The Findhorn Foundation and community aims to inspire and encourage transformation in human consciousness, to help create a positive future for humanity and our planet. We are a holistic learning centre at the heart of a wider community that includes a local ecovillage and a worldwide spiritual fellowship. Based on practices which recognise each person’s ability to connect inwardly with the divine and the interconnectedness of all life, our community life and workshops stimulate a more inclusive awareness, leading to life-generating choices for individuals, and for humanity as a whole.
The structure of the Findhorn Foundation (the Foundation) is a charitable trust formed in 1972, ten years after the founders began living at Findhorn and working together in their experiment to ‘bring heaven down to earth’. The Foundation is dedicated to holistic and spiritual learning and to demonstrating sustainability, cooperation and co-creation with nature and the environment. Our objectives include: “… the advancement of religion, by means of teaching, example and demonstration, recognising the essential truths of all religions and spiritual teachings”; “… the establishment of a holistic learning centre to further these objects”; “… the conservation and preservation of the natural world by… teaching, example and demonstration of the harmonious relationship between humanity and all other forms of life.” We are located in Moray, on the northeast coast of Scotland, between Inverness and Aberdeen.
As the Foundation is a charitable trust, no individuals benefit financially. We have no shareholders and all our operating surpluses are reinvested for the future growth of the Foundation. The Foundation is registered for Value Added Tax (VAT), and pays rates on its buildings. Everyone is liable to the usual local and national laws and taxes.
We see our role as practising, learning about and demonstrating the interconnectedness of all life. Our activities link the spiritual, cultural, economic and environmental aspects of life. The main areas of our activity are:
Holistic Learning – through spiritual practice, experiential learning, courses, workshops, ecovillage workshops and conferences;
Community – practising holistic values, conscious relationships, holistic leadership and decision-making;
Ecovillage – working in partnership with nature, with sustainable values, using ecological building techniques and alternative energy systems; and
Outreach – via United Nations affiliations, consultancy work, outreach workshops, and our network of Resource People around the world.
The Foundation is a Non-Governmental Organisation associated with the United Nations Department of Public Information.
The origin of the Foundation lies with Peter and Eileen Caddy and Dorothy Maclean, three ordinary people who had committed to a mutually felt sense of spiritual calling. After years of following their inner guidance, they ended up in a caravan park near the village of Findhorn, in the north of Scotland, moneyless, with no apparent next step, but with a clear sense of calling to be there and trust.
The garden they planted to supplement their diet flourished with spectacular results, due to Peter’s intuition and determined efforts, Dorothy’s ability to communicate with the intelligence of nature, and Eileen’s inner guidance. The garden attracted many people to come and visit, and then to live and work with them, and a community emerged based on spiritual principles that were put into practical application. For over 50 years, people who are committed to creating a positive model of cooperative and spiritual living have come to live together in an adventure of consciousness that is the Findhorn Foundation and Community.
In 1970 a young American named David Spangler arrived in the community and realising that an ‘education of consciousness’ was taking place here, helped to formally establish a structure using the environment and activities already in place. From then on our holistic learning activities have grown to be a major area of work. Life in the community itself is the school, and work, daily practice, relationships and situations are the teachers.
From the 1980s onwards, one practical result of the Foundation and community’s values has been the development of the Ecovillage at Findhorn, an experiment to combine what we have learned so far about the interconnectedness of life and cooperation with nature. The Ecovillage makes use of the best of current thinking and ecological technologies to support our aim to create a sustainable culture and environment.
We are a learning centre for the application of spiritual principles in everyday life. Learning within the Foundation can be described as transformative self-discovery, which brings each person closer to knowing their own essential nature and context in the world. As a community, we aim to practise a lifestyle that honours the interrelationship of all life, and this provides an integrated environment for ourselves and others to learn about holistic values.
Our most popular course is Experience Week. We also offer workshops, conferences, special events and long-term guest programmes. We hold programmes at our two main sites: The Park, situated near the village of Findhorn; and Cluny Hill, in the nearby town of Forres. We are also custodians of the small island of Erraid where there is a small and almost self-sufficient community, and a retreat house on the sacred island of Iona.
The community incorporates spiritual practices into our everyday life in a number of ways. In our rituals, work and in how we organise our daily lives, we put our principles of co-creation with the consciousness of nature and inner listening into loving, practical action. The Foundation and the greater community are a living experiment in a new human consciousness of community, partnership with all the kingdoms of life and service to the whole.
The Foundation is part of a larger and evolving community of approximately 450 people who have chosen to participate in this evolving journey. People can express their connection with the community in a number of ways, including joining the New Findhorn Association, meditating together, volunteering in Foundation work departments and participating in the many groups, events and celebrations that people here hold.
We also build community by employing new forms of decision-making, conflict resolution, employment and business, and child and adult learning. We pioneer and test out new ideas in this small-scale model of the world at large, as we believe that the cooperative skills needed for creating community are applicable in many situations and will be a much needed resource in the future.
An important part of the Foundation’s work is cooperation with nature, based on an understanding of the interconnectedness of all life and the experience of partnering with the consciousness of other living things.
Famous in our early days for developing ‘magically’ abundant gardens by communicating with the consciousness of plants, co-creation with nature continues to be at the heart of what we do. Our connection with the life of the earth and with other lives inspired us to create the Findhorn ecovillage, with its ecological housing, use of renewable energy systems and biological waste water treatment facility.
We honour and recognise all the major world religions and also many new expressions of spiritual principles. Guests and staff follow whichever path they choose for their own spiritual growth. In the community we focus on the common principles which underlie all these paths.
