Update from Caroline Matters, lead steward/CEO of the Findhorn Foundation:
I feel so moved by the outpouring of love and support since the tragic loss of our Sanctuary and Community Centre. When I heard the news I just felt such shock. I really tapped into my personal sense of loss, having been in this community for 20 years and having so many memories of the joy and community spirit, eating and celebrating in the CC, working in the Park kitchen team, and of course the very many KPs I have done over the years.
The Sanctuary is such a special place for me. Here I felt the power of my tuning in as a member of the Spiritual & Personal Development department, and into the role of Lead Steward. Seeing the ashes and the space where the sanctuary had been. And yet when I went close I could feel the energy and a sense of aliveness. Heartbreak and joy. I feel the spirit of Findhorn so alive and well.
Last Saturday night, being on the Findhorn Extended Members Council Zoom call, witnessing through the decades all of those who spent their youth in the community and that sense of love and connection, of freedom, and safety was so moving. And then, again, on Monday night, at the Witnessing Circle beautifully held by David Harrison and the NFA, to hear the outpouring of love and deep reflection on the loss of the Sanctuary and the Community Centre. I resonate with one participant’s words that (paraphrased): the Sanctuary is in the hearts of us all. We can repair and rebuild the sanctuary and we can repair our hearts.
Someone also said that distance doesn’t count when the heart is touched. That feels so true to me, I feel closer to both our community here and to those around the world.
I am also aware of the need not to rush the process, but to give ourselves space and time to grieve our precious buildings and to consider the processes needed to both renew and rebuild. To share memories and to feel the impact personally and collectively.
For now, we in the Foundation are concentrating on the practicalities – making the site safe, progressing the insurance claim, fixing infrastructure, communicating locally and globally. Also here in the Park finding the ways and the spaces for our devotional practices and emotional responses. To be with love and compassion and face our shadow. Individually and as a community. We reflect the world and are a part of the global evolutionary impulse.
I want to really appreciate the calm and steady presence of the co-workers and community members whose dedication and full presence and attention to what was needed at the time of the fire and in the subsequent hours and days has made me deeply grateful. The Scottish Fire Rescue Service responded quickly and efficiently and it is due to their efforts that the fires were contained so effectively. The community is deeply indebted to them.
I deeply appreciate the cooperation between the Foundation and the NFA. We are working closely with the NFA Listener Convenors to set up an alternative meditation space so that we can continue our 8.35am and 5.40pm community meditations and how we can respond as a whole community together.
Yours in community,
‘The Sanctuary is now, and always shall be, a tremendous power house, where power will be generated out to the four corners of the earth. It will become known all over the world and many will be drawn to it, and find great strength and help from the power and radiations which emanate from it. They will find peace and love, light and wisdom, as well as great joy and happiness, from simply being in there. Many problems will be solved as they sit in complete silence, find Me in the midst of them, and come to know Me and Love Me and do My will. My full blessings are upon My Sanctuary, My Ark of the Covenant. Let it be treated as a sacred and consecrated place, where all may find their true selves.’
Eileen Caddy’s guidance on building of the Sanctuary, 15 April 1968. The Sanctuary was completed on Easter Saturday, April 14th. The Community Centre was built in the following year, 1969.
We grieve the loss of our community centre and sanctuary, which held so much memory and energy, and which played such central roles in our community life and spiritual life.
At the same time, we know that we will continue to serve the spiritual impulse Findhorn came into being to serve. Regardless of how difficult the moment seems, we know we can trust the sacred.
Now, at a time when our normal income is reduced because of the pandemic, we are especially grateful for all support you may feel called to give, to help the Findhorn Foundation come through this new challenge. Please donate here.
Deep gratitude for your co-creation with us.
Images by Mark Richards, Eva Ward and Hugo Klip.
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