The Goal: Love the world through loving oneself


Many visionaries and activists struggle to create inner peace for themselves or to be fully present with their intimates.  At Chrysalis, we encourage each person to be fully in the moment, responsible for their own feelings and happiness, and able to communicate effectively and lovingly.


Sarah, a resident, put it this way: A key insight for us is that difficult emotional issues that arise in everyday life are opportunities for personal growth. The internal conflicts must be resolved before the external stresses can be dealt with. This means that the person with the feelings is the person with the power the power to look inside, learn and grow.  Intimate relationships are the crucible in which people can heal themselves, find joy with each other, and look outward with hope and energy to transforming the larger world.


Chrysalis encourages members to follow their own vision in the context of a creative, supportive community. There is no hierarchy; each person is completely independent, and any given task will usually find willing volunteers. One of the men is writing a magazine article, a woman volunteers to edit it, and a third person contributes critical information.  A woman is planning a weekend workshop, another offers to lead the opening circle, and one of the men mentions that he is going shopping is there anything she needs?  Michael points out that this ongoing cross-pollination of ideas, talents, and energy takes us to a higher and more productive level.


The People


Currently there are eight adult residents and two shorter-term guests who are involved with culture change, conflict resolution, social enterprise, environmental issues, and social justice.  Non-residents are also an important part of Chrysalis.  Chrysalis is inspired by the New Culture movement (www.cfnc.org, www.new-culture.org), and sees community as defined by heart connections rather than by geographic proximity. While some intentional communities tend to be insular, we are more like the ancestral homestead of a large and scattered extended family. 


The Facilities


Chrysalis has two houses side-by-side in a wooded suburban setting about 10 minutes drive from DC.  The houses can handle eight to ten permanent residents comfortably, with plenty of room for office and studio spaces. The large common rooms, which can accommodate up to 40 people, can be used for meetings, jam sessions, concerts, and more.


The back yard is a welcoming space, with a patio, hammock, and trampoline. The houses front on a large park, with miles of bike and hiking trails and unspoiled nature, as well as formal gardens, tennis and basketball courts, and playing fields.


Acoustic music and singing are part of life at Chrysalis. There are guitars, keyboards, dulcimers, violins, djembes, dumbeks, songbooks, and simple instruments that anyone can play.  Many other shared resources are at hand, including shop tools, audio, video and PA equipment, ultra-high-speed internet access, and a wide range of computer and communication technologies.


For larger events, we also own a retreat center in West Virginia with extensive facilities that can accommodate up to 200 people.


Chrysalis: a resource


Chrysalis is a place for activists who are as open to changing themselves as they are dedicated to changing the world. We are less concerned with longevity than with the strength of connection that each resident can bring, whether they are here for a day or a decade. Workshops and other activities happen regularly; ask for information on what events are currently planned.  Chrysalis wants to see these facilities used in ways that help heal individuals, society, and the Earth.  We welcome visitors, especially at New Culture events where the experience of extended community is so rich.




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