This is one of the best videos I’ve seen in a while. Jon Jondai does an excellent job of weaving together the importance of natural building and creating a happy life. It’s well worth turning up the volume a little and listening carefully.

“Jon is a farmer from northeastern Thailand. He founded the Pun Pun Center for Self-reliance, an organic farm outside Chiang Mai, with his wife Peggy Reents in 2003. Pun Pun doubles as a center for sustainable living and seed production, aiming to bring indigenous and rare seeds back into use. It regularly hosts training on simple techniques to live more sustainably. Outside of Pun Pun, Jon is a leader in bringing the natural building movement to Thailand, appearing as a spokesperson on dozens of publications and TV programs for the past 10 years. He continually strives to find easier ways for people to fulfill their basic needs. For more information visit the Pun Pun Center for Self-reliance.”

I had the pleasure of interviewing Jon Jondai for an article on Earth Building in Thailand. Later I found out he is a national hero or celebrity of sorts. He has been influential in inspiring and training people who went on and built over a thousand earthen houses in Thailand (probably way more by now). Jon is also the author of a best selling book on the subject – Building a House with Clay.

Thanks to Michael at the Tiny House Design Blog for bringing this to my attention.


Comments

Jon Jondai – Life is Easy — 11 Comments

  1. hallo good friend!
    can i comw to tou nwxt mounday 25 april?
    please i am traveller
    i need stop few daybin a light plice!
    can i come whot my private tent?

  2. I was touched by the spirit of this man, Jon Jondai. Goodness seems to radiate from him, AND, he offers a practical message for those living on earth with him. I like it when “holy men” offer practical solutions to the situations they find themselves in. Thanks Owen (& Kelly and his dear wife)for the new blog site and for featuring this gentle and giving soul so we could meet him.

  3. I’d like to open this up to positive comments. What are your favorite online resources for simple living? Or maybe you have a success story to share.

    Possum Living http://www.possumliving.net/
    Unplugged by Hillary Bergeron http://hillarybergeron.blogspot.com/2012/01/unplugged-book-trailer.html
    Simple Solar Homesteading http://www.simplesolarhomesteading.com/
    Backwoods Home Magazine http://www.backwoodshome.com/
    Path to Freedom Urban Homestead http://urbanhomestead.org/journal/category/simple-living/
    The Field Lab http://thefieldlab.blogspot.com/
    Ran Prieur http://www.ranprieur.com/land.html
    Simple and Sustainable Living http://www.innerexplorations.com/simpletext/simple.htm

  4. I’m glad you posted this when you did Owen, I’m almost done with college and stressing about how and when I’ll get a job, and feeling pressure from people to take out loans and get a car and a proper apartment. Not to mention paying back loans and climbing the corporate ladder to give me a sense of validation to the time and money i’ve spent learning. This video was a good reminder on why I keep coming back to your’s and Tiny House’s Blogs. I want to live my life like that, simply, and stress free.

    I’m nervous on how to accomplish something so primitive though in a hyper-modern and opinionated environment. I’d like to learn how to make primitive living work in a modern society. Maybe work part time to cover insurance costs? Invest enough money to cover the bare basics with dividends/interest?

    • Living simply is a fascinating subject that goes hand in hand with natural/sustainable building. There are a number of good websites that explain some options for alternative living. The main point is to avoid the “wide path” that most people follow. That usually leads to impossible debt and basically becoming a wage slave. Find your own way like students who build and live in a simple structure on a farmer’s land to avoid the cost of dormitories. The farmer gets a free building and the students save money and can buy local produce. Here’s one website: http://earthstar.newlibertyvillage.com/

      • Ya, after seeing my parents struggle with their mortgage and barely finding time for their hobbies, I know the rat race can be a imprisoning dilemma. I like the idea of building a structure on borrowed land, and the owner keeps the structure when time is up; I can definitely imagine it being a good option for students like you said. Once I get out there, I may see if someone would be willing to do a trade like that. Thanks for the link too!

  5. The YouTube comments were interesting. Many people liked the video. But some people focused on the negative and how this could never work for them instead of searching for ways to improve their life.

    • I felt there were some good points about taxation and land codes though. I can imagine it can be even tougher in the city or suburban areas.

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