I am writing today from the island of Erraid off West Scotland. I just arrived today from Findhorn Foundation to this affiliated community. It was a six hour drive. The left side of the road driving, roundabouts, narrow lanes with pull outs all made me glad I was not driving!
Last week was called Experience Week, and what a wonderful experience it was! It was a wonderful time to both experience Findhorn Foundation (https://www.findhorn.org/) and the sustainable community and eco-village plus a time to better connect in to my heart and with my classmates. My class had twelve members and we all bonded very quickly. It was a wonderful blend of ages and more men than women. I have not been in such a wonderful mixed gender community for a long time. The class was also a lovely mix of English, Scots, French and Spanish – all speaking English with their own accents. It took me a couple of days to really understand everyone’s names – I had to see them in writing to really grasp them. The Experience week process has been very similar for many years and was quite effective, along with our group having amazing focalizers, in pulling a group together as a community. I hope to stay in touch with all of the members of my group and perhaps to visit them during my travels. One of my classmates came to the island community neighboring Erraid, called Iona, for a week. We expect to see each other once during the week.
Findhorn is lovely, green grass with yellow Scotch Broom in bloom, Scottish, coastal community, the weather varied between cold windy rain to lovely sunshine. We stayed in dormitory type rooms with the bathroom down the hall for our class in a place called Cluny Hall where our classes were also. We spent a couple of hours a day doing community work, called “Love in Action”. I worked in the kitchen, other classmates worked in the gardens. It was all done at a lovely pace with regular tea breaks.
I found the community to be authentic and honest about their problems and possible solutions. They are currently working on revamping their organization to flow easier. I don’t have an urge to live here, but appreciate the good work they are doing. I saw a Living Green Machine that processed their sewage using plants and bacteria so that it met the Scottish standards for reclaimed water. I visited their gardens for flowers and vegetables they are growing and of course dipped my hand in the sea once. I can’t get that close to the ocean without touching it.
During the Experience week an opportunity to live for a week with a community and share in their life and work came up on the island of Erraid. I decided to take the opportunity and traveled by van across Scotland this morning, leaving Findhorn at 5:30 AM. We are 11 people on the island today and it is beautiful, windy and cold here. We shared a dinner of lentil curry and rice plus rhubarb sauce for dessert. They made a gluten free biscuit and bread to go with it. Another permanent person here is gluten free, so it was easy to add me in. The rhubarb reminded me of my Aunt Gladys’ rhubarb sauce, a little tart.
One advantage of the island is I have good internet connection – so I will be able to make calls on Wifi in addition to doing this blogging, email, etc. that I have not been able to do easily for awhile. My phone plan allows me to call free only over Wifi.
After this week I am going to do a week of meditation retreat back at Findhorn before I leave for Greece on May 2nd from Edinburgh. I met with the instructor (called a focalizer here) and really liked him. I feel I will be more solid in knowing myself when I am done with these three weeks and in addition have many new, good friends.