This week at the Findhorn Community an international group has been exploring localisation in action and feeling both inspired by what has been achieved here and in the world and daunted by a deepening sense of responsibility and a realization of the hugeness of the ongoing task.
What has made the workshop unique is that it has taken place in a community which demonstrates the possibility of creating a vibrant alternative to the global monoculture, a community committed to celebrating the sacred in all life and the ramifications of that, including organic agriculture, ecohousing and waste recycling.
The key resource people for the week are the founding director of the International Society for Ecology and Culture, Helena Norberg-Hodge and prominent alternative economist Richard Douthwaite, ably supported by resident visionaries and activists of this community. With the Findhorn Community as an onsite example of localisation in action, once the theory has been heard the participants have only to step outside the workshop space to experience the practical in operation.
Participants have visited Wester Lawrenceton farm, a local producer of organic milk and award-winning cheeses, seen the local Earthshare food scheme in action, harvested carrots and parsnips and planted 40 trees in the dunes.
Findhorn’s Beth Dunlop talked about renewable energy not far from where the windmill Moya, our very own source of renewable energy stands. David Hoyle talked about the financial challenges of a local economy in the Findhorn area and participants could immediately visit the Phoenix, our community store, use our local currency, the eko, and witness the work of Ekopia, our community cooperative. While walking through our gardens, they heard of the joys and challenges of organic gardening and everyday saw ecohouses being built on The Field of Dreams.
Ana Rhodes, Findhorn resident, talked on the social, psychological and spiritual dimensions of a sustainable community and again, participants had the hands-on experience of living as part of a spiritual community for a week. Many commented on the the warmth of our community and appreciated feeling part of our family. They liked the openness with which we share our journey here, the difficulties as well as the successes, and go home tomorrow keen to put theory into practice with the knowledge that a committed group of people can make a difference.