During the exhilarating and joyfully exhausting Festival of Sacred Dance, Music and Song last week, I held a sharing group with my good friend Rosie Turnbull. There were people from all five continents in our group of 16 and one member said how glad he was that a place like Findhorn existed for people to come to and be inspired, meet others, meet themselves and feel the hope inherent in so many aspects of life here. Rosie and I answered that we are glad so many wonderful people from all over the world come to visit us – it’s like having the world in our living room – to enrich our lives and energise our purpose. It is the same with all 15,000+ of you, who sit in our global living room – what a wonderful symbiosis as we replenish and re-inspire each other.
Summer has been spectacularly erratic weather-wise but consistently busy with visitors. We are receiving more and more people coming from schools, the local area and interest groups from far and wide, which keeps our Visitor Centre hopping. Some of our more well-known visitors have left a long lasting impression: Patch Adams, Jeddah Mali, Julia Butterfly Hill, and Anna Breytenbach all embodied a powerful presence encouraging inner change and bold action.
We have just begun a 12-week programme for vulnerable local youth who will spend a day a week in Cullerne Gardens deepening their sense of self and their place in the world. This is part of the Foundation’s Building Bridges initiative to build relationship with both the local area and a broader spectrum of people. Having just welcomed two groups of entrepreneurial leaders in climate change and business ethics to meet at Findhorn and create projects and synergies which will help transform the paradigm of business and economics, we are well on the way to doing this.
Because I help to run some of these programmes, I so appreciate how all the streams of activities, from Foundation teams and community businesses and individuals come together to contribute to the enormous variety of what is on offer here – Taize singing, Phoenix Community Stores, The Blue Angel Cafe, Findhorn Pottery, Moray Art Centre, the Wind Park, the Hot Tub – to name but a few.
Building the New
Change is certainly happening on the outer at The Park: the top of ‘the runway’ is fenced off and work has begun on the new East Whins Co-Housing Project behind the Universal Hall, committed to being ecological, affordable and socially cohesive. At the other end of The Park, the Soillse permaculture-inspired housing project is well underway, with a December move-in date. Our edible landscape of fruit and nut trees also continues to grow, thanks to European Voluntary Service (EVS) student Tuva Engebretsen who has helped plant apple, pear, plum, cherry and cobnut trees throughout The Park.
So we continue to build the new within and without and there will be plenty of new sights for old friends visiting in 2012 to help celebrate our 50th birthday next year.
If 2012 seems a long way off, we’d love to welcome you this year –
On Offer this Summer and Autumn
A great way to build the new is Change Your Conversation, Change your Life – a three-day retreat, 27-29 August, with Sarah Rozenthuler and including two live interactive sessions with Neale Donald Walsch. It’s a chance to explore how to harness the surge of new energy entering the planet for practical change personally, politically and globally, calling up your power of intention to contribute to Life as you have never contributed before.
If you’re looking for something non-verbal and have some experience of Sacred Dance, I suggest Sacred Dance Teachers’ Training, September 24 for two weeks. I did this training in 2002 and it is such a valuable tool for building connection and community in any group. You’ll learn 16 dances in depth, from lively and upbeat to beautifully soft and meditative, with detailed notes and recordings of the music, and have the opportunity to teach and receive feedback.
If you are keen to develop professional skills, Findhorn College is running Co-Creative Healing: Advanced Training for people in healing professions, a six-module training for body workers, energy healers and others already familiar with self-enquiry. The training consists of six weeks, spread out over nine months, with a two-week beginning, 8-21 October 2011 and a completion week in June 2012. As a personal and professional healing journey, it will strengthen your ability to hold a grounding, empathic healing container for yourself, others and your potential clients.
In October Cluny Hill will host Foundation Training in Astroshamanic Trance Dance and Drumming, with Franco Santoro, for both beginners and the more experienced. The training consists of two workshops that can be attended independently. The Basic Week 1, 15-21 October 2011, opens the pathway to expanded states of consciousness and a profound awareness of self and environment through such practices as astroshamanic chants, planetary alignment dances, sound healing, shape-shifting rituals, and the basic astroshamanic drumming method. The Advanced Week 2, 22-28 October 2011, is an intense and in-depth experience of the transformational effects of shamanic trance dance, music and percussion on the human body, mind and spirit.
Throughout the autumn we have some new themed Spiritual Practice weeks – Ritual and Ceremony, and Primal Painting, as well as four-day and seven-day options for the Game of Transformation. If you’ve never played the original game it is a brilliant tool for gaining personal insight – you will have a riveting time, I guarantee it.
Whether you are on your summer holidays, sweltering in the tropics or enjoying crisp, winter days in the southern hemisphere, all of us at Findhorn thank you for being part of our family, part of the giving and the receiving, and for being sparks of love and light all over our beautiful planet.
With love and laughter
For the Communications Team