Lotus Lodge Inn, Community & Retreat Center

Stay Short or Long-term in our Unique Shared House Community!

[[**In Stories on menu, read about how a crew from CBS came to Lotus Lodge to film four of us "Golden Girls" living here that aired March 2, 2011 on the CBS Early Show. Note - we do have men and residents of various ages, from 20s to 60s. Link to the 3.5 min video: http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/real-life-golden-girls-find-group-living-works-best/]]

Stay at Lotus Lodge long or short term
Interested in staying in a healthy, friendly environment while visiting Asheville? Located in semi-rural Candler yet just 12-15min to heart of downtown Asheville, NC.

At times we have one room to rent by the night that includes full access to the kitchen, bath & gathering room, as well as high-speed wireless internet, for just $60/night (two night minimum). Please email for availability: gayatri dot erlandson at gmail.

NOTE: Both long- and short-terms rooms open up intermittently, so please contact us and ask, if interested.

Overview of Lotus Lodge
Founded in 2004, Lotus Lodge is one of the first Shared House Communities in the Asheville area, and one of very few that can holds more than 5 residents. Thus there is a feeling of autonomy and privacy much greater than if there were just 2-3 people. Seems counter-intuitive but true.

On about .7 acre of land – with organic gardens and big trees (and a trout stream close by with walking path), the 2-story building is a 4400 square foot, two-story, 1915-vintage triplex. With a total of 9 bedrooms, 3 kitchens, 3 dining rooms and 4 bathrooms, each person has their own room and share’s their immediate space with just 1 or 2 others.

Our gathering room is large enough to hold classes or events for up to about 35 people, and we have had several over the years - offered by residents, locals and a few notables. Once a month (on the 4th Sunday, 6pm) we host a Potluck-Presentation-Discussion Meetup called the Community Network Gathering. If interested, see link below.

Usually, however, the gathering room is used by residents to sit, have a movie night or share some game or conversation. In addition, we have a library, outdoor porch, patio, garden area, yard and fire pit that we share. Toward living sustainably, our gardens are organic and we have rain barrels to water them, and clotheslines - used year 'round.

Interested in Joining Our Community? Our History
Lotus Lodge was founded as an intentional community with the intention of being a living laboratory for personal development. For the first several years, residents actively learned about (read some books together), co-created, practiced and shared what we thought it meant to live within a "paradigm of Oneness." It was richly engaging and rewarding.

Everyone endeavored to communicate "consciously" as a powerful creator (based on the belief that what we think and speak tends to get manifested), and to "own" and transform personal “buttons” rather than play victim on a drama triangle. I mention this because this approach to life and living together is still alive and well for me, Gaya, owner of the property and primary person in the selection of new residents.

In recent years, this active focus has given way to being a group of compatible, progressive and co-creative but quite autonomous individuals. Like then, everyone is encouraged to know and negotiate for what is wanted - to be authentic, and to develop skills accordingly.

Challenges or conflict between people (actually rare), still are seen as “obstitunities” (coined by Liz, a former long-term member) for personal clearing, connecting, and expansion of skills and awareness. Personal growth and responsibility ("response-ability") are highly honored and interactions between people seen as good practice rather than problems to avoid.

Self-responsibility Wins
On the surface, all of this translates to residents having lots of autonomy to explore their own personal expression, and a good measure of ease. Everyone has his or her own room, own food, own refrigerator space and own cupboard space. Each person chooses when and how often they want to interact with others. Anyone at any time can initiate a group dinner, movie night or some other social activity, or head up some project – such as gardening, starting a business or building something together. We have a lot of fun.

Beneath the surface, Lotus Lodge continues to be a place of great personal learning. Each person is seen as responsible for his or her own happiness and to take the opportunity here to learn how better to negotiate for what is wanted. We all can get better, and I believe we do that best within the context of supportive relationships.

By in large, there has always been a lot of camaraderie and good humor at Lotus Lodge. And there’s been great diversity over the years. The people who do well generally are high functioning in terms of their ability to communicate relationally and have a healthy sense of self-esteem, so there's little need to play victim or belittle others. Several times people who left Lotus Lodge because they moved out of the area, returned to live here again - which I would say is a testament to the fact that they liked living here!

The house itself is well built and there's considerable audio privacy throughout. Generally, everyone is fairly quiet too. No one has a TV set or cable, but some watch movies on their laptops (and use headphones) or - if several are interested, we watch movies or TED Talks, etc. together on the big flat screen in the gathering room.

