I first discovered Findhorn fifteen years ago. I'd been performing music for a play touring in the Highlands of Scotland and had a few spare hours so pulled out a map looking for somewhere to visit locally. As I scanned it I noticed a place called 'Findhorn' across the bay. I had a sudden rush of memories as a child of a strange magical place that grew giant vegetables. I yearned to investigate but didn’t have enough time. However, on returning to London I went on the internet and discovered not only did it exist but it ran courses all year round.
In September of that year I flew up to attend 'Experience Week', the Findhorn Foundation's most popular programme, which serves as many peoples ‘front door’ to the community. Doing 'Experience week' was like being hit sideways by an enormous spiritual sledgehammer, and I was never the same again. Without Findhorn I doubt very much I would have been interested in becoming a counsellor or have been ready to train in subtle energy work with the mineral kingdom.
My first week there felt like a lifetime that I didn’t want to end. I was in a small group, and we had sessions of sharing, game playing, talks from people in the community, being of service in work departments, excursions to nature where the elementals were more tangible, and we formed very deep bonds with each other. A fellow traveller told me how he’d heard that coming to Findhorn was consciously speeding up your evolution, and you could work through a lifetime of issues in a week. Now I think I understand what he meant. People experience deep and honest sharing with each other there to a level that many people may not even do in a whole lifetime in the 'outside world'. Wounds can heal as individuals come from a much more authentic place. To me, the Foundation exists at a different energetic 'frequency' to other locations. This stirs everyone up who is called to visit there, bringing up the shadows that need to be processed in a very immediate way in order to integrate more light. I remember returning to London after a later visit and it felt vibrationally like I was leaving a high mountain or plateau and descending into the underworld.
Some courses at Findhorn involve choosing a work department in which to do a number of shifts during your stay. During my first week I worked in the kitchens. This can seem strange, to pay to work, but the point is partly to show how it is possible to channel spiritual practice into daily life. Work departments are held completely differently to the way jobs are usually managed. People share how they feel and what sort of mood they are in at the beginning of the shift and people tune into where they feel drawn to work. Amazingly everything gets done in an atmosphere of honesty and joy. It also allows people to express when they are angry, or feeling insular, and their requests for space or silence are honoured. Being in a work department also means that you get a ‘real’ experience of being part of the community from the inside out, as you are working alongside community members. There is a feeling of being able to contribute something tangibly and serve a greater whole. It also helps keep everyone grounded in such a magical environment!
I equate the energy of the Findhorn Foundation with deep healing transformation. Eileen Caddy, one of the three main founders of the community predicted that in the future it would one day become 'a city of light'. I wait for this day with hope in my heart and can see it already happening.
On April 22nd this year I will be facilitating a workshop at Findhorn focussing on how to work with crystals and subtle energy for self-healing. I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to work with the mineral kingdom in such a place and I hope this will create a truly magical experience for all who participate. If you are interested there is information on the Findhorn workshop week here and a link to the Foundations booking page here.
A different version of this blog post was originally published in the Crystal and Healing Federation Newsletter No.56