on the wonderful things you can do with group process.  (See my two previous reviews this week.)  The cartoons are also a nice touch that makes the emphasis on problems easier to take.

The authors end the book with a section that they entitle “There’s hope” where they talk about how “Virtually all problems in collectives can be overcome by applying compassion, and by being thorough and even-handed in our thinking.”  Sounds lovely but not easy to do, especially when things are tough.  

Here’s the last paragraph in the book, which is a nice summary of their thinking:

“An egalitarian collective is meant to accept and incorporate differences and heterogeneity.  The task is to create a productive, relatively peaceful community out of all the different and sometimes contradictory personalities that form the group.  No collective will ever be a perfect picture of unity, but it doesn’t have to be.  A working collective is more like a crazy-quilt of disparate styles, all stitched up by a common thread.  Frayed edges and all, that’s what a functional egalitarian collective looks like.”

It’s a nice reminder for people living in or trying to build communes.

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Thanks for reading! This post was made possible by our patrons on Patreon. The Commune Life team works hard to bring you these stories about our lives in community, and that work couldn’t happen without support from our audience. So if you liked this article, and want to help us make more like it, head on over to https://www.patreon.com/communelife to join us! 

Deep gratitude to all of our patron communards:

Aaron Michels

Brenda Thompson

Cathy Loyd

Colby Baez

Heather

Janey Amend-Bombara

Jenn Morgan

Joseph A Klatt

Kai Koru

Kate McGuire

Kathleen Brooks

Lynette Shaw

Magda schonfeld

Michael Hobson

Montana Goodman

Nance & Jack Williford

NorthernSoul Truelove

Oesten Nelson

Peter Chinman

Raines Cohen

Sasha Daucus

Suzi Tortora

Tobin Moore

Twin Oaks

Warren Kunce

William Croft

William Kadish

William Scarborough

Thanks! 

Come Hell or High Water

The Empowerment Manual

by Raven Glomus

Starhawk is a witch and a political activist and a permaculture teacher and the author or co-author of thirteen books.  She has also lived in a collective household in the Bay Area for decades.  In 2011 she wrote The Empowerment Manual, which she subtitles “A Guide for Collaborative Groups”.

Starhawk

I think that this is an incredibly useful book.  While Starhawk points out that there are many different types of what she calls collaborative groups, which are any group of people who are working together for common goals that are decentralized and egalitarian, she definitely includes communities in the mix.  One theme through the book is a fictional story that she tells about “an imaginary cohousing community”.  She uses this story to illustrate many of her points.  Unfortunately, I think the story is one of the weaker point of the book (I think that it’s both hokey and a bit soap opera-ish)  although it does provide useful examples of what she’s talking about sometimes.

The Empowerment Manual has whole chapters on group vision, power and responsibility, communication and trust, “Leadership Roles for Leaderless Groups”, conflict, and, particularly useful, “Dealing with Difficult People”. Information is interspersed with exercises to practice or use what she talks about.  There are two tables of contents, the second labeled “Table of Questions and Exercises”, so you can easily find some of the more useful exercises.

Starhawk ends the book with a chapter focusing on “Groups that Work” so you can see actual examples of successful collaborations.  After looking at three such groups (a cooperative grocery store, the 1999 Seattle blockade, and her own Reclaiming collective) she finishes by listing what she calls ‘Lessons from Success’.  I think that the points that she makes here are so useful for communes and communities that I am going to quote a few paragraphs.  (Italics are in the original.)

Ideals and values are important; they are the guiding force that drives people to organize together and work together.  But groups that survive find ways to balance the ideal with the pragmatic needs of the moment.  They are flexible, rather than rigid, and accepting rather than judgemental.  They value diversity rather than orthodoxy, problem-solving over toeing a party line.

Successful groups balance unity with autonomy.  They have a bias toward freedom and impose the minimal structure necessary.  But they do have structure and often hold a unifying vision and set of core values.

Collaborative groups that last over time reinvent themselves periodically.  They may need to  change their structure, organization and ways of working as they grow and develop.  They are not static, but dynamic, not artifacts, but living organisms.”

I think that, not only anyone who wants to start a community, but anyone who thinks that their community has begun to stagnate, should read this book full of both good ideas and useful processes.

Next, so what could go wrong?  On Friday, a book that looks at that.

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Thanks for reading! This post was made possible by our patrons on Patreon. The Commune Life team works hard to bring you these stories about our lives in community, and that work couldn’t happen without support from our audience. So if you liked this article, and want to help us make more like it, head on over to https://www.patreon.com/communelife to join us! 