The community (who ever is available) gets together for a shared meal perhaps once a week - usually on a Sunday. Instead of it being a potluck with people sharing their food with others, often each person brings their own plate of food. This works really well - as some are vegan, some vegetarian, some gluten free, etc. We call this easy way of having mealtime together BYOD for, Bring Your Own Dinner, and it's a lot of fun!

Everyone is expected to share in the cleaning of their immediate area (within their apartment) by agreement with their housemate(s) and to contribute to the maintenance of the other common areas - which involves maybe 1 hour a week. The latter may be sweeping/mopping the porch or stairs, wiping down the washing machine, helping with light yard work, or rolling the Waste Pro bins out to the street. Contributing to the garden also is welcomed for those who want to harvest from it.

The long-term residents we prefer
We welcome people who are fun and easy to be around (i.e. flexible, upbeat and who communicate well), who value living healthy (organic food, meditation, perhaps yoga, living sustainably as much as possible - including hanging your clothes outside, etc.), and who enjoy participating in intermittent group activities such as gardening, meals, good conversation and willing to take the initiative when they want something.

Being a respectful and tidy person (including washing all dishes and putting them up after each use) is extremely important!

We especially welcome people who value living in a community environment and who feel inspired to join us for a long time. Part of our long-term vision is to offer the opportunity to buy into the community via co-operative ownership after living here for at least a year.

**If interested in long-term rental, please EMAIL A REQUEST FOR our questionnaire! Send to gayatri dot erlandson at gmail. Please also put “Lotus Lodge – request for questionnaire” in the subject bar.

If you don’t hear back within a day please email your request again and sometimes emails get lost or buried among many.

Note: No pets and no illegal drugs. We do not have work in trade for living space. A great way to visit is to come to our monthly (the 2nd Sunday @ 6pm) potluck meetups (link: http://www.meetup.com/Community-Network-Gathering/events/213260672/?a=ce...) or stay a few nights via a short-term rental for the reduced rate of $50/night. See directions below.

Current Residents
Generally, we endeavor to have about half women and half men. The age ranges from 20s to 70s (currently 40s-70s). When I figure out how, I'll post some pictures - of both the residents and the space. There are several pics on our Craig's List ad, including of the bunch of us just this past May (2015) when we all were wearing crazy hats during a dinner birthday gathering.

Generally the group tends toward being fairly well educated but are down to earth, friendly, respectful and supportive. We also like good conversation when together (often in smaller groups of 3-4), though not so much into constant idle chatter, and we love to laugh.

While food intake varies widely, all tend toward organic, healthy food. Some drink wine, beer and coffee, most drink tea most of the time. People's religious backgrounds also vary, with a tendency toward a more spiritual approach that emphasizes personal responsibility and the embodiment of common values such as kindness and compassion. No one tries to push their preferences onto others in any area.

Some of the classes I (Gaya Erlandson) teach include: Conscious Communication, Conscious Co-Creation, Awakening the StoryMaker, ‘The Work’ of Byron Katie and more recently teach Sociocracy (aka Dynamic Self Governance). I also am a long time student of “Co-Creative Science” as taught by Machaelle Wright of Perelandra (Perelandra-ltd.com) and the teachings of Abraham-Hicks, Goddard Neville and others.


Directions to Lotus Lodge:

Address is: 11 Old Candler Town Road, Candler, NC 28715

From Asheville, get onto 240 West, which curves to the right (exit #31) just after you cross the bridge, going west toward Canton & Knoxville - and dumps you onto I-40 West.

Once on I-40, stay in right lane - go about 1 mile &
Take the next exit (#44),
Turn RIGHT at the bottom of the ramp, onto 19/23 (Smoky Mtn. Pkwy). Go 3 miles.

Turn LEFT onto 151 South/Pisgah Hwy @ a light - (just before a Bo Jangles on the right).
Go 1/2 mile down 151.

Turn RIGHT @ first LIGHT (says Queen Rd. on left - no sign on right)
Go about 1 block and turn Right again at first street, then an immediate right again, going up the asphalt drive where you can angle park to the right. Please park close to any existing parked cars so more can park there.

You’ll see an old barn and two white buildings with blue trim. Ours is the large building. Knock (or ring doorbell) on left/1st of 3 doors - which goes into the downstairs kitchen.

Our 30 lb, Terrier-mix dog named "Baby" likely will bark at you but she is harmless. She's our "doggy doorbell" and will alert me when you are here. Call if you need assistance!

Looking forward to seeing you!

Rev. Gaya (aka Gayatri) Erlandson, PhD
managing editor of this site,
Founder of Lotus Lodge
Email: gayatri dot erlandson at gmail