Visit to As One Network (アズワンネットワークを訪問して)

Over 3 days during the “Golden Week” in Japan, we, as a family, visited and toured an intentional community/eco village called As One Network in Suzuka-city of Mie Prefecture. As One Network started its foundational activities including SCIENZ (Scientific Investigation of Essential Nature plus ZERO) School  in 2000 and during the last 22 years, the network has created a lunch box business, farming, research group, SCIENZ Academy, connected with and expanded to Brazil and Korea. It has registered and offer courses as GEN (Global Ecovillage Network) since 2014. 

What distinguishes this community from many others that I’m aware of from research is definitely the integration of SCIENZ method. The community members are first encouraged (not required, I think) to go thru the program at their pace and learn to investigate and discover their own essential nature constantly. From this intention, they interact and communicate with others who are also interested in doing the same.  While meeting many of the community members, it was very apparent that they are always processing their thought in the moment to see if it is aligned with their essential nature or zero before verbalizing it. 

I can’t remember when I became interested in becoming an integral part of a community. I have always felt that I belonged to a community or several communities, be it a family I was born into, neighborhood, several families that I moved into (as a student living with a few different host families, and during the first marriage with my then husband’s family), and as a student at various schools and employee at various jobs. 

I became more interested in consciously and intentionally creating my own community of “like-minded people” or of people with similar values when I opened an acupuncture clinic and a yoga studio.  While I always enjoyed connecting with people with different values and backgrounds, when it came to living and interacting with people on the more daily, frequent basis, I wanted to be with and around those with very similar core value systems. It just felt much easier, fun, comfortable and harmonious that way. During the last 4 years living in Texas, Victor and I also found a spiritual community called Agape, where we connected with many people with similar value systems. 

What As One Network community offered us was this type of intentional community with similar value systems. It just felt good to connect with people whose values are based on the exploration of essential human nature. I truly believe and realize that we are living on this planet to have variety of physical experiences in order to uncover or discover our true spiritual nature that we have been gifted and been born with. As we discover our true essential spiritual nature and align with it, we always feel harmonious and peaceful inside our hearts. 

The name “As One” comes from John Lennon’s song, Imagine, the last line “the world will live AS ONE”. 

The world peace and living as one can not be achieved unless we are living in peace, harmonious, at ease, and as one inside of each of us. This community is created with people who are working, studying and exploring what our true essential nature (Zero) is. How can we be aligned with our own Zero and live As One with others? At SCIENZ School and with its programs, each person is first responsible for their own discovery of Zero and then learn to interact with others from the place of this alignment. This community is essentially a kind of lab experiment to plant the seed of individual and collective awareness and possibility in people to live life As One planetary community. 

Japan is a land of heavy group consciousness and conformity. The phrase “a nail that sticks out gets pounded” perfectly and literally describes the pervasive culture. As I was growing up in Japan, it became more and more uncomfortable for me to conform to these collective behaviors and rules and I was a minor rebel by high school. But luckily for me, I was able to create an opportunity to move to the U.S. at 17 where I felt that I would be much more free and not have to conform to things that did not make much sense to me. Over the next 30 years, I lived pretty much “cage-free”, where I was able to free flow to where I felt most inspirational, joyful and fun without the resistance from others and society at large. 

Japan is definitely not an easy place to live cage-free just yet. But I also know that there are many good values one can learn only from being here such as respect for each other, things, kindness, safety, cleanliness, etc etc. I realize that cultivating our children in Japan is optional. But for now, As One is the type of community in which I would like to experience growth for myself and for our children where they can learn and grow in the home-schooling type environment and in a small group setting with no set curriculum. What’s more important is that they are with the care takers who are like family members who are also discovering their essential nature – because I know that kids can learn more freely what and when they want to learn from their own perspective when there is no have-to’s, should’s or requirements placed upon them. 

I will be going back to the community to attend their one week seminar/workshops next month. Looking forward to learning, discovering myself and connecting more with the community! 