Deep gratitude to all of our patron communards:
 

  • Aaron Michels
  • Brenda Thompson
  • Cathy Loyd
  • Colby Baez
  • Heather
  • Janey Amend-Bombara
  • Jenn Morgan
  • Joseph A Klatt
  • Kai Koru
  • Kate McGuire
  • Kathleen Brooks
  • Lynette Shaw
  • Magda schonfeld
  • Michael Hobson
  • Montana Goodman
  • Nance & Jack Williford
  • NorthernSoul Truelove
  • Oesten Nelson
  • Peter Chinman
  • Raines Cohen
  • Sasha Daucus
  • Suzi Tortora
  • Tobin Moore
  • Twin Oaks
  • Warren Kunce
  • William Croft
  • William Kadish
  • William Scarborough

Thanks! 

The Empowerment Manual

Emotional Flossing: Personal growth, social hygiene, and being triggered the commune way

by Liv Scott

Illustrations by the author

“What is the biggest challenge of living on a commune?,” I asked when realizing that the regenerative farm I was spending my COVID days was just that. It was as much an icebreaker as it was a question to ease my nerves, as I was taught growing up to proceed with caution when it came to communes. I awaited the answer.

“We trigger each other.” It was so human and so true for moving through life, commune or not.

Without a car, in a pandemic, for five months, I was submerged into the small commune. What struck me most was the awareness of social hygiene of the community: the meetings to form a collective understanding of an individual’s growth and role within the whole. We certainly got on each other’s nerves, but we also held each other, bonded, and evolved as people together. 

Every human has baggage or “areas of improvement,” which we so often cannot recognize until a sudden disruption forces us to stop life, in order to see the pattern of ourselves. Our own pattern of responding when under a stressor ripples out affecting others. We trigger each other. Perhaps in the hectic pace of life we can, overtime, put our pattern together make it conscious and actively “work on it.” It takes time to see that pattern when interactions are brief and often shallow.

However, in the community, these ticks are apparent immediately, where we are constantly bumping up against people’s ups and downs of life. I saw how we quickly learned what each person needed on an emotional level during their ups and downs. It was remarkable to see how people got vulnerable and held each other through COVID anxieties, moods, disagreements, and mournings. Personally, I learned how to communicate my own emotional needs and to trust people in sharing my needs rather than bottling everything up until some idealistic romantic love comes along. I learned how to lean on and be held by others. I was flexing my emotional intelligence muscle.

All the emotional flossing, holding, trigger-induced growth on that small commune, I found beautiful. Yes, at times it was frustrating, but it was also special. It was how strangers coming together to live together can live, work, and build together. It is how basic needs of survival can be met, so the collective can be rooted in their ability to offer something outwards. 

This experience opened me up to a whole new way of thinking about the so-called emotional underbelly of human interactions – being triggered. We live in a traumatized and traumatizing culture, but safe collectives can be catalysts for our own self-awareness, emotional growth and trauma healing. I am grateful for my time living in a commune. Like any real challenge, it is where the true learning lies, so I am glad to have cast my caution aside, built relationships and experienced some healthy individual growth.

Emotional Flossing: Personal growth, social hygiene, and being triggered the commune way

East Wind Call Out

Sumner, former East Wind member, made this video requesting videos from current or former members for the East Wind YouTube Channel. Here’s his call in his own words:

Email = sumner@eastwind.community

Interview Information: I’m looking for honest and in depth interviews with members (anyone who at least completed a visitor period) of East Wind for posterity as well as records for those interested in East Wind or other income sharing communities to view. Willing to work with people and be flexible. I have done a number of in person interviews, but most likely all interviews going forward this winter will be online. You can see your interview before being it is published and have a say in how it is edited. You can set a minimum date to wait before publishing (if you are still active at EW, for example). If you don’t want it published, it won’t be published. I’m defaulting to having No Comments set for these interview videos, up to you if you want comments turned on.

Please reach out and we will work it out! sumner@eastwind.community

East Wind Call Out

Social Media: News or Control?

by Raven Glomus

I was thinking about Living Energy Farm’s rejection of Facebook and thought that I would begin the topic on our actual Facebook page with a question. Here’s what I wrote:

Yes, it’s a provocative, forced choice, but that’s what does well on Facebook. I was hoping for comments and I got a few. The first one was from me–I took the opportunity to explain my dilemma.

And several people did wrestle with the question. (Incidentally, for those not used to internet acronyms, YMMV stands for “Your Mileage May Vary”–meaning that this may affect different people in different ways.)

These are pictures from the Facebook feed, so don’t try to click on the links that Boone Wheeler sent.

Here are working links for these videos:

The War on Sensemaking V

The Social Dilemma

Social Media: News or Control?

Biting the Hand

by Raven Glomus

I often refer to Living Energy Farm as the research arm of the Virginia communes.  They have had some difficulty becoming a commune themselves (although they seem to be making some progress lately) but they know more than anyplace else that I know of about alternative technologies and ways to deal with climate realities.  They periodically publish a newsletter about all that they are up to and it is almost always worth reading from beginning to end.

