Towards a culture of appreciation

Hello everyone

There is enough happening in the world at the moment that I (and perhaps you) could be forgiven for feeling dispirited and overwhelmed. A participant commented yesterday that while the rational response to world events may be pessimism, it is natural for the human heart to hope. And so I accept what is, appreciate the gift of life and notice that however bleak the global landscape may sometimes seem there is also a wave of positive change gathering momentum.

NaturePort043I find that living with a conscious culture of appreciation reframes things for me and helps me respond in an empowered way to the very real challenges humanity faces.

Having recently watched the world’s compassionate response to the refugee crisis (and participated in this community’s exploration of how we can help); watched the inspiring film We Are Many chronicling the first truly global protests to stop the Iraq war; begun to network to support the global meditation on 1 November to support the December climate change talks in Paris (www.24earth.org); contributed to the successful Positive News crowd fund making them a community-owned newspaper and signed up for the People’s Climate March on November 29th, I feel that as we all realise and act on our collective power, a new world is indeed possible.

This newsletter is one way The Foundation, as a seed centre, seeks to nurture this collective power and we are 25,000 green shoots on the Earth, our small island in the cosmos, working (and smiling) through the transition, the chaos and the ‘not knowing’, sensing what wants to happen for the good of the whole … and then supporting it. Whether that support is through subtle activism or in more tangible ways, it’s important for us all to know we are joined by the common purpose to be and build a better world. All of us here at Findhorn appreciate you!

CullerneTeabreakMuch worth appreciating has been happening at the Findhorn Foundation and Community this summer: School of Youth in August brought young people from Cambodia, The Gambia, Latvia, Romania, Denmark, Italy and UK to Findhorn, building their confidence and broadening their horizons; English in Community continues to teach language skills to folk from such countries as Japan, Peru, Germany, France, Brazil and Spain; the Family and Youth Experience Weeks brought freshness to The Park and Cluny and the Festival of Sacred Dance, Music and Song saw much wild Greek revelry both in the Universal Hall and in the Community Centre afterwards.

We await news from the Big Lottery on stage one of our funding application for a much-needed and long-awaited Welcome Centre at The Park; said good-bye to Moya, our first wind turbine; our amazing charity Trees For Life moved to spacious and ecological premises newly built behind the Universal Hall, thanks to financial assistance from the EU’s European Regional Development Fund; the Foundation’s initiative to offer three £95 places for young people under 26 years on each Experience Week till September has been so successful that it’s been extended to the end of the year; and as a community that has grown and changed, we continue to engage with what forms of governance, structure and communication best suit us now.

Ross and Hildur Jackson at GEN+20Finally, the Global Ecovillage Network event in July, GEN+20, celebrating 20 years of GEN, was full of international colour, exuberance, productivity and alliance-building. It is with great sorrow that we learned of the death, on 6 September, of Hildur Jackson, co-founder (with husband Ross, pictured right at GEN+20) of GEN and Gaia Education. Hildur made an enormous contribution to the world and it was so wonderful that she, although ill, participated so fully and joyfully in GEN+20 and was able to see the fruits of her vision. A tree was ceremonially planted at The Park this week to mark Hildur’s transition and to appreciate her life.

I draw your attention to one direct result of the Jacksons' vision – Design for Sustainability: The Findhorn EDE (Ecovillage Design Education), 3 October – 6 November.

This brilliant programme, at its best as a four-week curriculum but also possible in weekly modules, begins with Pracha Hutanuwatr’s renowned Leadership & Participatory Empowerment. For more information visit here.

I hope you all enjoyed Drew Dellinger’s talk via Findhorn Live on 14 September and available to be watched for 30 days. You can also tune into sessions of the We Do Not Die Conference 26-29 September if you can’t make it to Findhorn. Visit here for details.

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And thanks to all of you who find me to say hello when you come to Findhorn. I appreciate the physical connection.

Wishing you spring blossoms, autumn leaves, desert landscapes or tropical humidity. And sending love and laughter from all of us at Findhorn in these challenging times of endless opportunity.

Yvonne Cuneo
For the Communications Team

24 September 2015