- “I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being.” HAFIZ
The quotation blows me away. It wakes me up and I smile, bedazzled by the brightness that we are, individually and collectively. As I write to you I feel the strength and power of our interbeingness (Thich Nhat Hanh's lovely word) and hope you too feel this strong connection of heart and consciousness.
It’s hard to believe that we are into February with Robbie Burns duly celebrated and Imbolc, Celtic spring, already here. I wonder how many of you have been experiencing extreme heat or extreme cold, not to mention fires, storms, powercuts and floods. When I dance in the mornings I imagine you all with me in the circle, healing and transforming the worries of the world and allowing the gentle (and sometimes not-so-gentle) flow of life to move through us.
Dorothy Maclean, the community's surviving co-founder, turned 93 on 7th January. She loves winter and is out every day on her walking tour of The Park. Dorothy is at 8.35 meditation every morning, still a wonderful role model of, as she says, 'putting God first'. She is such a treasure!
Since the 50th birthday I notice a renewed enthusiasm to strengthen the internal fabric of an increasingly and wonderfully rich and complex community, including the Foundation at Cluny and The Park. The Foundation’s yearly Internal Conference in January and regular community-wide meetings ensure that we stay in relationship with each other. The personal and social side of sustainability are sooo important and are often marginalised. How healing it would be if all those at war could laugh, cry, dance, sing and be vulnerable together.
It is also clear that we are keen not to be a self-sufficient community in a bubble, but to be relevant to an ever-widening variety of local, national and international organisations, whether they be business, government or charity.
In December I was particularly inspired by the first module of Transition to Resilience (T2R), a two-year learning adventure for change makers, in five modules (stand alone or as a complete journey). T2R is for those who work in local government, NGOs and the community in the creation of sustainable living environments, both urban and rural. The curriculum is spectacular, having been put together by the best of the best in Europe for lifelong education in the field of social, economical and ecological sustainability. Module 2 is Building the Fellowship 9–15 March and Module 3 is Grounding Projects 9–15 November.
The modules are open to anyone, but if you are a non-UK EU citizen connected to an educational establishment the modules have Grundtvig In-Service Training status. The deadline for March is past but for Module 3 you have until 30th April to apply to your National Agency for the grant. Contact for more details of the grant.
As a result of this desire to reach out more widely, Holistic Inner Skills – The Art of Working with ‘The Whole’ 23rd March for seven days, is for anyone who works, or who would like to work, with groups or individuals, in coaching, education, business, healthcare or therapy, and who has reached an edge in their own growth. A great opportunity to extend your perceptual range through exercises, practical examples and real-life issues.
Similarly, Bringing Spirit into Business for Peace, Pleasure and Plenty is for self-employed people, small business owners, people who run charities, or anyone responsible for a budget. If you want to sell a product without selling your soul and bring the sacred back into the sales conversation, this four-day workshop, 27th April is for you.
For a slightly different angle on the ramifications of selling your soul have a look at Ambition, Values and Leadership: Mythodrama Scotland 8th June. The four days will use Shakespeare’s Macbeth as a warning tale of what can go wrong if ambition is not appropriately linked with ethics and values, exploring who we want and need to be in order to serve best and developing our wise ‘Steward’ leader potential.
Continuing this theme of ethics and values, Right Livelihood: Creating Meaningful Work in Challenging Times 13th July for 5 nights, offers opportunities for meditation, reflection and pilgrimage in the company of the truly inspiring, articulate and deeply conscious Satish Kumar. How lovely to spend time alone in nature, walking in the Scottish Highlands, studying emerging trends and opportunities in the social economy and learning from each other while exploring the notion of meaningful work.
Changing focus slightly, I always look forward to the month-long Esalen® Massage Technique in the hope that some of the participants will practise the long integrating strokes this method is famous for, on me, but it hasn't happened yet. If you want an in-depth experience and practice of basic Esalen® Massage techniques, enabling you to give a professional full body massage upon completion of the course, as well as an experience of Findhorn, your chance is 29th June for 28 days.
But right now it's great to welcome the burst of new energy that Ecovillage Experience brings to The Park in February. This year there are 25 participants, from 21 to 68 years old, from 13 different countries. Fantastic!
And remember, the world comes to Findhorn but Findhorn also goes to the world! There are Transformation® Game Facilitator trainings in Kazakhstan, Russia, Portugal, Japan, Switzerland and Brazil; A Taste of Findhorn in Germany and Finland; and the annual Holistic Centres Gathering followed by discussions on starting, running and growing a retreat centre at Esalen in California, to name just a few. See all Findhorn’s outreach here.
Sending joy, loving kindness and reminders of 'the astonishing light of your own being' and always with love and laughter
for the Communications Team