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Working with the Intelligence of Nature


The Findhorn Foundation pioneers a holistic approach to sustainability. Along with the environmental and economic aspects of sustainable living, we also integrate the social and spiritual dimensions of human experience. Working with the intelligence of nature is an important step in going beyond a limited view of how humans and the rest of life interact, and allows us to experience being part of an interconnected web of life.

It’s alive, it’s communicating – we are listening

Working with the Intelligence of NatureIn the early days of the community part of the daily spiritual practice was to make a connection with the intelligence of nature, and to invite this intelligence into co-creative partnership. The results of this communication led to many new possibilities; things that seemed impossible to grow and achieve in northeast Scotland were tried, accomplished, and the community thrived. The Foundation became a centre for people who wanted to work together in new ways with nature, with spirit and with each other.

In daily activities in our kitchens, gardens and living spaces, we recognise and invite the intelligence of non-human life, such as the plants we’re tending, animals we’re with, elements, and non-physical members of very subtle ecologies, to work alongside us. This cooperation brings practical results, as well as a more connected and creative relationship to life. Everyone, either through innate gifts or through training in inner listening, has the potential to tune into and partner with the intelligence of nature.

Ecovillage – co-creating a new future

Working with the Intelligence of NatureWhen we choose to partner with all kinds of intelligent life on our planet, we greatly increase our ability to shape a shared and positive future. The Findhorn Foundation and community works in many ways for the benefit of life on earth through both our subtle and our practical co-creation with nature.

The ecovillage impulse began here in the 1980s and strengthened in the 1990s, as the community embraced sustainable values as a next step in our cooperation with nature. New building methods were pioneered here, including the ‘breathing wall’ and straw bale construction. Wind turbines to generate electricity were installed and a Living Machine sewage treatment facility was opened. In 1991 we became a founder member of the Global Ecovillage Network. Through our work pioneering green technologies and eco-construction the Findhorn Foundation earned the United Nations Centre for Human Settlement’s Best Practice designation in 1998.

By not just developing the externals of sustainability, such as eco-housing and renewable energy – but also addressing the inner spiritual life of human beings, our social interactions and our relationship with the natural world – the ecovillage at Findhorn is a unique experiment in holistic sustainable living.

To learn more about the Findhorn Foundation’s early journey of learning to co-create with the intelligence of nature, see the following books:

The Findhorn Garden – The story of the early days of the community and its communication with the intelligence of plants, animals and other nature beings

Memoirs of an Ordinary Mystic – Memoir telling the exciting story of Dorothy Maclean’s life, including her role in co-founding the Findhorn Foundation