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Love, Magic, Miracles Conference Day 1

2 October 2012 Walking with a feeling of excitement and expectancy, light from the full moon overhead illuminating the path, I make my way to the Universal Hall.

Tonight is the opening ceremony of the Love, Magic, Miracles conference and all in the community have been invited to attend. For the conference participants it has been a full day already: registering, settling in and meeting with their home groups. I enquire of the young woman sitting next to me, What are these home groups? Lucky explains they are groups of about 12 people each and offer a space for sharing, support and a familiar face, something important with a conference this size. Lucky, who has travelled up from Cornwall, is one of 144 participants coming from 23 countries, and like many others who raised their hands when the question was asked, she is here for the first time. Her enthusiasm is infectious and I find myself smiling inside and out.

Findhorn Community co-founder Dorothy Maclean lighting the candle Light, love and magic Two huge floral displays in autumnal reds, oranges and yellows grace the front of the Hall, with those rich colours echoed in the flowers surrounding the conference candle. This candle, made especially for the occasion by our island community on Erraid, in the colours of white, pink, golden yellow and blue, is lit by our beloved Dorothy Maclean to open the conference.

Seeing those colours, I sense the magic the divinity that has already begun manifesting in and around this conference. After a moment of silence as is the Findhorn tradition the presenters each in their own time come forward to light a small candle from the centre candle and offer a blessing for the conference. Love, magic, miracles, grace and radiance are all brought in with the hope that they will be generated within the conference, in each one of us, and then sent out into the world with the recognition that we are one community, one family of humanity. We share this earth with all life and tonight a blessing is offered for the thrival of the honeybee, a creature with whom our own destiny is intricately woven. Harvest of miracles Michael Hawkins and Antonio Palmieri share with us that tonight is the harvest of two years of hard work, inspired by the quality of love that Eileen Caddy radiated, that Peter Caddy put into action and that Dorothy Maclean recognised as the greatest power on earth. In recognition of how Eileen used to say that the essence of the Findhorn Community is to bring heaven down on earth and to learn to do everything with love, Michael and Antonio wish us all one heavenly week before handing over to Barbara Swetina and Francois Monnet.

Barbara and Francois desire for tonight is to help create external beauty, knowing this is a reflection of our inner beauty. Francois takes us on a little journey as he reveals from beneath three large strips of vibrant silk fabric laid on the Hall floor a huge red and turquoise print. Twelve years ago at the Angels conference held here at Findhorn, Francois and a Polish artist created a papercut of the Tree of Life, in the tradition of the New Year of the Tree celebrated in the small villages of Poland. This papercut was then taken to peace conferences all over the world. As one would imagine, after being unfolded and folded again and again, the papercut started to wear out and eventually was replaced with the print we see before us on the floor. The Tree of Life represents the universe, and the human being. Using this physical representation on the floor, we are invited to one by one place a small candle somewhere on the tree, offering a blessing as we do. It is pointed out that this is the first action of the conference that we are taking together and I am moved to tears as I witness this beautiful

ritual. Accompanied by the etheric sounds of Barbara on harp and Herewood Gabriel on singing bowls and thumb piano, a gentle stream of blessings come into the tree and into the world. Holding in our minds the image of building a temple, we end this first evening together by singing a Russian Kyrie Eleison, a sacred chant, with the intention of transforming ourselves and our world. As I go out into the night, Id like to leave you with the ancient Celtic blessing from the Hebrides that Phillip Newell offered as his blessing: May the grace of the love of the moon be thine, May the grace of the love of the stars be thine, May the grace of the love of the waters be thine, In the name of the word of all life. Sandra Mitchell

Love, Magic, Miracles Conference Day 2

2 October 2012 Sitting in the audience of the Universal Hall I was filled with anticipation, combined with appreciation for simply being here, as Michael Hawkins led us in a moment of silence to begin the day. Jay Ramsay then recited a beautiful poem, Olympians, which touched upon spontaneous interventions of spirit, accompanied by the gentle drumming of Herewood Gabriel that deepened the impact of Jays words.

Michael gave a warm welcome to Robert Holden, who offered the first presentation of the week, Loveability to Know How to Love and Be Loved. Robert encouraged a focus on receptivity and I felt immediately captivated by his presence. His words, Love is always present even when Im not, seemed to resonate around the Hall, a beautifully decorated stage for the occasion. The ever-present candle was centrepiece and abundant floral arrangements created a sacred space for us all to dive deeply into ourselves and connect with each other. Sharing love Robert Holden We were invited to share an experience of love in our lives in the last seven days with the person next to us and there was an immediate soft buzz in the air as people engaged in the discussion. After all, Love is our destiny. The background to Roberts presentation was a colourful and concise slideshow. He guided us through his ideas with ease, intellect, humour and depth, interspersed with inspiring quotes ranging from poetry, music, science and mysticism. The greatest thing youll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.

The lyrics displayed on the screen, from the song Nature Boy written by Eden Ahbez, sang to me, The greatest thing youll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return. Love is at the heart of our curriculum, I thought. How wonderful! Your life is all about love and even when it isnt it still is really. Roberts first principle was greeted with the laughter of recognition. Is it a word, an idea, a feeling, or an energy? He shared a touching story about his then four-year-old daughter, who upon learning that her daddy was writing a book felt keen to learn how to write. What would you like to begin with? he asked. Lets start with love, came the young yet wise reply.

