Lotus Lodge Inn, Community & Retreat Center

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

***NOTICE: Room opening up for long-term rental on Nov. 1st! $480/month + share of electricity. See below.***

[[**In Stories on menu, read about how a crew from CBS came to Lotus Lodge to film four of us "Golden Girls" living here (we do have men and residents starting in their 20s) that aired March 2, 2011 on the CBS Early Show. 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 by the night or week
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.

We are a small shared house community of 9 adults who are progressive, friendly and into sustainable, healthy living. You can rent a room by the night and have full access to the kitchen, bath & dining room, as well as high-speed wireless internet, for just $60/night (two night minimum). Please call for availability: 828-581-9036.

NOTE: 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.

On about .7 acre of land – with organic gardens and big trees (and a trout stream close by), 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 25 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 in possibly attending, please go to: http://www.meetup.com/Community-Network-Gathering/events/213260672/?a=ce...

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

Interested in Joining Our Community?
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, co-created, practiced and shared with each other 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 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, without much reference to any books or shared teachings. Surprisingly, it is the day-to-day communications that can be the peskiest and offer the greatest learning opportunities, such as cleaning issues.

Challenge in communicating authentically and conflict between people (actually rare), however, still are seen (by me and some of the others) 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.

On the surface, all of this translates to residents having lots of autonomy. 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, 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. About half those that live here work half or full time and so it’s quite easy to get plenty of alone time.

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!

Repeated complaining however, especially that which has significant harshness, negativity, and blame is seen as reflecting the person’s low skill level at communicating with others emotionally and perhaps their unwillingness to take personal responsibility. Very rarely has a person been asked to leave Lotus Lodge. Most have proven to be a good fit.

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, quite self-reliant or self contained, and have a healthy sense of self-esteem. Two lived here before and returned after a year or more absence (had moved out of the area), which I would say is a testament to their goodness of fit - and to the fact that they liked living here.

***Room Available Nov. 1 for long-term rental, 6-month minimum!***
This room is fairly large, about 13 x 17' and has 3 good-sized windows plus a fireplace (gas, but doesn't work). It's on the first floor, next to the library (in the foyer), and just off the front porch with porch swing, chairs and tables. Room is carpeted, has a bed, night stand and full desk, and you can decorate the rest how you choose. Deposit is $200 (refundable after last electric bills paid and proper cleaning done) and then the new resident will pay by the 1st of each month.

There are 4 people (including the new person) who live on the first floor. Two (myself and David) live on the east end and have our own bathroom, and the other two (the new resident and a 3rd-year med student in his mid 20s) share a separate, larger bathroom that others/the public use when they visit - quite intermittently.

All 4 of us use the same kitchen and the large gathering room is on this floor, just off our kitchen. Usually everyone gathers in this kitchen or the gathering room when we have community-wide dinners or events. Everyone has their own food, food cupboard space and refrigerator space, though we may share if so desire.

The larger group 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 plate of food for themselves. This works really well - as some are vegan, some vegetarian, some eat most any thing and one leans toward being a raw foodist. We call this easy way of having a meal together BYOD for, Bring Your Own Dinner.

Everyone is expected to share in the cleaning of their immediate area (one of the 3 apartments) by agreement with their housemates, and to contribute to the maintenance of the common areas. The latter may involve sweeping the porch or stairs, for example, or taking a turn at rolling the Waste Pro bins out to the street each week. Contributing to the garden also is welcomed for those who want to harvest from it. We're growing some greens over the winter now!

The long-term residents we prefer
We welcome people who are fun and easy to be around (i.e. flexible and communicate well), who value living healthy, happy lives (organic food, meditation, perhaps yoga, living sustainably as much as possible, etc.), and who also enjoy participating in activities such as gardening, intermittent meals, good conversation and are willing to take the initiative. Being a tidy person, willing to do their share of the cleaning (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. Part of our vision is to offer the opportunity to buy into the community via co-operative ownership.

**If interested in long-term rental, please request an application!
Please send an email that includes 1) your phone number, 2) some good times to call you and, 3) the time frame you would like to move into Lotus Lodge - to: cocreating at charter. net. Please also put “Lotus Lodge – request for long-term rental application” in the subject bar.

Then also call me - Gaya at 828-581-9036 to alert me to your email (as emails can get lost). Once we review this information, we will call you (usually within 3-4 days). If you don’t hear back, feel free to call again. Sometimes life is quite busy around Lotus Lodge!

Note: No pets (tho possible exceptions) or smoking please, and no illegal drugs. We do not have work in trade for living space (tho possible exception there too). A great way to visit is to come to one of our monthly potluck meetups or stay with us a few nights via a short-term rental. See info above for both of these and directions below.

Current Residents
I just decided to include this today (10/30/14) so will add much more later on all the people here.

Generally, we endeavor to have about half women and half men and often there has been more women than men. Currently, however, there are just 3 women and 5 men. The age ranges from the mid 20s to early 60s. When I figure out how, I'll post some pictures, of both the residents and the space.

Generally the group tends toward being fairly well educated. All of us at least some college and 5 of us have a master's degrees or above. All are friendly, respectful, often doing their own thing but like good conversation when together (often in smaller groups of 3-4) and good humor.

While some of us drink wine, beer and coffee, most drink tea most of the time. While food intake varies widely, as indicated, all tend toward organic, healthy food. 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.

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Directions to Lotus Lodge:

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

From Asheville, get onto I-40 West & stay in right lane
Take the next exit (#44),
turn RIGHT at the bottom of the ramp, onto 19/23 (Smoky Mtn. Pkwy). Go 3 miles.

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

Turn RIGHT @ first LIGHT (says Queen Rd. on left)
Go about 1 block (see small yellow sign) and turn Right, then an immediate right again, going up the asphalt road where you can angle park on 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. Go into 1st of 3 doors which has a sign saying “Welcome!”

Call if you need assistance!

Namaste,
Rev. Gaya (aka Gayatri) Erlandson, PhD
managing editor of this site,
Founder of Lotus Lodge
(828) 581-9036