What started as a fundraiser turned into a profoundly moving and spiritually healing experience for our walkers on the Scottish Virtual Kiltwalk. These are four personal sharings from this pilgrimage.
On Friday 23 and Saturday 24 April, members of the Findhorn community donned tartan to take part in this annual fundraising event.
This kiltwalk was especially poignant, coming as it did so soon after the fires that destroyed our Main Sanctuary and Community Centre here in The Park. So the fundraising aspect became vital, and we’re so deeply grateful for the incredible financial support that’s been shared. On top of that, The Hunter Foundation is adding 50% to everything that’s still being donated, up until midnight on 3 May.
But in addition, the pilgrimage around The Park and then up to our sister site at Cluny Hill, followed by a ceremony at the Findhorn River on the Saturday, became a tremendously healing experience, a chance to come together – appropriately distanced – as a community, to try to find acceptance.
Friday: a pilgrimage around The Park and to Cluny. The outer walk felt like it mirrored an inner order. At Cluny, a socially distanced lunch beneath magnificent trees: re-weaving the community of shared purpose.
Saturday: a silent procession through dappled forest light beside the Findhorn River. By Randolph’s Leap the simple act of scattering sanctuary ashes in the river moved me deeply.
There, in ritual we invited connection with Gaia and radiated it out into the world. I felt the love and wisdom of the world’s soul. I felt the promise of a future of deepening love and cooperation between us.
So as I rushed, gushed, tripped and tumbled, trying to keep up with my wee team, I felt the calling of the one sacred site that wasn’t directly on our route, that I remembered to honour. The Findhorn Bay its self. I’m a slow, mindful, deliberate walker, rushing distresses me, so my Kilt and I decided to bimble back along the bay, slowly, mindfully, without rush or noise. The trees, birds, insects, other beings, welcomed me. The ground lovingly came to meet my unsure feet as I lay my prayers at God’s feet. I’d surrendered my grief and my needs. An innocence unto this greatness. Blessing and blessed.
Spiritual community and connection are words that I keep in my heart here at the Findhorn Foundation & Community – these are my cornerstones.
The fires took two of our spaces where community and connection took place, our beloved Main Sanctuary and The Community Centre. Ironically these had just started to awaken and reopen post lockdown. The last time I sat in the Main Sanctuary I held the morning meditation, which is a memory I will always treasure now.
The kiltwalk for me symbolised my spiritual community and connection as I walked, laughed and shared stories with my fellow (socially distanced) walkers. This pilgrimage of hope and joy felt good: to come together, to grow and heal as we walked to Cluny. In the midst of the grief, I touched back into why I am here and what brought me to this special place.
For me the walk around the Park felt like a deep and meaningful pilgrimage. Starting in the Original Garden, where everything began and then going on to honour the sites of the Main Sanctuary and the Community Centre. Starting in the spiritual and social heart centre of The Park, paying our respects to the buildings we spent time in, connecting to the divine and to each other felt very important.
From there we moved on to the newly created Phoenix mosaic, and feeling the freshness of the new moving through this place felt very powerful. There we could already hear the lovely voices from the singers in the Singing Chamber, who were blessing us and our path into the new and unknown with their songs.
After connecting to the spiritual elements we spiralled into the base chakra of The Park. By the Sweat Lodge a releasing fire was tended by a beautiful, young, pregnant woman from our community, and a second fire was lit inside the Earth Lodge, where community elder Craig Gibsone played the didgeridoo for us. Giving us the opportunity to deeply connect to the primal energies of earth and fire.
Walking on through a beautifully decorated gateway into the Quiet Garden, being cleansed and smudged with sage as we crossed the threshold into the unknown, with an angel quality we were able to pick at this point, felt like the right send off, bringing the energies we gathered on our pilgrimage in The Park out into the world, carrying the ashes of the Sanctuary to the power point at Cluny.
If you feel moved, it’s still possible to sponsor our kiltwalkers, up until midnight on 3 May. Deep gratitude to The Hunter Foundation, which will addd 50% to everything you donate. You can donate here.
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