The Tao of Dmitri Sunshine
What drives me to create my vision and in the manner that I do?
If you have the ability and resources to greatly and easily help someone in need, without it impacting your wellbeing, then you also have a moral obligation to do so. This philosophy has been guiding me ever since I discovered it while on a mission on the Big Island of Hawaii to create a retreat center to help people transcend anxiety and depression, which is something I had struggled with.
Essentially, if you possessed lifeguard skills and you saw someone drowning and asking for help, would you wait for someone else who might be on duty to step in or would you go help save them? My warrior-spirit calls on me to do whatever needs to be done in the moment. The difficult part is when there are so many people drowning, how do you practice discernment and best help as many of them as possible?
Some people might jump right in frantically trying to help randomly one by one, while others who understand that the keys lie outside of their rational mind will pause, dilate their awareness to the entirety of the situation and channel solutions coming through their subconscious mind.
This type of calm, bigger picture thinking is something that all the great leaders who inspire me have in common. The level of challenges we face as a society and as inhabitants on this magnificent planet necessitates channeling solutions that our conscious minds can't fully grasp and following our intuition, even when it flies in the face of logic.
That's why my life is fully dedicated to creating a network of Holistic, Fully-Inclusive, Regenerative, Village-Scale Intentional-Communities, which is a massive undertaking that feels so daunting at times but I feel that I am being compelled by Spirit to undertake this journey as my contribution to our drowning society with the understanding that it's all a game that I am choosing to show up and play.
I've spent a lot of time reading, meditating, discussing, introspecting and journaling to figure out the exact form of my Ikigai, which is the Japanese term for life-purpose or reason for living; it's the thing that you're really good at, that serves others and would do for free but that you can actually make a living doing.
Ever since barely making it through and then recovering from my "dark night of the soul" after my marriage and life fell apart, I've known that holistic intentional-community creation is my Ikigai but it's been quite the journey to learn from existing communities and become empowered enough to actualize it.
Actualizing through Baby Steps
In 2020, during the height of the fear-pandemic, I took a leap of faith by myself and leased a 6-bedroom house on a magical piece of land in Portland to create a co-living community based on a spiritual, holistic lifestyle that encompassed yoga, meditation and movement.
The community, La Serenesia, quickly became a hub for the ecstatic-dance community as we were the only ones willing to host indoor dances. Dance-Church as it came to be known was a spiritual experience within a tight container and it felt like a duty to keep holding space for this every single Friday evening, especially during the overly long PNW winters, where this was the medicine that kept people healthy and grounded.
I grew more personally during the time I was leading the community then I had in the last decade. While it was triggering, stressful and painful at times I am grateful for how much it taught me and helped me to step into my role as a leader.
I believe that we grow the most in relationships, especially close ones where we are challenged and our shadows are exposed, but it seems very few adults are actually ready to "grow up" in this way, which is why it's so important to create a container where this is a fundamental part of community-living; where people have the support systems in place to work through their wounds and triggers.
Without a proper foundation to stand on we struggle much more then we need to. Most people don't realize how much their physical health affects their mental health; especially their diet and sleep habits. When you're properly taking care of yourself the issues that arise don't feel as thorny and you're much better equipped to work through them.
Most people would consider me a health-nut but I am just doing what I feel like my body and mind need to keep showing up as my highest self each day. My diet, supplements, routines and lifestyle habits have taken years of learning and exploring to dial in and will continue to evolve.
I am so passionate about holistic health and empowering others to be healthier because I believe that a well tuned body is the foundation for a beautiful mind and being able to channel source energy effectively.
The more you can purify your mind and body through a holistic lifestyle, the clearer your mirror for seeing the steps ahead of you and the better you can step into flow.
Flow is that transcendental state of "effortless-action" where our thinking minds disengage and we are lost in our work because it engages on such a deep level. Flow states actually exist above happiness and is the only time when all of the different types of neurotransmitters in our brain are firing simultaneously.
I first experienced flow states consistently while riding super-sport motorcycles at high-speeds (not recommended; I am lucky to be alive), then while ripping down singletrack trails on mountain bikes (still dangerous but recommended).
Now, after many years of practicing meditation and embodiment, I find flow states all the time, while doing a variety of activities, but my favorite and safest by far is trail-running and dancing, especially contact-improv.
But the real trick is to find flow in your work, which requires being centered, focused and loving. As I keep practicing tapping into this everyday by filtering out distractions, including not giving a fuck of what others think of me, being mindful of my breathing, and dilating my awareness, I am able to bust out some blissful work sessions while channel solutions out of the ether that my logical mind wouldn't have been capable of generating.
Flow is the key for me for enjoying all the work that lies ahead. If I feel out of flow it's because I need to slow down, meditate and release, so the work is done through me. I believe the key is channeling intuition and source-energy so you are allowing creation to come through you as a vessel.
I feel so grateful to have been endowed with the type of mental faculties and mindset that allow me to literally do anything that I set my intentions on. I come from a long line of engineers and most of my adult life has been spent architecting software so I naturally gravitate towards the design side but I love exploring the soft human side too. Psychology and human behavior are some of the most complex areas to understand.
I've been greatly inspired by the teachings of many thought-leaders who see how we could realistically and drastically create a more beautiful world, and understand that it all starts with our internal state of being.
Every morning I wake up and fill myself up with gratitude and happiness to still be alive and experiencing this magical world. I know that I will face challenges but that things always turn out better then I could have expected in the long run.
A peaceful mind at home with itself is one of the most beautiful things to experience and to keep coming back to; releasing fears and concerns for the realization of the wholeness and perfection of the Tao.
I don't know how exactly we will get to the destination or how long it will take but I know with certainty that we will arrive exactly where we need to be. So I remind myself to enjoy the ride and remember it's all temporary.
A balanced Ego is something I've struggled with throughout my life, swinging like a pendulum trying to realize where the center lies, and it's only in recent years that I've become empowered enough in a truly altruistic way to feel confident stepping up as one of the many leaders needed to create a more beautiful interconnected world on a grand scale.
I am still mastering the subtle art of not giving a fuck while respecting people's opinions and choices. My logical decision making process is based on the wellbeing of the greater good so I know I am going to offend some people in the process, and that all I can do is show them as much love and respect as possible while disagreeing with them.
I no longer worry about what will happen to me as an individual because I know that as long as I am on my path of service to create something for the greater good then I will be provided for.
I know that historically leaders face a vast array of challenges and sometimes untimely deaths to where it makes no logical sense to put yourself in the line of fire but there is something on the spiritual level compelling me to keep stepping up and play my part to create a more beautiful future.
I understand that I am a just a drop of water experiencing itself as a separate entity while waiting to return to an infinite eternal ocean, so I am grateful for what every new moment offers.