The news that Eileen Caddy has been included in the New Year’s Honours list has been received in the community with great delight and some surprise. The Findhorn Community co-founder has been awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for her ‘service to spiritual inquiry’.
The twice-yearly awards, ranging from commendations to knighthoods, honour the known, unknown, meek and mighty who have made a significant contribution to public life. Current practice is for Prime Minister Tony Blair to nominate a list of recommendations to the Queen.
I overheard someone in the General Office here say Eileen’s MBE was ‘deserved public recognition for 50 years devoted service to God’.
Passing by the Findhorn Village shop this morning and seeing the newspaper banner proclaiming, ‘Findhorn Founder in New Year’s Honours List’ I wondered how this most unassuming woman would feel about such a public award and cope with the inevitable media attention.
Typically, Eileen put first things first: “I feel so thrilled that God is being given the glory. I am very grateful; yet all I have done has been achieved by following God’s will”.
“Be Still and Know that I am God”. These words of God spoken to Eileen Caddy in a Glastonbury sanctuary 50 years ago have been pivotal in the creation of the Findhorn Foundation Community.
While scarcely able to believe that she had heard God’s voice, Eileen’s dedication and commitment to listening to the ‘still, small voice within’ and following its guidance has from the beginning been the cornerstone of this spiritual and educational community.
The Findhorn Foundation is the educational and organisational cornerstone of the now world-famous Findhorn Community, founded by Eileen and Peter Caddy and Dorothy Maclean in 1963. The community is a major centre of spiritual education and personal transformation offering many ways for people to visit, live or work here and is linked with the United Nations as a Non-Governmental Organisation.
Eileen’s constant, unceasing work over the fifty years since she first heard these words, has been to spend time in the stillness, listen and act and help others find their own inner guidance. Her life work has been to live, be, demonstrate and embody the energies of love, light, wisdom, understanding and compassion.
Moreover, she has been a source of inspiration for the thousands of visitors who have been drawn to Findhorn and the many more who have read her books which have been translated in more than 27 languages. Two of her books have recently been published in China.
In 2001 she was placed at number 40 in a list of Britain’s fifty most influential spiritual figures, in the UKs Channel 4 programme, The God List. This identified fifty people whose spirituality has a direct and powerful influence on our lives.
In August this year, Eileen became 86, and again, typically, rather than lots of fuss said she preferred a meditation to honour the spiritual impulse here.
Tonight as we go first-footing into the New our celebrations will be more joyful because of this public recognition;and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if quite a few of us find ourselves drawn from the Hall Ceilidh to the sanctuary at midnight, to offer a quiet prayer of gratitude for the enduring example of Eileen’s life.
We wish you a happy and blessed New Year. For more information, email