The original vision statement, published below was written around 1997. Much gratitude is due to the community of life at Burdock Holler from whence this vision sprang.

Introducing The Students of the Arts of Living an organization whose primary purposes include:

The celebration, and preservation of wild places on Earth, and within the human heart. The discovery and demonstration of grassroots solutions to global problems through the practice of whole and integral ways of being on Earth in harmony with the implicit order and rhythms of nature. The exemplification of our discoveries through the foundation of The Wolfpit Ridge Wildlife Preserve, and The Woodsy Roots Wisdom School in rural Western North Carolina.

About the Woodsy Roots Wisdom School: The school will bring together resident and non resident professionals, administrators, staff, interns, and students for inquiry into subjects related to living on Earth in community with all life. Subjects of particular focus include:

    • Permaculture methods for growing food , fuel, fiber, and medicine.
    • The reclamation of discarded products of industry, and consumerism for alternative design of sustainable sources of energy and natural energy-integrated building methods.
    • Wilderness experience.
    • Fine art and handcrafts because “art provides what life does not”.
    • Individual, and community growth, and development.
    • Socially and environmentally responsible commerce.
    • Celebration, and merry making for the re-emergence of the sacred in our everyday lives.
    • The practice of deep ecology for the elevation of individual consciousness through the arts of living in harmony with the natural world.

About the Wolfpit Ridge Wildlife Preserve:This will be a typical wildlife preserve in that it will ever seek ways to expand it’s boundaries.This will be a special kind of sanctuary for wildlife in that human beings are considered to be an integral part of the local fauna. Our responsibility as members of the forest habitat is to rediscover the wisdom of instinct, and to use all our uniquely human cognitive skills and awareness to blend harmoniously with the regional habitat. This is a colossal undertaking for the modern human being, and requires constant diligence, and self reflection. Areas would be set aside for zero impact so that we can learn how we subtly affect the ecosystem. The preserve would promote the gestalt of our resolution into nature as a species which, if adopted universally might result in a reversal of environmental degradation.

There is a special quality to Appalachia, which has made fruitful this vision for me. I am a humble messenger of the possibilities of living the reality of LOVE upon planet Earth, and demonstrating that we need not destroy our lovely home in order to live in grace, comfort, and yes even luxury.

with gratitude,
Michael Malone