HomeEcology™ invites us to reflect on our values and align our homes with them because this cultivates wisdom, contentment and meaning in our lives. The art and alchemy of co-creating such a home takes a village and is life transforming. This experience of attunement, cooperation, wise guidance and yes love… reveals caring as the true source of our shelter. Living in a truly nurturing home that is compassionately designed and built to last, cultivates harmony in our relationships, lives and the world. Such a home begets faith and we are kinder for living in it.
Homecoming acts as a rite of passage awakening our wish for such a home for each. Our homes come to embody the change we wish to see in our world and create a lasting legacy that brings us peace.
I’m a Home MAKER at heart, in solidarity with my sisters and harmony is my life’s thesis. I founded Moneca Kaiser Design Build a quarter century ago and came to this work I love unexpectedly.
After high school I travelled on a cultural exchange to Nova Scotia and Sri Lanka. I was surprised to feel so at home with the Buddhist culture. Upon returning, I began studying philosophy with the intention of becoming a professor. I was 20 when I went to a tai chi class in the basement of the church across from the National Gallery and met my precious Sifu.
I quickly left university because I wanted to be like him, not my professors. I embarked on a life long study of Tai Chi, Meditation, Kung Fu, Painting and Feng Shui. I cut my hair very short, gave up my pretty dresses and lived as a nun for my first dozen years as a student.
Now some 35 years into this beautiful apprenticeship I remain so very grateful to my Sifu and committed to being of service to our world. I have been shown great kindness and been surrounded by wisdom, my deepest aspiration is to share something of beauty and truth with our world.
Rather than sitting in meditation all day Sifu had us doing physical work as our spiritual practice and I fell in love with meditative labour. Sifu told me I would learn to trust myself by working with my hands and this has proven true.
We students worked together building temples and renovating houses. We dumpster dived for “diamonds” to up-recycle, built rock walls to terrace gardens, planted those glorious gardens, shingled roofs, built decks together… I was seduced by the vastness of the canvas and discovered my passion for designing and building homes. I realized this is what I want to do for a living and launched Moneca Kaiser Design Build, after completing a formal carpentry apprenticeship.
Back then, I was too often asked where my Dad or husband was even when I had my tool pouch on and my company’s sign was on the lawn. I liked it when Mom’s would stop and show me to their toddlers with big grins though. There just weren’t any women builders back then, it’s still rare even though 90% of home buying and renovating decisions are made by women! I received a YM/YWCA Woman of Distinction Award in 2009 to honour my contributions as a woman in a male dominated field.
I’m rarely on my tools these days because I can be of greater service leading our design team and vision.
This philosophy of HomeEcology™ came to me as a way to align my Buddhist sensibilities with an industry invested in our discontent. Home Ecology accepts our need for home as sacred and reveals caring as the true source of our shelter, awakening our wish for the ideal home for each.
My company is committed to providing pro bono design work for not for profits that foster connection in places of worship, retreat, celebration and learning. Please do help us get the word out. I recently enjoyed a wonderful volunteer sabbatical to help build a not for profit community kitchen that I also helped design pro bono at Sittin Pretty Farm.
Having been in business for a quarter century now, we are laying the foundation to serve for generations to come. Elegant, eco friendly design is critical to our planet’s survival. Together let’s leverage our homes to build the change we want to see in the world with elegant design, built to last with eco effective materials and practices, healthy for us and for our planet. Plan it for the Planet : )
So much Love,