Maitri House is a family-inclusive urban intentional community in Takoma Park, Maryland, founded in 2008. One of our core aims as a community is to live out compassion in our interpersonal relationships and in our participation in the wider world. Internally, we practice compassionate communication and share our time, energy, and feelings to develop our relationships. Externally, we work to make socially responsible decisions, minimize our environmental footprint, and support activism that dismantles oppression and promotes a more peaceful and just world. Daily, we experience the joys and challenges of living in community.
Name: We chose the name Maitri because it reminds us of how we are actively trying to be in the world. Maitri is a term from the historic language Sanskrit that is often translated into English as loving-kindness, unconditional friendliness, or as holding true love to one’s self and others. This is not how we claim to be in the world, it is a calling to move in that direction.
Location: Our house is located just a few blocks from the Takoma Park Historic District which features a food co-op, restaurants, a year-round farmer’s market, and the Takoma Metro Station (a 0.8 mile walk). We’re also walking distance to the library, community center, Sligo Creek Park, Liz Lerman dance exchange, and playgrounds. The house is a four-story, brick building with 12 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms and much common space to share. It features garden plots and fruit trees for home-grown food, outdoors swings, a bee hive, a large bike and tool shed, a giant clothesline, and a spacious balcony for outdoor lounging and sleeping under the stars.
Co-ownership model: We have developed a co-ownership model that makes it possible to buy-in or develop equity over time in the legal entity that owns the building. The Sustainable Economies Law Center has created a case study of our model. We invite others to freely make use of our model if it seems suitable.
Values and Decision-making: We use a values-based consensus approach to group decision making. Community members have the opportunity to be involved in decisions that will affect them or the house. Meanwhile, our framing of a commonly held set of values allows us to transform challenging decisions into opportunities for deeper self- and interpersonal connection.
We would love to connect with you. If you’d like to learn more or arrange a visit (dinner guests are usually welcome!), you can contact Ryan McAllister at ryan [the at symbol] notjustskin.org.
Notes about accessibility: We want our house to be safe for all of us, including people with chemical sensitivities, so please no perfume or other fragranced products. We find that often guests do not understand this request, so if it is unfamiliar to you, you might read about chemical sensitivities.
Our house is not currently wheelchair visitable as defined by the ADA Accessibility Guidelines (we have four steps up to the front and the bathroom clearances are too small.) If any guest who uses a chair or other mobility device or has other accessibility needs would like to visit, we’re interested in discussing what we could do.