Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better
The legacy of sole surviving co-founder Dorothy Maclean, who famously connected with the overlighting intelligence of nature to co-create our renowned Original Garden, is finding fresh expression within the community.In recent months Lesley Downie has led a group of community members in tapping into that divine source of wisdom to find empathetic ways of co-habiting with wildlife and especially a small local population of deer.
"This spring I had a strong impulse to plant and grow wild flowers from seed for the deer, bees and butterflies," she says. "I had no clear plan, just to follow the guidance that came. By August there were 1,000 plants and somehow with volunteers and group projects most of them are now planted."
The deer have been feasting on vegetable gardens within The Park and have also raised fears among some community members about the threat of Lyme Disease, which is carried by ticks that attach themselves to warm-blooded animals, including humans.
Instead of fencing the deer out of The Park, Lesley is promoting the idea of rewilding areas to welcome wild nature into our midst, to create deer-friendly perimeters to our gardens and meadow areas where alternate sources of food are planted to entice the animals away from vegetable gardens."Each one of us needs to make our own heart connection with the deer in relation to the land we tend, and to let them know where it is okay for them to eat and what is specifically for humans."
Areas are being rewilded to cater for the deer, bees and butterflies. An added benefit is that some of the edible wild plants may boost the immunity of the deer to ticks and other parasites.
"I see rewilding and co-creation as essential parts of a regenerative new story for the community and for the Earth," she says. "At the core of this new story is respect for the wellbeing of all life.
"As individuals, this means listening to our own body wisdom and finding a healthy balance between rest, play, work and deeply connecting to nature. For humanity it means stepping back from the need to control and dominate, becoming responsible stewards for the Earth, and restoring habitats through the natural balance of native species.
Rewilding and co-creation are about living from the heart, letting love for nature lead, and trusting the great Universal Intelligence, the mystery of the vast cosmic story.
Lesley admits to a lifelong love affair with the natural world and says: "As a baby lying outside in my pram I bonded with nature more than with my mother. As a child I tried to rescue drowning insects, wanted to learn about flowers and trees, and kept a zoo of mini-beasts in my bedroom. Later this led me into studying botany and zoology, marrying a zoologist and taking part in expeditions to study tropical frogs, arctic terns and puffins."
The pioneering work of Rupert Sheldrake on telepathic awareness in animals was pivotal to her growing spiritual understandings and her own inner knowing received further affirmations when she read The Secret Life of Your Cells by Cleve Backster and Messages from Water by Masaru Emoto.
"My nature connection deepened through gardening, foraging, communicating with my house plants and caring for rescued hedgehogs and other creatures. Then I came to the Findhorn Foundation for the first time in 2004 …"She was profoundly moved by Dorothy's history of co-creation and says: "It was one reason I kept coming back. I found her work inspiring and affirming. I worked mostly in the gardens, and held responsibility for the Original Garden for four years, where I practised with Dorothy's tools of co-creation, spiritual attunement, appreciation, heart connection and deep listening."
Another inspiration has been time spent with South African animal whisperer Anna Breytenbach, whose documentary film The Animal Communicator was previewed in the Universal Hall, and has since gone viral with an excerpt about a black leopard enjoying around 1.8 million viewings. She'll be back in April next year with American master tracker Jon Young, to co-present a workshop on intuitive tracking and interspecies communications — watch our website for details as bookings will open soon.
Examining the question of fences, Anna says: "The deer want no fences whatsoever. They want to feel welcome. They want — and deserve — the area's bounty to be shared with them. And the community owes it to co-founders Peter, Eileen, Dorothy and God to live by their founding principles."Remembering how it all started, Dorothy recalls: "One day I was doing a meditation when God told me I had a job to attune to nature. I chose a vegetable we were growing — the garden pea – and I tried to attune to its essence more specifically."
She received an immediate response and began an enduring communication.
"I think in that very first message it was what nature is still trying to tell us humans — that we are all great beings of light and we can work with them, attune with all life."
She realised that the intelligent energy she was attuning to was not from one pea plant. "It was the soul level of all peas on Earth — the soul of the pea kingdom — and that as such it was a planetary being. I was communicating with an intelligence that was aware all over the Earth at one and the same time."
Today Dorothy is in her 95th year and remains a great source of inspiration to all who come in contact with her and her amazing legacy. "The secret is to love and to love more," she says.