In response to the growing global movement for peace, justice and sustainable living, and to this community’s increased involvement in local and national political issues, we are proud to host a new kind of workshop at Findhorn this July. ‘Spiritual Aspects of Social Justice – Inner and Outer Activism’ will explore a spiritual approach to social activism.
David McNamara, who conceived the idea for the workshop, believes that there is a strong need for people who are campaigning for a more just and harmonious world to get together and share techniques, experiences and insights based on a spiritual approach to activism. He knows that seeing our opponents as spiritual beings, incarnated with their own imperfections, just like us, both reduces the tension within us and makes us more effective agents for social change.
David, an ex-member of the Foundation, is an experienced meditation teacher and one of the themes of the workshop will be using meditative techniques to ground outer activism in the inner transformation both of ourselves and of the energy fields that underlie our social structures.
Both the Findhorn Foundation and the local community are no stranger to the effectiveness of the spiritual approach to activism. When the first genetically modified seeds were sown on The Black Isle, 30 miles west of Findhorn in August 2001, many people, including women and children peacefully sat in front of the tractors, holding love in their hearts for the farmer, the police and all those who would be affected, demanding that the government take notice. From then until July 2002 a vigil was kept at the site as a non-violence presence protesting the poisoning of the land.
In June 2002, the police, who were sympathetic to the energy of the activists, gave permission for a silent protest called ‘Stand Still and Be Heard’ to be held beside one of the GM fields. The campaign was also supported by individuals and groups throughout the region meditating and holding the energy of wholeness, knowing that underlying the GM crop issue was the much larger issue of deep ecology and that we must honour the interrelationship of all living beings.
It was such a massive campaign rooted in the local community and committed to non-violence that the Scottish Government reconsidered and abandoned further GM crop trials in the Scottish Highlands.
The workshop, which will take place at Newbold House from 26th July to 1st August, will be co-facilitated by Gordon McAlpine one of the local Findhorn activists involved in the GM campaign who is inspired by the power of the spiritual approach to activism.