The Commune Blog

The Breaking Point with Anasa Troutman

podcast Jun 04, 2020

What's different this time? Today, African-American community leader Anasa Troutman discusses race relations in America, and how the pandemic, unemployment, and systemic police brutality led to a breaking point. What does leadership look like in this moment? And amidst the suffering, is there hope?

To hear more from Anasa, you can also listen to her TEDTalk here: ...

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8 Minutes, 46 Seconds

commusings Jun 02, 2020

Each week Jeff has been writing a Sunday article called Commusings where we take a moment to think deeply on the topics of spirituality, philosophy and culture. Today, he shares the piece we published in the days after the murder of George Floyd.


It’s late Saturday night. There’s a curfew in place here in Los Angeles. Hours ago, police discharged rubber bullets and pepper spray at...

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From Commune to COVID Unit

the lab May 29, 2020

It’s easy to forget where Julia is going when she rolls out of bed at 5 in the morning and disappears into the sunrise. Birds chirp outside the yurt. I make tea. 

Meanwhile, my partner is preparing to rebreathe her own carbon dioxide all day under 3 layers of face protection in the COVID unit. 

In my world I do weird yogic hyperventilation, bake bread, and open my computer to...

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Sing Along to the Super Potato Song

the lab May 19, 2020
 

It’s 5pm and all the adults must now leave the yoga studio…

At a moment when global forces have wiped away all pretense of routine for Jeff and Schuyler’s two youngest daughters, they have created a small sacred ritual of their own here at Commune Topanga.

Every day 12-year-old Ondine teaches dance class to 10-year-old Micah, and together they choreograph elaborate recitals...

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On Death

commusings May 17, 2020
 

Though death is the only thing we are guaranteed in this life, the associated grief, loss and loneliness are human emotions we often tend to avoid. And our genetic makeup as a species is wired to keep us safe; steering us away from things that can cause us pain. However, COVID-19 has forced us to reckon with and squarely face death, in this lifetime, in ways in which we have never done before.

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What Do Beekeeping and Laser Hair Removal Have in Common?

the lab May 12, 2020

An idyllic beekeeping scene, moments before disaster...


It felt like a good time to finally let the new queens out of their cages. Sunday morning yoga complete and plenty of gardening ahead — but first, the queens. 

Eli the beekeeper pulled up in his truck and I donned my bee suit, covered from head to toe, minus the gloves. I’ve been apprenticing with Eli as he manages 12...

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Mothers: Crafting Beauty from Chaos

commusings May 10, 2020
 

In honor of Mother's Day, Women’s Health Week, and all of the women today, (and every day) who lead with love and endless grace, we bow. 

You recognize the value in the unique and interrelated. You are the holders of the sacred. Thank you for your leadership, your love, your endless grace, and for making life possible.

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How Commune Does Sourdough

the lab May 04, 2020

Here at Commune, we have not escaped the bread-baking bug, though we would have tested positive well before 2020. 

As millions of Americans turn to their ovens, they have been particularly drawn to sourdough — mixing flour, water, and salt not with a purchased yeast packet, but with a living, breathing sourdough starter.

Our starter comes from Schuyler’s mother, and like any...

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Take a Tour of Commune Yurt Living

the lab Apr 27, 2020
 
We were just finishing our first property visit of what is now Commune Topanga when the real estate agent said, “You know, there’s one more area I should show you, but it’s kind of overgrown.” 

We hadn’t even noticed the offshoot when we drove in — decades of sagebrush narrowed the dirt road to a thin trial, but we scratched our way uphill in...

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The New Frontier

commusings Apr 26, 2020
 

Fifty years after the first Earth Day, we find ourselves in a wicked paradox. While humans have fallen ill, Mother Nature has shown signs of emergent well-being. 

On the precipice of choices that will forever determine the course of our collective history, will we reckon with the ways in which we had been complacent in our daily lives that were inevitably stripped away, transmuted, and...

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