A Biogas Digester from the August, September, October 2020 LEF Newsletter

Their most recent newsletter contained a section that I would like to reprint in full:

***

Ending the Use of Facebook

It has been clear for a while that the management of Facebook has reactionary leanings. It has become clear more recently that Facebook is using its very powerful platform to try to strangle alternative news media outlets while advancing racist organizations. A story about that issue is here  https://www.democracynow.org/2020/10/29/ari_berman_mother_jones_facebook_censorship

Living Energy Farm will be deleting our Facebook accounts shortly. Please communicate with us through other means. 

***

I never wanted to be on Facebook.  I was persuaded to help out with the Commune Life Facebook page, especially when I realized it was reaching many more folks than this blog.  This blog averages around 150 views per day, which doesn’t sound too bad, but the vast majority of them, day after day, are the same three posts:  “How to Start a Commune”, “Four Steps to Building a Commune”, and “So You Want to Start a Community”.  I get that people are interested in creating communities, but it’s frustrating to write stuff three times a week and see interest in the single digits–if that.  (Of course, I had forgotten that this blog has 110 ‘followers’, so there’s 110 people that see new material each day.)

On Facebook it’s different.  The statistics can fluctuate wildly, from fifty folks to over five hundred, depending on how the piece is written and how controversial the subject is–and whether there are animals in the pictures or, perhaps, dumpstered food, both of which get a lot of interest.  

One of my goals has been to reach folks that have never heard of income-sharing communities and may not have even realized that it’s something that’s possible, and Facebook is a way to do that.  Plus, there are other useful features (our community uses Facebook messenger to communicate with one another and we have to make a special effort to reach the one person that doesn’t use Facebook) and Facebook also owns Instagram which makes it easy to post in both places.

I don’t like Facebook.  I don’t like that we use a big corporate entity for our communication.  I don’t like their politics or their policies. (I can see why Living Energy Farm would want to leave them.)  I don’t like that they own Instagram and WhatsApp (which international visitors have used to communicate with me–and even one of my old communards used it when we discovered that for some reason our phones would often not be able to text each other).

But, right now, I am using Facebook (and I plan to reference this post on Facebook tomorrow) because I do want to reach people that I couldn’t otherwise reach.  I hate it but it’s useful and my priority is communication.  I want the world to know about communes, so I use Facebook, day after day after day.

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Thanks for reading! This post was made possible by our patrons on Patreon. The Commune Life team works hard to bring you these stories about our lives in community, and that work couldn’t happen without support from our audience. So if you liked this article, and want to help us make more like it, head on over to https://www.patreon.com/communelife to join us! 

Deep gratitude to all of our patron communards:
 

  • Aaron Michels
  • Brenda Thompson
  • Cathy Loyd
  • Colby Baez
  • Heather
  • Janey Amend-Bombara
  • Jenn Morgan
  • Joseph A Klatt
  • Kai Koru
  • Kate McGuire
  • Kathleen Brooks
  • Lynette Shaw
  • Magda schonfeld
  • Michael Hobson
  • Montana Goodman
  • Nance & Jack Williford
  • NorthernSoul Truelove
  • Oesten Nelson
  • Peter Chinman
  • Raines Cohen
  • Sasha Daucus
  • Suzi Tortora
  • Tobin Moore
  • Twin Oaks
  • Warren Kunce
  • William Croft
  • William Kadish
  • William Scarborough

Thanks! 

Biting the Hand

ic.org: A Review

by Raven Glomus

I said that I wanted to review stuff other than books this week.  So far I’ve reviewed an academic article and a deck of cards.  Today I want to look at a website: ic.org, the website of the Foundation for Intentional Communities (aka the FIC).  If you are interested in any type of community, from communes to cohousing, or any aspect of community living, this is an incredible resource.

The first and perhaps most important aspect of the website is the online Communities Directory.  (There is also a print version of The Communities Directory, published by the FIC.)  This is the best known and probably most utilized part of the website, but it is so important to know about, particularly if you are looking to join a community.  You can look up communities by location of country and state or province or you can look up communities by type (including ecovillages, cohousing, communes, co-ops–including student co-ops, and spiritual communities–including Jewish communities and Christian communities).  This is also an important resource if you already have a community and want to list it–particularly if you are looking for folks.

But I also want to point out some of the other resources that they offer–that even frequent users of ic.org (particularly for the Communities Directory) might not know about or think of. 

First of all, since I was reviewing books here a few weeks ago, the website has what used to be called the Communities Bookstore.  They offer all sorts of useful books including two sets of books culled from some of the best articles in Communities magazine: The Wisdom of Communities and The Best of Communities.  (The FIC used to publish Communities magazine until last year.  Unfortunately, they lost a lot of money.  Now the magazine is published by GEN-US –the Global Ecovillage Network – United States.)  Three of the books that I reviewed (the two by Diana Leafe Christian and The Token by Crystal Byrd Farmer) are featured–by links, because they are better purchased directly from the authors and the ic.org folks assist you in doing that.  But they also offer books on ecovillages, group facilitation, a book called The Encyclopedic Guide to American Intentional Communities, and, of course, The Communities Directory.  

