I am in Sydney, Australia again as I write this and have just come in from a walk with flocks of squawking white cockatoos and rainbow lorikeets. The weather here is slowly turning from the heat of summer to the crispness of autumn, meanwhile my communication with people at Findhorn tells me the earth is waking and warming up in the northern hemisphere.
And the seasons of life turn too – it's a year since my father’s death, my mother turns 92 this week, a niece has a new baby girl and another niece has just married. I really feel that these universal cycles playing out in all our lives join us together in empathy, joy and compassion. And I notice more and more that I want a simple life, in tune with myself, the cycle of life and the turning of the earth.
When I’m away from Findhorn I feel even closer to the 16,000 or so of you that I share this newsletter with. I feel as perhaps you do – that we are far flung yet intimately close. I feel the nourishment of our lives interwoven at a heart level, no matter the variety of our backgrounds and daily practicalities. I feel the commonality of our vision for a better world and our living curriculum of the spirit-led awakening self.
I wonder how you are going with this curriculum. I suspect that World Laughter Day which was on 5 May should become a daily occurrence to support us in our awakening! Laughter certainly helps me to lighten up and stop trying so hard. (Bless my high achiever and the needless angst it brings with it.)
When I get caught up in my personal or family drama I remind myself that Gangaji, one of my favourite wise women, tells me to drop my story and allow my life to be infused with the fulfillment, the joy, and the peace that is at the core of who I am – to be here as consciousness, pure presence simply inquiring into what it is that’s here, and letting that lead the mind. So relieving!
I hope you felt the global ripples of joy that the Easter Earthsings conference generated. It was such a powerful week with the four-part harmonies in the Harmonic Temple ‘bathing the singers in an absolutely delicious energy that leaves one feeling whole’. The week ended with the invocation – ‘Let’s take the fire into our hearts and carry the light out into the world, to light new fires of hope, peace, unity and wellbeing in the world.’ Visit Earthsings to read the excellent reports and see the pictures.
So much has happened at Findhorn over the last months, as we build a city of light. Most everyone, including many old community members, destined for the 25 new homes in East Whins at the top of the runway has now moved in, and we are very proud of this mixed-use development which includes our first two Community Care flats, a pottery studio, several affordable and community owned homes and communal spaces such as a kitchen, eating/lounging area, bike shed, workshop and laundry. For more details visit our Community News page.
And it doesn't stop there – a recent community meeting focussed on the next phase of development, the West Whins cluster offering a further twelve house sites and eight flats including an additional five affordable units under community control, and touched on the possibility of a new Phoenix shop as part of The Park Central Area Development.
More wonderfully, everywhere there are babies and toddlers and children and teenagers and families and extended families, adopted families, ad hoc families, families of friends and elders, all mixed together in friendliness and care and generosity. And everywhere I see little personal touches of beauty and loveliness that add so much heart to the built environment as well.
An example of this is the Original Garden. The beautifully creative gates, (works of art in themselves), which so tastefully keep the local deer from the vegetables, now welcome you with the words of our founders Peter, Dorothy and Eileen. The gate by the Main Sanctuary says Love in Action, the west gate says Listen, the east gate says Come closer and the south gates say Be still and know.
How can I not love this place – both the place itself and the impulse in its broadest sense, involving all of us – as a form of consciousness and a family of spirit. I love that it is built on the intensely personal aim to change the world from the inside out and yet, at the same time, we are engaged on a local and global scale with practical external issues.
I recently read a wonderful article by Otto Scharmer on Bhutan’s policy of Gross National Happiness (GNH) – definitely worth a read. It spoke of setting up a web of Transformation Hubs around the world and I feel Findhorn is one of those already.
Hopefully we are a nourishing hub for all of you and for many other fruitful connections and partnerships. On a global scale we work in partnership with the United Nations as a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), serving for example on the Spiritual Caucus and the Values Caucus, providing a bridge for communication between the peoples of the world and the policy makers at the national and global levels, and also with the Global Ecovillage Network, connecting communities for a better world.
And there are many more, smaller but no less admirable, partnerships. Very close to home is the Findhorn Hinterland Group, a hybrid mix of local and community people, concerned with the conservation and educational aspects of land on the Findhorn Peninsula.
Another is The Estonian Project, an international environmental education project bringing together two similar rural areas, Morayshire and Roosna Alliku parish, Estonia, and run by The Park Ecovillage Trust (PET) in collaboration with the British Council and Moray Council.
A third is Scottish government grants to PET — to create The Findhorn Eco-kit (including mini solar panels and natural waste water purification models, carbon reduction packs and teacher support) resulting in Findhorn visiting every school in Moray as well as coach loads of children descending on The Park; and also a collaboration between PET's Moray Junior Eco-Forum team with nine local primary schools.
I love Findhorn's commitment to supporting the dynamism that youth brings and I also love the sage advice of elders. David Spangler, who many of you know and who has been associated with Findhorn since the 70s, has been giving a series of live-stream talks in the Universal Hall on the theme of ‘Calling'.
I leave you with David's questions to all of us, personally and collectively: What am I called to in life? What is collective calling, and how do we hear and live this? What is the world asking of me, and of us at this time? How might we respond in order to contribute to a truly creative future in our world?
If these questions leave you wondering, consider participating in Life Purpose, 3 August and 2 November, a brilliant week I took part in, in 1993, when I didn't think I had a purpose. The rest is history. The Game of Transformation for either four or seven days is another superb way to explore these questions.
And wish us luck – The Findhorn Foundation was recently nominated for an award in the Kindred Spirit Awards 2013 competition — in the Healing/Retreat Centre section. We are very honoured to be nominated … and I see the Foundation as being far more than that. It's important to me that we are 'out there', a proactive force for good in the world.
I was chatting to a lovely Italian woman in a shop in Sydney recently and she was so excited to hear about Findhorn. As I was leaving the shop she thanked me for all that I do for the world. I was touched by her gratitude and pass it onto each of you — thank you for your awareness, your love, your laughter, your consciousness, your awakening to your true self.
With heartfelt appreciation and big hugs from the Findhorn family to you, our global family.
for the Communications Team.