David Spangler has written about the community: “There is no more difficult place to be than in the midst of a pioneering and creative centre. It is an exciting place, but a challenging one … it is not a retirement village. It is not a spiritual retreat, or a place for quiet meditation. It is a place for strong, dedicated, joyously creative souls who are willing to work … to unfold and demonstrate a practical vision for a new world. In so doing, they find that the new world has been within themselves all the time.”
Most of the Foundation’s income, more than 60%, comes from our courses and conferences, with rents and donations making up a large portion of the rest. We aim to both sustain ourselves financially and make our transformational learning as widely available as possible, including to visitors from economically disadvantaged countries and to those with low income. Our 2014 New Story Summit was a landmark achievement for us, as it was a full-capacity event that we offered strictly on the basis of voluntary donations. Its financial success was a strong affirmation of a new way of dealing with money that we aim to exemplify.
If you are interested in helping us share our spiritual values with the world, including through the way we deal with money, consider supporting us by becoming a regular contributing member of our Network of Friends.
Currently there are about 120 co-workers in the Findhorn Foundation. The Foundation provides board and lodging for residential full-time staff and guests, an allowance of £200 to each full-time member of staff and an additional sum of Ekos, our local currency. Non-residential staff receive the national living wage.
Currently 210 people are members of the Community Association, NFA, and a further 200 people living locally are associated with the community by attending events and celebrations or participating in other ways in the life of the community.
Every year we welcome thousands of visitors from around the world to participate in our community life in a variety of ways. If you can stay for a week or more, then an Experience Week is the best way to connect with the spirit of Findhorn and engage with our vibrant, diverse community. Completing an Experience Week is generally a requirement for participation in other Essential Findhorn workshops. Our calendar of events will give you a full description of all our programmes, events and workshops.
If you are unable to stay for seven days for an Experience Week or other workshop, you can join us as a Short Term Guest for between one and six days. You will still have the opportunity to join in our service departments, meditate in the sanctuaries and engage in community activities. The programme costs £20 a day, which includes lunch and dinner, and is available most times of the year, but we suggest you contact our Visitors Centre in advance (contact details below) to check whether it is available during the time of your visit. You don’t need to book, just come to the Visitors Centre when you arrive. You will need to find your own accommodation, perhaps using this list of local BandBs or the Findhorn Bay Holiday Park.
Current trustees are:
Lisette Schuitemaker – Management and public relations consultant, Chair of Trustees.
Roger Collis – Co-founder of Lorian Association.
Mari Hollander – Former Education Manager and Programme Coordinator for Findhorn Foundation College.
Nicola Coombe – Leader of the One Spirit Interfaith Seminary in the UK.
Paul Dickinson – Corporate Communications Consultant and Executive Chairman of CDP.
Mark Anderson – Business Technology and Strategy Consultant.
Helen Wildsmith – Stewardship Director, Climate Change for the CCLA.
Francine Rietberg – A long-term staff member of the Foundation and local community councillor.
Books by Eileen Caddy
Opening Doors Within – Meditation guidance for each day of the year. Published worldwide in 27 languages.
God Spoke to Me – Guidance from Eileen for use by the community.
Divinely Ordinary – Divinely Human – A photo/biography of Eileen.
Foundations of a Spiritual Community – The early days of Eileen’s guidance.
Flight into Freedom and Beyond – Eileen’s updated autobiography with a new chapter.
Spirit of Findhorn – Eileen’s guidance.
Living Word – A small book of short prayers or meditations
Footprints on the Path – Early guidance Eileen received for herself and the community
Dawn of Change – More early guidance Eileen received for herself and the community
Books by Peter Caddy
In Perfect Timing – Peter’s autobiography, with his own personal view and insights into the Foundation.
Books by Dorothy Maclean
Memoirs of an Ordinary Mystic – This outstanding memoir tells the exciting story of her life journey, including her role in co-founding the Findhorn Foundation.
Books by other authors
In Search of the Magic of Findhorn – Karin Bogliolo & Carly Newfeld, a book that brings the story of Findhorn into the 21st century. With entertaining, humorous and moving accounts of living in the Findhorn Foundation and community.
The Findhorn Garden – The story of the early days of the community and its communication with the intelligence of nature intelligences.
The Kingdom Within – Alex Walker (ed). A collection of writings about the history, beliefs and practices of the Foundation and community.
Growing People – Kay Kay has collected stories about life in the Foundation and community.
You will find more information on these and other books, and how to buy them, here.
Dorothy Maclean, having lived in North America for a number of years and been actively involved in leading workshops around the world, has returned to Findhorn and lives in the Community.
Eileen Caddy was awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for ‘service to spiritual inquiry’ in 2004 and was a source of inspiration for the many thousands of visitors to the Findhorn Foundation and for the many more who have read her books. Eileen lived at the Foundation, dividing her time between her family and community affairs, until her death in 2006.
Peter Caddy, after playing a leading role in the formation and organisation of the community, left in 1979 to continue his spiritual work internationally. After a long and varied journey of spiritual service and personal development in areas as diverse as Hawaii and Austria, he died in a car accident in February 1994.
The Foundation is a centre for transforming human consciousness and is not set up as a complete community with specific places for families or elders.
We have a few families with children within the Foundation and we provide statutory maternity leave as well as attunement to each family’s individual needs. In our Park site, we also have play facilities for children.
We also have a few elders within the Foundation who have served here for several decades and have now retired within it. We deeply value their wisdom and contribution.
Outside of the Foundation in the wider community there are more families and elders. Many who serve within the Foundation for a time choose to settle in the area and stay in connection with our way of life.