Plus, beyond books, they have a section devoted to videos and virtual events.  And, perhaps best of all, they have a couple of pages listing ‘free resources’ that they offer.

They also have a store resource directory that organizes the resources by category, starting with Finding Community, Creating Community, and Living in Community, with several subcategories under each.

Plus,they have a list of classified ads (including from communities actively looking for folks), a list of events, and a section with ways to get more involved.  The Foundation for Intentional Communities that manages all this is still struggling financially, so (particularly if you are a frequent user) perhaps you should become a member and put in a little cash that way, or at least buy some of the books through their online store.  

This website is an amazing resource so if you are even slightly interested in communes or other communities, I think you should take advantage of it–and support the folks who are doing it.

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Thanks for reading! This post was made possible by our patrons on Patreon. The Commune Life team works hard to bring you these stories about our lives in community, and that work couldn’t happen without support from our audience. So if you liked this article, and want to help us make more like it, head on over to https://www.patreon.com/communelife to join us! 

Deep gratitude to all of our patron communards:
 

  • Aaron Michels
  • Brenda Thompson
  • Cathy Loyd
  • Colby Baez
  • Heather
  • Janey Amend-Bombara
  • Jenn Morgan
  • Joseph A Klatt
  • Kai Koru
  • Kate McGuire
  • Kathleen Brooks
  • Lynette Shaw
  • Magda schonfeld
  • Michael Hobson
  • Montana Goodman
  • Nance & Jack Williford
  • NorthernSoul Truelove
  • Oesten Nelson
  • Peter Chinman
  • Raines Cohen
  • Sasha Daucus
  • Suzi Tortora
  • Tobin Moore
  • Twin Oaks
  • Warren Kunce
  • William Croft
  • William Kadish
  • William Scarborough

Thanks! 

ic.org: A Review

group works: A Review

by Raven Glomus

I said that I would be reviewing things other than books this week and today I want to review a deck of cards.  

It sounds like this would have little to do with communes and communities, but this is not a deck of playing cards or tarot cards, this is a deck of what they call ‘pattern cards’.  Essentially, the Group Pattern Language Project compiled a workbook (which they call group works) for analyzing group processes (they describe it as “A Pattern Language for Bringing Life to Meetings and Other Gatherings”) but instead of putting it in book form, they published it as a deck of cards!

The deck is partly based (as is referenced in their description) of the idea of developing ‘pattern languages’, first popularized by Christopher Alexander and his cohorts in the book, A Pattern Language.  Each card describes what they see as a pattern that is useful to groups–what they refer to as “…the seeds of a more dynamic and effective group experience.”  An example is the card on ‘Commitment’, which reads: “A group dedicated to its work persists through obstacles, distractions, and lulls.  Remind yourself of your larger purpose and what you really care about.  As the group moves toward action, support effectiveness by getting clear on who will do what by when and how to ensure it really happens.”  Each card also has a list of the patterns (other cards) that it is related to, in this case:  “Closing ~ Purpose ~ Courageous Modeling ~ Honour Each Person ~ Setting Intention ~ Taking Responsibility ~ Shared Leadership and Roles”.

Putting these patterns on cards rather than pages actually has several advantages.  You don’t have to flip through pages and there is no particular order to the cards, so that you can organize them in whatever order you like.  You can group stuff together or just take out and look at the cards that you are particularly interested in or seem relevant to what you are doing.  You can use the list of related patterns to create something focused on your particular needs.  (I did actually try using the deck once for a tarot reading but that didn’t work out very well–of course, that wasn’t what the deck was designed to do!)

The deck also comes with two booklets, one on what the deck is all about and how to use it effectively, as well as a bit about each of the authors.  This serves as what would be an introduction if this was a standard work book.  The other booklet organizes the patterns into “Pattern Categories” showing which card goes in which category, gives a list of all 91 patterns (cards), and gives a “Key to the Cards”–looking at all the parts using an example.  The parts they list consist of the Pattern Title, the Pattern Image, a Photo Credit, the Pattern “Heart” (the description I listed above), a Category Icon which reflects which of the Pattern Categories the card belongs to, and Related Patterns (again, the list I cited above–also see the picture below).

There is more information available online, including pictures of the cards, a free pdf of all the cards, and information on how to order a deck for yourself. (It’s $35 to buy a deck.)  I’m not sure that this is the most important thing you could get for your community, but if you are really interested in group process–or thinking about how to have better meetings, a real need in many communes–you might well benefit from having a deck of these cards to consult with.

group works: A Review