ゴールデンウィークの3日間、私たち家族は、三重県鈴鹿市にあるアズワンネットワークというインテンショナルコミュニティ/エコビレッジを訪問し、見学してきました。アズワンネットワークは、2000年にSCIENZ(Scientific Investigation of Essential Nature plus ZERO)スクールなどの基礎活動を開始し、この22年間で、弁当屋さん、農業、研究グループ、SCIENZアカデミー、ブラジルや韓国との接続と拡大を実現しています。2014年からはGEN(Global Ecovillage Network)として登録し、講座を開催しています。

私が知る限り、このコミュニティが他の多くのコミュニティと異なるのは、間違いなくSCIENZメソッドを統合している点です。コミュニティメンバーはまず、自分のペースでプログラムを進め、自分自身の本質を常に探究し、発見することを学びます(必須ではないと思います)。そして、その意図のもとに、同じようなことに関心を持つ人たちと交流し、コミュニケーションをとっていくのです。 訪問中多くのコミュニティの方々とお会いする中で、彼らは常に自分の思考が自分の本質と合致しているか、ゼロかどうかを瞬時に判断し、言語化していることがとてもよく感じられました。


そして、鍼灸院とヨガスタジオを開業したのをきっかけに、「同じ志を持つ人たち」「同じ価値観を持つ人たち」のコミュニティを意識的・意図的に作ることに興味を持つようになりました。 もともと、異なる価値観や背景を持つ人たちとつながることは好きでしたが、日常的に人と接するとなると、同じような価値観を持つ人たちと一緒に暮らしたい、一緒にいたいと思うようになったのです。その方がずっと簡単で、楽しくて、快適で、調和がとれていると感じたからです。テキサスでの最後の4年間、ビクターと私はアガペというスピリチュアルコミュニティにも出会い、そこで同じような価値観を持つ多くの人たちとつながりました。


As Oneという名前は、ジョン・レノンの歌「イマジン」の最後の一節「the world will live AS ONE」に由来しています。





『血縁を超える自給自足の大家族』を読んで(Review of a Japanese Book “A Large Self-Sufficient Family That Transcends Blood Relations”)




















My first impression was that the Konohana family is exactly the kind of utopian world I’ve been looking for for a long time.

I can see and feel that we are now approaching the climax of a generation that has been defined by separation from one another and isolation from nature for various reasons.

On the one hand, I feel sadness and despair, but on the other hand, my optimistic self can also sense the possibility that this will become fertilizer for the birth of a world like the beautiful lotus flower.

Humanity exists in and depends on the universe, and the universe exists in each and every one of us.

People are a part of nature, and just as nature exists in a cycle of mutual help, humans cannot live without dependence, cooperation, and collaboration with each other and with nature. 

Japan is an economically advanced country. Yet, many people are suffering from loneliness, depression, and suicide.

Because Japan is an advanced country, the focus is still on the material society, and the contradictions and differences in spirit, or “Cognitive Dissonance”, are being solved by material and temporary liberation, and it is gradually becoming unsustainable.

In 1994, the Konohana family began living together as a group in Japan, at the foot of the beautiful Mt. Fuji. 

The small community that came together as farmers now consists of nearly 100 people living together, focusing on organic farming based on carbon cycle agriculture. The farmland is rented from a neighboring property that has fallen into disrepair and is no longer in use.

What sets the Konohana family apart from other ecovillages, intentional and spiritual communities that I know of, to a lesser extent, is the nightly family meeting.

In this meeting, they discuss daily events, work, etc., and face and solve the mental distortions and conflicts that arise from the events of their life together with love and encouragement.

In an environment where there are no secrets and no hierarchy, the members open up to each other and gradually refine their skills.

In my mind, this is exactly the kind of discipline we should be practicing every day. 

I myself feel the importance and difficulty of communication with my family and people around me every day.

The main cause of this difficulty is how we talk to ourselves within.

I believe that if we become aware of this as soon as possible and start the process of making positive changes in ourselves, we will be able to communicate with others from a place of love.

I believe that improving and cleaning our mind starts from there, within ourselves.

In the Konohana family, people live together based on self introspection and soul growth while incorporating various methods in their daily lives.

Concepts such as the Konohana family have been attracting a lot of attention in the past 10-15 years, but I think this model community is going to take off at a much faster pace around the world.

My biggest hope is that I will be able to contribute and be a part of it in some way.