Today is the last day of the gathering and I am riding high on the loving, expansive energy that has been filling our group chalice since dawn on Sunday. I know I’m not the only one affected in this way, as the conversations between my fellow participants are exceptionally lively this morning. Sitting down, I imagine that the sound I hear in the Hall is similar in quality to what one might hear in a beehive!
Though it could be said we’re on the last leg of the journey, our ending is actually a beginning. Our focus in these next hours together is on empowering ourselves for going out into the world to offer our best intentions and endeavours to the one life in all its forms.
The first part of this morning, we enter into a ritual of intent and dedication. To welcome us, and remind us of the vast and beautiful cosmos of which we are a part, we are treated to a stunning audio-visual piece composed of images taken in space and set to the music of Karl Jenkins’ Benedictus, from The Armed Man – A Mass for Peace.
Three lovely children are with us to represent the future generations; a small apple sapling, which will bless the new Dunelands housing development, represents natural life and reminds us of the bounty of the earth and the many fruits of our own lives. The unseen beings are invited to be present, to bear witness and to bless our ritual. The star overhead is our guide.
Words from the ritual:
- May we be open to the presence of the Christ, and be willing to merge in true communion with this love. In so doing, the revelation that was initiated 2000 years ago will take a step further towards unfolding and we will then be in a position to demonstrate the reality of one Earth, one humanity, one life, and be ready to take our place as part of one cosmos. We remember the story of the universe and slowly we realise we are the universe itself, reflecting on itself.
Today we represent the grass roots community of humanity, embracing the consciousness which we are calling Christ Consciousness that is arising within us, and we come together in deep appreciation and awe of the mystery of being.
Auriol de Smidt shares with us her poem Rising and Barbara Swetina leads us in a Taizé chant. We then stand and make the commitment to know ourselves as one humanity, one world, one divinity expressed in myriad forms. With a gong roll and the sounding of an Om, our commitment is anchored within each one of us.
To bless the ritual, and the next steps in our human emergence, Matthew Fox leads us in opening the Seven Directions (north, east, south west, above, below and the heart), and in walking the Navaho Beauty Prayer, a prayer that acknowledges the beauty that is all around us every day.
Having dedicated ourselves to opening to Christ Consciousness, we then ponder with William Bloom the possibility of us being the Collective Messiah. Borrowing an idea from Thich Nhat Hanh, William explains that the next Buddha/Messiah may come in the form of a group or community rather than as a single person. But how do we do the Collective Messiah? What are the mechanics? William explains that it’s actually quite simple. Open your heart, relax your body a little bit, connect, and recognise that I’m in you, you’re in me, spirit is in us and we are in spirit. Cultivate being awake, present, witnessing and compassionate. The Collective Messiah happens when we are an embodied sensation of love. And the really good news from William is that we can multi-task – we can do neurotic human being and embody love!
We then create what’s known as a Fishbowl where a small group will have a conversation in front of the rest of us while we listen. William extends an invitation for 12 participants – anyone who feels he/she really understands/has experienced what he has been talking about – to come down and sit in the circle of chairs. Spoken about is our fear to be ourselves, to be seen, to live true to ourselves. One woman speaks of the need to have courageous humility, of being open to everyone without assumptions of who is, and who isn’t, awake. And there are stories of compassionate action taken for the sake of others.
For the first part of the afternoon, we are invited to take part in small groups centred around topics of our choosing. All in all there are 21 thought-provoking topics to choose from, with the possibility for each of us to be part of two groups over the course of the session. I chose ‘How do we bring the divine to each other in everyday life?’ and ‘The False God of Perfection’. On first glance, it may seem that these two are unrelated. However, when I am worshiping at the altar of the god of perfection – judging myself and others as not being good enough – then I’m not able to be present, to bring the divine to another through my expression of love.
The second part of the afternoon is devoted to a completion ceremony in which we set an individual intent. Gillian Paschkes-Bell leads us in a guided meditation and we are helped in our endeavour by the ancient sounds of the saz and frame drum as played by Konstantis Kourmadis and Laura Shannon respectively. Then, accompanied by the sublime tones of the hang drum as played by Philip Roderick, we anoint one another with essential oils diluted in a blend of waters from Findhorn, Glastonbury and Iona. There is something so very special about honouring each other in this way.
Gillian guides us in closing the directions opened by Matthew this morning, and in thanking the unseen beings for their presence with us. Barbara then leads us in a song, the words of which I’d like to share with you here:
Christ has no body now on Earth but yours,
No hands but yours, no feet but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which he pours out, compassion to the world.
Yours are his hands blessing me now,
All praise to the One.
The last act of the afternoon is a Findhorn tradition where the centre candle lit during one conference is blown out and passed to the organiser(s) of the next conference. In this case, Gillian passed the beautiful blue and green candle, a gift from the Erraid community, to Michael Hawkins and Antonio Palmieri, the organisers of the Love, Magic, Miracles conference being held in the autumn of this year.
We all then give Gillian and Janice, and all those who have been involved in creating and sustaining the Into Christ Consciousness Gathering, a standing ovation.
From the bottom of my heart, I thank you all for what I have received through taking part in this gathering. In the days to come, I trust that the pieces will fall into place more and more. I look forward to the unfolding.