I am enjoying the long days here at Findhorn – I can go for daytime walks at 11pm and life feels more than normally expansive. I wonder what the 16,000 of you are up to during your short, wintry days heading for spring or at the height of your summer idyll.
Having spent the morning involved in Gratitude work with Joanna Macy I write this email feeling the huge pleasure it gives me to be in contact with you all and to know that we are part of an enormous worldwide movement actively in service to the conscious evolution of humanity. Although that sounds like a lofty quest I know it is grounded and lived in the small choices we make every day in how we relate to ourselves, to others and to the rest of creation. Blessings on our intentions.
There has been a great buzz at The Park for weeks with 45 people taking part in the Nonviolence Intensive this week and over 100 people joining the amazing 84-year-old Joanna Macy for the Work That Reconnects last week. Both are powerful examples of world work, restoring wholeness and tapping into the grandeur and compassion of the human heart. These immediately followed the highly successful International Communal Studies Association conference, (250 participants from 35 countries, including 125 presenters from 30 countries), with many people maximising their travel by participating in both or all three programmes.
The ICSA conference was a productive mix of engagement and exchange, of stimulating academic papers and experiencing the social lifeblood of communities: singing, dancing, hot-tubbing and laughing together. There was even a beribboned June-pole to frolic around. Iwas so happy to reconnect with old friends from Turkey, Germany and Australia and meet new friends from such places as Korea, Israel and India.The kitchens have been very busy feeding everyone and it feels like the world has been in our Community Centre.With more and more webstreaming happening you can experience the pleasure of Findhorn and the world in your living room too. (Paper presentations will become available as a free download from our website from the end of August.)
Winding back time a little, May was a great month for celebration in the community. Memorable was the wedding of Robin Alfred, our chair of Trustees and Kosha Joubert, President of GEN, the Global Ecovillage Network. This was a very joyful occasion and was aptly referred to by the celebrant as ‘a meeting of tectonic plates’.
Joy Drake, much-loved originator of the Transformation Game, celebrated her 70th birthday at The Park, also in May. Joy birthed the Game when working in Cluny Dining Room in the mid 1970s, never imagining it would develop, with the help of Kathy Tyler, Mary Inglis and Judy McAllister, into an amazing worldwide tool for personal/group/business growth. It is currently available in ten languages, in at least five different versions, with Facilitator Trainings in nine countries, from Kazakhstan to Thailand – this training was one of the best two weeks of my life!
The Transformation Game has become an integral part of the Findhorn experience and its famous Angel Cards are probably in most of your homes. I’ll never forget choosing/being chosen by the angel of Peace during my Experience Week – it was exactly the reason I had come to Findhorn.
The Foundation and Community is also celebrating winning the 2013 Kindred Spirit Award in the Retreat/Healing Centre category. This recognition of our service to the world is a welcome boost of inspiration for all of us and thank you to all who voted for us. Read more here.
(To read a touching account of how Kindred Spirit magazine and the Angel Cards affected the life of one lucky lady, click here.)
By the way, many of our programmes, although allowing a retreat from normal routine, are very active! An example is the sixth Findhorn International Forum on Sustainability (FIFS) in June, when 28 participants from the corporate world, NGOs, business schools and charities that interface with business came to meet themselves, meet Findhorn and meet each other in a wonderful participant-led emergent process. I so enjoyed being part of this very vibrant bunch, many returning for their third, fourth and even sixth time, keen to contemplate and reflect, as well as hatch adventurous entrepreneurial projects all over the world. I love that this community ‘contains multitudes’ and that we can be a research and development centre for the future of the world and a retreat and healing centre – and of course the two are very linked.
It’s not difficult to see that the world needs healing in many areas and for that reason I am heartened that many of you will join us for Forgiveness, The Great Undoing – A gateway to peace and connection, 28 September – 4 October. I hope to see you there so we can support the release of personal and collective suffering as a pathway to a better world.
Continuing the ‘containing multitudes’ theme, our fifth Youth Empowerment Programme, in partnership with Action For Children and Moray Council, finished in June – a three-month opportunity for disadvantaged youth in our local area to join the community, learn some life skills, garden, gain confidence and see the wondrous possibilities of life. Meanwhile at Cluny an international group completed their month of English in Community and the month-long Esalen Massage Technique continues. It is deeply satisfying to see such a diversity of programmes serving such a rich cross-section of people!
One of the best ways to get an overview of the Findhorn Foundation’s breadth of vision and action is to read the Annual Report – truly an inspiring document which gives a broadbrush look at our work in the world.
Meanwhile I have a personal answer to the question I posed to you in my last email: 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?
Firstly, I am going to dance myself into a wild and blissful state with Erik Bendix and his Klezmer dancing at the Festival of Sacred Dance, Music and Song, 20–26 July – see you there – and then I am going to help organise a gathering of the global family here at Findhorn to dream into and action new stories for the future of humanity and the planet. Watch this space, and also look for it in our 2014 brochure and on our website – I’m so excited about the opportunity we all have to shift consciousness, shift paradigms and co-create pathways to a more loving, compassionate world – 27 September 2014.
Thinking of humanity and the planet’s future, everyone at Findhorn sends blessings to Damanhur, one of our sister communities in Italy, on the passing of their founder Falco, Oberto Airaudi on 23 June. Reading of Damanhurians’ commitment to continue Falco’s work of building the dream of a better world with the same energy, passion and love that he gave, is both touching and inspiring and The Temples of Humankind remain as an extraordinary legacy of his life’s work.
With gratitude from all of us here for the multitudes we each contain, for the sister/brotherhood we feel, for the like-minded fellowship, for the power of intention in all corners of our beautiful world.
And with love and laughter.
for the Communications Team