Wednesday, 16 March 2016


As the course ‘Applied Ecovillage Living’ came to an end, we were warned that, as we journeyed out of Findhorn Ecovillage into the world at large, that we should beware the transition into a world we know only too well is less caring, compassionate and affectionate than the one we’d grown used to at the Findhorn village. For example, it is not likely that in the rest of the world that you can expect to receive no less than one hug per hour you are awake, or begin your work shifts with a calm meditation, hand-holding and ‘tuning-in’ – the process of becoming attuned to the intentions and wishes of those in your work-group.

How this process of attunement worked, in practice, was that for my service group, Park Garden, we would start a shift by sitting in a circle, holding hands for about a minute, and then the 3-5 experienced gardeners who felt most inspired, would declare what work they were planning to do, and how many people they wished to help them.  Then, the remaining 3-5 of us would choose one of the jobs mentioned. This way, we could all contribute whichever work we felt most ready for.

Various authors, interviewees and long-term guests have described the ‘magic’ of Findhorn as being , most commonly, love, acceptance and sincerity. People look you in the eyes, and say what they mean, most often in a kind way. Many new arrivals at Findhorn, myself included, find that within a few short days, that they ‘love everybody’.  I can report that this feels unusual. I have participated in many groups, and found myself liking, appreciating and empathising with the others in my group. Yet there was something different about this. I found, truly, that there was no separation between myself and the others, even those I am very different to, socially, culturally, physically and emotionally.

The end of the course brought about a certain sadness, the sadness of parting from the others that I had come to love, along with the tear-inducing knowledge that those you love, never truly leave you. Of course, nowadays with the level of Internet penetration, there is no excuse not to stay in contact.

Another feeling, slightly more surprising, yet on some reflection far from unexpected, was the feeling of anticlimax at the end of the course. I suppose it is hard to top the spiritual experience of the Sweat Lodge, even with Pete’s, Christopher’s and my 30-minute presentation Hemp Ecovillage Portugal to graduate the course with. 

We had spent two nights up until very late doing research and preparing our presentation, this being all the time afforded to us on our very busy course. So by Thursday, our presentation date, I was feeling thoroughly burnt out, and even a little depressed, a feeling belied by our cheery group photograph.

We spent Friday saying goodbye to one another, by which time I had recovered some composure (and sleep), and Saturday was departure day… for some.

For the rest of us, Findhorn hadn’t released its grip on us yet. I stayed with friends in the Park until today, Tuesday, catching up on rest, and by Monday morning, I was feeling quite directionless, which was even leading to feelings of apathy and tiredness. I know I have until Saturday 19th before my planned 28-day Living in Community Guest programme at Cluny is due to begin, and with the whole of Scotland potentially open for me to explore, I was starting to feel a little spoilt for choice.

Dillon provided the impetus to make a decision, suggesting Edinburgh as the place to go. I mentioned Edinburgh to a few people, and
got very positive feedback, in that it’s a pretty city, with many parks and tourist attractions, not to mention interesting people to meet!

So now Dillon and I sit on a train, bound for Edinburgh and arrival at 22:19, and I intend to stay there for a couple of days at least, quite possibly until Saturday itself!

At 23:00 we arrived  at our hotel, safe, tired and happy.

Here's to a new adventure!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like the whole experience was totally amazing and life-changing. I'm thrilled that you were able to take this spiritual and geographical journey.