I am once more in Australia after time in Sri Lanka, Thailand and Singapore. I do see it snowing when skyping into meetings at Findhorn, so I can feel connected to those of you in both the southern and northern hemispheres, and in the humid tropics.
I love this annual sojourn in the south as I then become, like you, part of the Foundation’s global family. It reminds me that Findhorn is a state of being rather than a geographic location. Many of you, having completed a Foundation programme ask, ‘How can I keep this feeling of peace, love and connection when I go back home?’ So it is good for me to experience the same physical separation you do and to realise that while Findhorn, the place, does create a strong container I can still tap into its transformational field, keeping my heart open and living life as ‘love in action’ wherever I am.
The Foundation held its annual Internal Conference in early January. Our surviving co-founder Dorothy Maclean was at the opening session to hear the co-workers sing ‘Happy Birthday’, her 98th, on 7 January. Thomas Miller has written an excellent synopsis of Dorothy’s life’s work. For me the most inspiring point is that Dorothy realised that consciousness, not physical matter, is the one reality from which everything else flows and that her experience of universal consciousness led her to explore, in very practical ways, the vast multiplicity of its beings and forms – probably her most well-known contact with non-physical consciousness being with the devas. I love their advice – Why go around like zombies, following this or that external guide when all the time your only guide is within you?
Dorothy’s life became a process of building a new, co-creative human consciousness in every detail of her life, knowing that humans have the unique potential to shape the world in ways that other beings cannot, making us the ‘growing tip of Earth’.
If you’re interested in realising yourself as an active agent in co-creating the life of Earth and want to learn more and experience the conscious dimensions Dorothy explored, I urge you to join the 2018 Findhorn Foundation conference Co-Creative Spirituality: Shaping Our Future with the Unseen Worlds, September 22–28.
At the end of January I was sad to miss the Burns Supper, Scotland’s annual appreciation of its favourite poet, full of ritual and humour, speeches and dancing. Robbie Burns with his egalitarian “a man’s a man for a’ that” would have felt very at home at Findhorn! I’m also going to miss a very vibrant injection of 24 switched on, engaged young people who are participating in Applied Ecovillage Living in March – one week in Cluny and one week in The Park. They bring the energy of spring with them.
Everyone having a great time at the Burns Supper (Photos: Hugo Klip).
Park Kitchen has had a two-week shutdown and a huge spring clean and refit recently. I want to celebrate all the planning and work that went into this and the gleaming new all-electric kitchen, which significantly reduces our carbon footprint and gives a lighter, brighter working space. It’s now in operation with the Park Kitchen Team turning out delicious, nutritious food for you. I know that many of you reading this have spent many a happy shift chopping and washing and singing and laughing and chatting. I certainly have.
Spring will also see the recommencement of regular Findhorn Hinterland Trust tours. This charitable trust is amazing – it looks after the land the Foundation bought in 2014 for ‘conservation in perpetuity’, manages the green burial site, promotes environmental protection, provides recreational facilities and activities for school groups, adults with learning difficulties and Foundation programmes, has a small apiary for hands-on learning the art of beekeeping and a demonstration edible woodland garden. It’s great that the Foundation has seconded a long time staff member with a professional background in forestry to support the Hinterland Trust.
I’ll be back in Findhorn late March to cook a meal or two for participants in Robert Holden’s 3-day Enneagram Retreat – (I’m told I am an ‘8’ but I’m not sure it’s that simple), and to prepare to help run and participate in a wonderful mythodrama retreat for women April 7–9.
April is a busy month. I am very drawn to a programme called the Children’s Fire, referring to the practice of indigenous elders to always have a fire in the centre of their council circle to remind them to make no law, no decision, no action, that will harm the children. Today, the Children’s Fire is a mindset, a design principle which needs to find a location deep within the DNA of politics, religion, art, business, education, health, banking, cities. Come and learn how with Mac Macartney, founder of Embercombe, a centre for leadership and learning.
I’m already looking forward to getting back to my Sacred Dance group as we prepare for the Festival of Sacred Dance, Music and Song, July 14–21. This year our guest teacher is Shakeh Major Tchilingirian, bringing the power of Armenian dance to Scotland, accompanied by two fabulous Armenian musicians, Tigran Aleksanyan and Ara Petrosyan playing duduk and dehol. This will be my 18th festival – they are too good to miss so see you there! No previous dance experience necessary.
As an international community we are constantly aware of the ‘love miles’ we chalk up, visiting ageing parents and friends around the world. The Park Ecovillage Trust has been busy gathering the community’s latest carbon emission statistics and creating an ‘offset service’ for those who live here and those who visit. By calculating our travel footprint and paying the amount stated, funds will be sent primarily to projects in the developing world to offset CO 2 emissions. If you’re interested in knowing more visit their website.
My last little snippet is that I was intrigued to see that Watkins bookshop in London, which has been encouraging spiritual discovery for 120 years, publishes an annual list of the 100 most spiritually influential people alive today, to celebrate them. For 2018 Pope Francis is first, the Dalai Lama is second. Oprah comes in at number 6, Deepak Chopra at number 11. Our good friend Vandana Shiva is number 34 and Ken Wilber is 49. Findhorn Fellows Satish Kumar and Caroline Myss are 81 and 83 respectively.
I can’t help thinking that not one of us can ever know how influential we are in the lives of others. I always remember Mother Teresa’s advice – ‘Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.’ And who can know the far-reaching effects of these small acts.
May we all contribute to a better world through small acts of great love… every day.
With love and laughter
For the Communications Team