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Love, by its very nature, is unworldly, and it is for this reason rather than its rarity
that it is not only apolitical but antipolitical, perhaps the most powerful of all antipolitical forces.
– Hannah Arendt

Grace Village is a sanctuary community co-created with rescued Animals, Indigenous Wildlife, and the land located on thirty-acres in southern Oregon, U.S.A. Formerly called The Tortoise and the Hare Sanctuary, Grace Village is our Sanctuary Sangha, the heart of our work where philosophy and practice come together. In our vision, sanctuary is not only a place where Animals in need find home and lifelong care. Sanctuary is a generative space that cultivates a new model of culture that brings humanity into alignment with Nature’s ethics and principles. Faculty Resident Tortoises, Rabbits, other domestic Animals and native Wildlife are psychological and spiritual agents of profound human transformational change to make all places sanctuary.

The majority of the Faculty Residents have disabilities caused by human violence and indifference. Resident care and ethics are trauma-responsive, grounded in service, and guided by principles of nonviolence as expressed in The 10 Principles of Being Sanctuary [VIDEO].

The 10 Principles of Being Sanctuary

  • Understanding — Develop ways of knowing and experiencing the world through the eyes of another.
  • Safety — Create and sustain physical, psychological, social and ethical safety.
  • Listening — Being present, without an agenda, to hear and respect others’ emotional and physical needs and perspectives.
  • Acceptance — Open embrace of difference.
  • Parity — Respect the needs and aspirations of others with balance, equality, and reciprocity.
  • Belonging — Cultivate positive, non-dominating relationships and space that include and connect.
  • Trust — Provide consistent confidence and care.
  • Self Determination — Support self-efficacy, empowerment, and confidence.
  • Assurance — Provide lifelong care and security.
  • Beauty — Deeply appreciating nature’s inherent value and wholeness, aligning with Nature,‘walk in beauty,’ or hozho in Navajo Dineh

The Tortoises

In response to a 2014 request from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that was closing its Nevada research facility, we welcomed disabled endangered Desert Tortoises to sanctuary. The Tortoises, whose estimated ages range from four to more than eighty years old, have injuries and deformities from abuse and poor care as captured “pets,” and were scheduled to be euthanized. They spend warm weather months in five geodesic domes, and in the cold months retire to brumation quarters to dream until spring. They are now joined by Sulcata Sebastian.

The Rabbits

Our Rabbitat Habitat (now part of Grace Village) began with the arrival of Regina, a beautiful blue-grey and white Rabbit. Abandoned in the woods, she bounced into our lives and changed us forever. We have created a space that welcomes other Rabbits recovering from abuse, neglect, and trauma. The Rabbits reside in the indoor Je t’attendrai (I will wait for you) Rabbit Chalet which opens into a 3500-square-foot, fully screened (above, sides, and below) outdoor Habitat under the Ponderosa pines.

The Birds

Alexis and Louis Turkeys joined us in November 2017, refugees from the backyard food industry. Similar to other Turkeys, they were only five months old and have heart and leg damage as a result of genetic engineering, abuse, and poor nutrition and care. We work assiduously to help support and restore their ability to engage fully in life. Their habitat is integrated with Wild Turkeys so that they are able to talk and interact.

Walter Piper Pigeon joined us this summer after being found injured in a supermarket parking lot. His left wing was broken and it was not possible to restore his ability to fly. Walter Piper shares space with Horton, a Desert Tortoise, and enjoys conversing and communing with the migrating Wild Pigeon Flock who visit. Roosters