Lebensbogen –

meeting space for mindfulness and social transformation (and informations about ESC)

This page gives a summary of the key elements of our intentional community Lebensbogen. It describes the community, the networks we are part of and the location. Detailed translations into English for the subpages will follow.

The people who live and work at Lebensbogen are the basis of our community. Benevolent cooperation that comes from the heart is very important to us. Lebensbogen is a meeting place for all people who are striving for personal and socio-political transformation.

Topics such as climate change and sustainability, permaculture, the creation of peace and the question of what our contribution can be to the world are important to us. We do not tolerate racism, discrimination, violence, exploitation or world views and attitudes that belittle or dehumanise others.

The community decides by consensus, practices shared economy (of both time and money) and meets regularly for group retreats. Respectful communication and a culture of conflict resolution are important to us and we keep practicing them. We value personal exchange and the development of our community. We try to give this process as much time as possible and often invite experts to accompany our development. In addition to the topics mentioned above, we deal with our own limits and promote the potential for personal growth.

If there are difficult phases, we go through them together and we learn to master the challenges that arise from living with many people.

We run a conference center with around 80 beds and an organic café, both as collective businesses. In addition, our non-profit association Projekt-Lebensbogen e.V. organizes a wide variety of social, ecological and cultural events for all generations in order to actively contribute to social transformation. Supporting sustainable (climate) activism is a major focus of our work.

We are very open to new ideas and creative projects. We invite you to participate, have fun, be creative and interact.

17 adults and three children are currently living at Lebensbogen. We usually have one or two young volunteers from other European countries living and working with us for six to twelve months through the European Solidarity Corps (see link at the end of the page) and also welcome other helpers and guests with an interest in intentional communities.

We want the community to grow and would like to increase the diversity of our membership concerning age, ethnicity and different abilities.

There is room for at least 30 people and there is further potential for acquiring more living space.

The location

Our project is located in the middle of Germany, tto the northwest of Kassel. It is directly adjacent to a nature park and a natural reserve. Lebensbogen has four hectares of park land with a small piece of forest. There are three large buildings on the site comprising around 6,500 square meters of usable space. The buildings were originally built in the 1960s as a youth education center. They were also intended as a meeting space for people who want to enjoy nature. The Helfensteine, a natural rock formation right next to Lebensbogen are a place for relaxation, climbing and playing, sledding in winter and for enjoying a fantastic view. In earlier times there was a Celtic place of worship here. There are many hiking trails in the area that lead past our premises.

The town of Zierenberg is about 4 km away and can be reached by bus on weekends. There is also a local train station (Calden Fürstenwald) which you can reach by hiking through the forest for 35 minutes.

In Zierenberg there are shops, kindergartens, schools and a train station.

From both Calden and Zierenberg, Kassel can be reached in 20 minutes by regional train.

Our networks

Lebensbogen is part of various networks. One of them is “Interkomm”, a network of currently six intentional communities and communes in the Kassel area. In this local network we support each other and cooperate in joint projects. Another network we are a member of is “Kommuja”, a network of around 40 intentional communities from Germany and other German-speaking regions. All Kommuja groups try to approach their (political) utopias by living in a commune and do not see community as an end in itself. The groups are inspired by libertarian ideas, solidarity and social and ecological transformation. Our third network is Global Ecovillage Network (GEN), an association of ecovillages in Germany, Europe and worldwide. We are a member of GEN-Germany. This network organizes meetings, international conferences and also offers its own seminars in various communities.

In addition, Lebensbogen supports local groups and initiatives that focus on the climate crisis and campaign for systemic change.

Links: https://europa.eu/youth/solidarity/young-people/about_en

For further information in English concerning Lebensbogen please contact: mona.bricke@projekt-lebensbogen.de

European Solidarity Corps

Are you interested in living and working in a German Intentional Community for several months?

The European Solidarity Corps (ESC) enables young people between the age of 18 and 30 to be part of a project as a volunteer. This opportunity offers an inspiring and empowering experience, living and working as part of a comunity, enabling you to engage in various projects and areas of work.

For more information see: https://europa.eu/youth/solidarity/projects_en

Basic Information

Where? Lebensbogen Community near Kassel, Central Germany

What? Permaculture, Gardening and park maintenance,

Hospitality, Cooking and preparation of organic meals for

our seminar house and Café

When? 01. March – 31. October 2022

About Lebensbogen Community

We are a community of 18 people between the age of 9 and 70, living together, united in the goal to live a sustainable lifestyle in harmony with nature. We share skills and resources, implement renewable energy, practice organic gardening, and use principles of permaculture.

We have a collectively owned seminar house and a beautiful organic café where we sell tasty soups and homemade cakes among other things.

