A week in the Gardens of Findhorn
A community created in the 70s a bit like Esalen, Findhorn is located on the shores of the Moray Firth in far north eastern Scotland. It offers “An Experience Week” wherein one is immersed in the values and lifestyle of its 300+ residents. Its main goals are Co-Creation with Nature; Inner Listening; and Love in Action, ideas based on guidance from spirits that helped its founders transform sand dunes into a nearly self-sustaining vegetable gardens and a community of buildings varying from a stone built wavy windowed sanctuary to hay bale structures, from modified trailers to wooden barrel houses all surrounded by flowers.
We were a group of 17, 2 men and 15 women, from the Netherlands, Germany, France, Brazil, Belgium, Chile, Denmark, Switzerland and three from the US, many young, some middle-aged and a few older and led by two very loving older Scottish women who, along with guest healers, shepherded us through angel meditations, sacred dances, and spiritual “games” that opened our hearts and led to revelations, tears, and much loving support.
Afternoons here we participated in “Love in Action” which meant preparing food, doing home care, or, in my case, working in one of the myriad gardens—of vegetables or flowers. Weeding became an absolute delight; getting my hands in the dirt and marveling at the weeds’ tenacity evident in their extraordinary roots gave me much joy.
Every work session, every meal, every spiritual exercise, was preceded by and closed with a “tuning in” involving meditation, holding hands in a circle and a blessing. This made the community close and loving no matter what we were doing.
We lived at Clint Hill, an 1850s Victorian sprawl of a mansion surrounded by flower gardens and endless kelly green lawns. Ceilings were high with elaborate moldings and the dining room was exquisite with windows overlooking the gardens, royal blue seats and a lovely red green and blue floral carpet. Food was vegetarian, healthy, and fresh from our vegetable garden.
All was not work and meditation however, as we had excursions, one to the gloriously deep, mist-enshrouded and completely wild Findhorn River gorge, where rushing waters plunged over granite boulders and were surrounded by old growth forest, lichen dense and moss enfolded trees skirted by ferns and buttercups-the perfect Scottish experience.
Another day we went to the beach on Findhorn Bay—quiet, foggy, a beach with low waves bringing multi colored pebbles onto the sand, skirted by heathered dunes, and frequented mostly by gulls. I walked miles along the shore gentle waves caressing the sand and then along horse pastures and through a forest and gardens back to my next “Love in Action” afternoon.
What I remember most is the kindness of everyone and their willingness to listen, to help and to take the time to just to be present and support each other. My Findhorn Experience Week gave me a light that has warmed my heart and given me hope.