It feels like time is accelerating towards the community’s 50th birthday week 12–18 November. Excitement is certainly gathering as we all sign up for rotas to ensure the 340 people, both past and present community members participating in the official celebration, are well taken care of. Of course there are many more community people than available places in the Hall and Community Centre so there is a swelling wave of enthusiastic people creating a birthday ‘fringe’ festival in parallel, so everyone can celebrate.
I invite you all, from New Zealand to Nova Scotia, from Brazil to Bangladesh, from Jamaica to Japan and everywhere in between, to join with us in thought and heart as we celebrate Eileen, Peter and Dorothy for their truly amazing commitment to inspired action which began the unfolding development of this community. Let’s also celebrate the 50-year journey with all its delights and challenges, as well as the endless potential of what lies ahead … the spirit of the future.
I know that many of you are joining birthday celebrations in your own countries: more than 80 people are gathering in Rimini, Italy for four days 1–4 November; there is a celebration in Lisbon and other areas throughout Portugal during November; a party in Japan; and John Talbott will tell the Findhorn story at Soiree for the Soul in Sydney, Australia, 15 November.
I look around with wonder at the built landscape, so transformed from the days of a dry and windswept caravan park: the wind turbines, the water purification plant and the experimental homes; the marvellously creative Universal Hall, Nature Sanctuary, Singing Chamber and the new Park Garden Moontree meeting space; the flourishing trees, woods and gorseland; the fruit bushes, hedges, flower, herb and vegetable gardens, not to mention the birds, squirrels and deer; our wonderful Phoenix Shop, Cluny Hill completely rewired and refurbished – I could go on and on. I also see the diversity of people here on any given day – participants from at least 60 different countries, local disadvantaged young people, long and short term community members, families, business people, university students, volunteers, American college students, curious day visitors, builders, entrepreneurs, retired folk, artists … such richness! I love that the community, which began quite unintentionally, is now in relationship with the United Nations, the Global Ecovillage Network, the Scottish Government and many other communities, businesses, NGOs and charities.
Then I think of you, our global family, many of whom have passed through The Park and Cluny Hill, giving and receiving, attuning, singing, dancing, serving in departments, sitting outside your comfort zone, laughing, cooking, meditating, discussing, growing, cleaning on the inner and outer … and all the time building the worldwide energy and consciousness of this place, expanding its great heart which reaches deep within all of us and radiates out in the famous Findhorn ripple effect.
I imagine there are some great memories flashing before you now! Even in my brief 12 years here, there are so many evocative stories and I have felt and witnessed so many individual and collective moments of grace and transformation.
And of course, it hasn’t all been easy – we have our community shadow, our blocks, our politics and our growing edges; there’s been pain, conflict and frustration, not to mention overwhelm, anxiety and tears. Yet, for me, this glorious experiment includes all of that and remains an endlessly exciting place of inspiration, exploration and potential.
What is really wonderful is that many of you reading this email have been touched by Findhorn and are rightly part of the community without ever having physically been here, because Findhorn is, essentially, a community of spirit.
In the lead up to the birthday so much has been happening. In late September the community held a two-day Systemic Deep Dive to explore what shifts in consciousness are needed for the community’s next evolutionary steps. The message received, in its simplest form, was that if we put the One that we are first, and recognise that awakening is the aim, community will arise naturally.
The Love, Magic, Miracles conference was a spectacular success (see detailed reports here) and saw the launch of Findhorn co-founder Dorothy Maclean’s latest book, Messages From God, published by Findhorn Press and containing messages received well before those from the devic kingdom. It is available from the Phoenix Shop.
The conference was followed by an excellent three days with Caroline Myss exploring how to live a congruent life. It was a great feeling to welcome 90 people who joined in from their homes all over the globe through live streaming. How wonderful to bring the world so effortlessly into the Universal Hall! This was followed closely by the arrival of a young, enthusiastic international group (from such places as Slovenia, Turkey, Hong Kong, Brazil and France) for the month-long Gaia Education Design for Sustainability.
And now we are preparing for the birthday week as old friends and colleagues arrive from all over the world. On 10–11 November we welcome 32 Findhorn Fellows for a Findhorn Fellowship Reunion Event. The Fellowship is a group of over 100 people, many of them ex-members, who have done great things in the world and also advance the Foundation’s work and raise its profile globally. The same weekend Newbold House in Forres, a part of our close family, is celebrating its 33rd birthday.
The birthday week itself will include opportunities for oldtimers to serve in their most-loved departments; a one-day Game of Transformation facilitated by Joy Drake, Mary Inglis and Kathy Tyler; meditations; an update on Findhorn Today; open space for people to discuss topics of interest; an evening at Cluny; and a grand sharing in the Hall.
On 17 November, the actual birthday, there’ll be a meditation, a silent blessing walk through the Park and a ritual followed by tea parties hosted by Park residents. A celebration dinner will be followed by a sharing, where we hope ex-members will entertain us with skits, songs and other, now-legendary creative pieces.
Last but not least, there will be a Grand Auction of Findhorn memorabilia past and present, to raise money for new staff accommodation. (Sad, but true, we no longer house seven people in a caravan!) Who knows what may appear from the cupboards of past and present community members! Services from community therapists and contributions from the various small businesses in the community will also be auctioned.
Of course there is also life after the birthday!
Whether you are heading for long, summer days or the quieter inbreath of winter, here is a brief snapshot of what the Foundation is offering from Christmas and New Year through to Easter 2013.
If you are feeling a pull to a quieter, more inward looking time, consider visiting one of our island venues:
- 15 December, join the intimate Erraid community to celebrate Yule, Winter Solstice
- 22 December, join the Christmas Retreat for Gay Men on the Sacred Isle of Iona
or relax into the warmth of Cluny Hill for Beyond 2012: The New Year Spiritual and Sensual Healing Retreat with Franco Santoro, 29 December. Here is an opportunity to promote holistic awareness and planetary transformation through stillness and movement, sacred sensuality, relaxation, dance and elements of AstroshamanicHealing® Touch.
If you fancy celebrating a traditional New Year with the Findhorn Community, join New Year Celebration – Crossing the Threshold, 29 December with Barbara Swetina, Javier Rodriguez and Fabien Barouch for a spirit lifting celebration including song, dance, self-reflection, stillness, creativity and ritual as we journey together into the new Aquarian cycle.
Every spring we offer an inexpensive way for those of you who have participated in Experience Week, to spend a week at either Cluny Hill or The Park, spring cleaning the buildings and of course yourself, in the spirit of renewal and service. You can choose either
- A Gift to Cluny: Spring Clean Celebration, 26 January
- Sprinklings of Light: Spring Cleaning at The Park, 2 February
Another way to burst into spring is join us for a rousing international choral extravaganza next Easter: EarthSings – Singing for Unity and Wellbeing, 30 March – 5 April. With special guests Kathy Bullock (African American sacred music), Frank Kane (Georgian songs), Fionntulach (Celtic tradition), Ali Burns from Scotland and Michael Stillwater from USA, it’s bound to awake the singer within.
This is followed immediately by Unconditional Love, a dynamic four days, 6–10 April, with Michael Roads, spiritual author and teacher. Michael’s highly successful intensives are about breaking the confines of illusion and taking a step forward into unconditional love.
In a world where there is much suffering, please join with us in celebrating inspiring people and places all over the world – and of course the flourishing Findhorn Foundation and Community, so close to our hearts. 50 years on we are all part of a planetary village!
With love and laughter.
For the Communications Team