Requirements

  • Interest in sustainability and community living in a rural location (50 minutes from Kassel with public transport (train)

  • Openness to learn and meet new people

  • Motivation to work in the community (permaculture, garden, park, seminar house, café)

  • English or German Language skills (German language skills are welcome but not a requirement if you speak English)

  • The Willingness to learn or improve your German skills

Weekly working hours

You will be working 30 hours per week in total:

  • 13 hours permaculture, gardening and park maintenance

  • 10 hours seminar house and café (Hospitality and meal preparation)

  • 7 hours for a chosen project

Food and accommodation

We eat organic and mostly vegetarian and vegan food. When we eat together there is always a vegan option available. As a volunteer you have your own room with en-suite bathroom. You share the kitchen, living room, garden and other facilities with the community. We have cars that you can use (depending on your license). And there is a music studio and a yoga and meditation space that can be used by everyone.

Covered during ESC

Food and accommodation, health insurance and a monthly allowance of 150 Euros.

Placements

Placements for volunteers include helping develop and maintain our permaculture garden, maintaining our park, helping with the running of our seminar house for up to 100 guests during an event and the organic café, which is a meeting place for hikers and local tourists as well as seminar guests and community members.

olunteers will also be involved in working groups that visit us for a week, giving people who are interested to join our community the chance to experience community living. There will be opportunities to take part and help organise seminars run by members of the community on topics such as Intergenerational Learning, Sustainable Activism, Permaculture and Community Building.

Personal Projects

You are free to choose your own project, using your creativity and skills. The project should have either a direct link to sustainability or a clear solidarity aspect (e.g. working with children or young people from the surrounding villages). You can join an existing project at our community or in the region or start something new. It is a great opportunity to try something unrelated to your work experience and to expand your individual skills.

Social Life and Community Activities

The community has a lot of events and rituals which we welcome you to join and to get to know the people living with you. Birthday celebrations, dancing in the living room and spending time around the camp fire, yoga and mediation or evenings playing board games or table tennis are opportunities to participate in community life. You are welcome to join our weekly meetings and weekend intensive sessions where we deepen our connection with each other using various methods such as e.g. community building or deep ecology. You will have the opportunity to regularly reflect your experience and talk about problems with a support person in the community and with an outside mentor. The socially and culturally diverse city of Kassel is under an hour away.

Application

If you are interested in applying, please fill in the online survey: https://umfragen.siebenlinden.org/limesurvey/index.php/916543?newtest=Y&lang=en

​Questions? Please contact Jennifer Loll, our volunteer coordinator for ESC: kontakt@projekt-lebensbogen.de

Requirements

  • Interest in sustainability and community living in a rural location (50 minutes from Kassel with public transport (train)

  • Openness to learn and meet new people

  • Motivation to work in the community (permaculture, garden, park, seminar house, café)

  • English or German Language skills (German language skills are welcome but not a requirement if you speak English)

  • The Willingness to learn or improve your German skills

Weekly working hours

You will be working 30 hours per week in total:

  • 13 hours permaculture, gardening and park maintenance

  • 10 hours seminar house and café (Hospitality and meal preparation)

  • 7 hours for a chosen project

Food and accommodation

We eat organic and mostly vegetarian and vegan food. When we eat together there is always a vegan option available. As a volunteer you have your own room with en-suite bathroom. You share the kitchen, living room, garden and other facilities with the community. We have cars that you can use (depending on your license). And there is a music studio and a yoga and meditation space that can be used by everyone.

Covered during ESC

Food and accommodation, health insurance and a monthly allowance of 150 Euros.

Placements

Placements for volunteers include helping develop and maintain our permaculture garden, maintaining our park, helping with the running of our seminar house for up to 100 guests during an event and the organic café, which is a meeting place for hikers and local tourists as well as seminar guests and community members.

olunteers will also be involved in working groups that visit us for a week, giving people who are interested to join our community the chance to experience community living. There will be opportunities to take part and help organise seminars run by members of the community on topics such as Intergenerational Learning, Sustainable Activism, Permaculture and Community Building.

Personal Projects

You are free to choose your own project, using your creativity and skills. The project should have either a direct link to sustainability or a clear solidarity aspect (e.g. working with children or young people from the surrounding villages). You can join an existing project at our community or in the region or start something new. It is a great opportunity to try something unrelated to your work experience and to expand your individual skills.

Social Life and Community Activities

The community has a lot of events and rituals which we welcome you to join and to get to know the people living with you. Birthday celebrations, dancing in the living room and spending time around the camp fire, yoga and mediation or evenings playing board games or table tennis are opportunities to participate in community life. You are welcome to join our weekly meetings and weekend intensive sessions where we deepen our connection with each other using various methods such as e.g. community building or deep ecology. You will have the opportunity to regularly reflect your experience and talk about problems with a support person in the community and with an outside mentor. The socially and culturally diverse city of Kassel is under an hour away.

Application

If you are interested in applying, please fill in the online survey: https://umfragen.siebenlinden.org/limesurvey/index.php/916543?newtest=Y&lang=en

​Questions? Please contact Jennifer Loll, our volunteer coordinator for ESC: kontakt@projekt-lebensbogen.de