HELLO! We invite you to explore the resources and links posted here. For information about Transition Mar Vista/Venice's events, please check (and like!) our Facebook page:
Westside Produce Exchange: One Saturday per month
To join and find out the date of the next exchange,
The Guerrila Gardener
Our friends at the Argonaut spotlight Sunshine Partnerships
and other urban farmers
Urgent Gardening: A Citizen Yogi's Call to Action
The Argonaut profiles Swami Omkarananda
A New Parkway Vision for Culver City
Transition Culver City members mobilize to produce a compelling film
about sustainable alternatives to wasteful grass parkways
Oneness Media Wins Best Healthy Cities Short Film Award
The New Urban Film Festival recognizes Stephon Litwinczuk's documentary
Community Gift Circle
The gift economy is an attempt to shift the market paradigm and consciously practice basic generosity and an ability to receive gracefully. This is not an exchange of goods and services, although it may well include that activity.
Giving and receiving are central to all our lives. From the moment our mothers “give” birth to us, we are fed and tended and loved, without paying for this service. We accept the “gift” of language from our parents with the same openness with which all humans receive the gifts of nature. We do not pay for the sun, the stars, the winds, the rain, the trees, nor do we feel guilty for their bounty. In spite of this, our economic systems have grown to own the gifts of nature, and now our thinking is influenced by market principles, extending to how we conduct our relationships. Even so we all have the experience of how good it feels to contribute to each other’s lives.
Even in this culture dominated by market thinking, here are some ways the gift economy is being practiced: blood banks, organ donations, rescuing animals, community gardens, crossing guards, feeding birds, mentoring, birthday celebrations, giving someone a ride, couch surfing, rainbow gatherings, wikipedia, volunteerism and activism of all kinds. We nurture each other with our attention, our listening, our speaking. How much of life as we know it would grind to a halt if we stopped giving and receiving, but do you ever read about that in the news?
Principles of a Gift Circle Practice:
• Come prepared to share a gift and a story of giving and receiving something meaningful to you. You can bring a favorite book, a piece of clothing you are ready to part with, a special food you prepared or potted plant you grew, a skill you are willing to offer, anything from the heart.
• We will sit in a circle, and speak and listen with heart-felt attention, using a talking stick to create a structure of respect.
• We will say something about what the particular gift we bring today means to us.
• As a group we will receive the gifts so offered. If there are no receivers, we will see if we know others for whom a particular gift is appropriate.
• After the circle is complete, there will be a discussion of process and feedback so we can evolve and flourish our practice.Starting a gift circle in an area is a great way to begin the process to develop the social capital—networks of trust, people willing to help each other—with which you can then open-source community projects. Together we can do way more than we can imagine by ourselves.
Link to a report on our first Giving Circle 3/24/2012
Sacred Economy by Charles Eisenstein (many chapters online here)
About the Gift Economy by Janelle Orsi
How to Start a Gift Circle
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center
13325 Beach Avanue
Marina del Rey, CA 90292