Robert Holden with his children Robert displayed her first hand written word on the screen to the increasingly receptive audience. Seriously is that it? the child had said, No Daddy thats not love, its just a word. He spoke warmly about the experience of parenting, Half the time youre in the presence of a child and the other half a Zen master. His modern tale echoed the words of Rumi, What do you know of love other than its name? Love is real We were led to the conclusion, The beauty of love is that it cannot be defined. So then what? Roberts first conscious enquiry into love began when his father passed away and the question arose within him, What is real? The response came, Love is real. The second principle shared was the miracle of self-love, knowing that we are love, and the tale of the two selves. The unconditioned self, or soul, has the basic truth, I am loveable grounded in self-acceptance. The learned self, or ego, has the basic fear, Am I loveable? based upon self-improvement. However, The final and only act of healing is to accept that there is nothing wrong with you. There was something familiar and reassuring about his words that I found grounding and encouraging to recognise ourselves over and over again, without judgement.

Robert spoke of God and love in the third principle. To learn about God we dont need to learn about religion we need to learn about ourselves. He shared a simple yet touching prayer by Macrina Wiederkehr, Dear God, show me the truth about myself no matter how beautiful it is. Amen. Throughout Roberts presentation I had a deep sense of his lifelong exploration into love and could feel the foundation for our weeklong conference being laid with thoughtful care. A poem from Hafiz, interweaving both teaching and practice, introduced the fourth principle loving others. It happens all the time in Heaven How can I be more loving to you, how can I be more kind? Robert posed questions through quotations in a masterful way and I felt

a reminder of the tools in my toolbox. Im sure I was not alone in believing, trusting, knowing that more love in the world is possible, that we all have our role to play, amidst the challenges. We must celebrate a last supper with our ego, again and again and again

The fifth principle introduced the importance of love and forgiveness, which Robert described as, An angel you pray to when you need a miracle. It is an act of grace that sets us free, a shift in perception from fear to love. Which led naturally into the final principle, love and our destiny, and a quote from Erich Fromm that love is, The only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence. The ripple effect Are we willing to truly love enough? How can we overcome separateness? How can we achieve union? I felt these questions would be ever present throughout the week and asked myself, How can I be more loving and is that enough? The impact of one person loving more and the ripple effect was captured brilliantly in a short video clip that Robert shared. It began as a message from one Israeli, to the people of Iran, a message of love, that grew from people to people, nation to nation, and in those few minutes I felt inspired that this conference is real and practical and offers the potential for global change.

The decision to be the presence love is the most powerful influence you can have in any situation in your life and in the world. Robert received a standing ovation and I contemplated his words as the Hall emptied for the traditional tea break. Weaving magic When people returned we each received colourful shapes of paper at the door. The melodic sounds of the flute played by Barbara Swetina welcomed us back, creating the space for Judy McAllister to lead us in sacred ritual. The invitation was to be light and playful, combined with a sense of respect, as together we worked with five primary streams love, magic, miracles, ancestors and future generations.

These five horizontal alters lay upon the floor, to become vertical anchor points for the energies invested in them. Judy described the ingredients to weave our magic spell and guided us through a meditation, connecting with the time when we said yes to being here, in this centre of love and light on the planet. We were asked to turn our attention to the quality of love, however we understood it, then to moments of magic, and the presence of miracles. Finally we turned our attention to those who will come after us, the future generations, as they face the world we leave behind us, and to the ancestors.

Which of these banners would you like to contribute to? Judy asked. We wrote our messages and steadily streamed down to the floor to pin our offerings to the fabric, as Herewood played the wooden zylophone. I felt a sense of pride in our community, in the detail and effort that had clearly taken place behind the scenes. The banners were raised like masts on a ship against the five columns of the Hall, the group energy interwoven in our hopes, dreams and intentions for the week, to the exquisite sound of Sheila Pettit playing the harp and singing The Circle of Angels. The unifying power of music felt strong, reflecting the essence of the morning and the healing light of love. To create a more upbeat energy to help propel everyone to lunch, Barbara led us into a threepart harmony, We are the ones weve been waiting for This is the time and this is the hour, all together we have the power. With smiles, hugs, dancing and applause, the morning reached its conclusion and I left the Hall humming with inspiration. The power of love Philip Newell The evening presentation by Philip Newell, Love Force The Greening Power of the Soul,

continued the theme with a different tone. Love has the greatest energy for transformation, he said and we were encouraged to have an awareness of and commitment to honouring the heartbeat in each other. Are we prepared to take on the cost of love? We are being called to listen within the vastness of the universe and within the intimacy of our hearts. Inspired by the Burmese Nobel Peace Prize winner, Aung San Suu Kyi, Philip spoke of a three-fold path to support us: The courage to see our interwovenness, one person, one nation cannot be well when others are suffering; the courage to feel the brokenness of the world as our brokenness; and the courage to act, to bear the cost of this moment in time in action.

How shall we use this time of manifestation for healing the whole? he asked. We are living in the most radical change of age. It is great work to release the essential unity in a radical new form. We need to dive deeply into the treasure of our traditions and create open systems. In the words of Carl Jung, We must celebrate a last supper with our ego, again and again and again. Philip asked, Can we choose to bring our attention to the heart of another right now, and then again twenty seconds later? Do we want to create communities where that happens again and again? Yes spoke the voice of my heart and as the lights dimmed we listened to a chant from Hebrew, Jesus and the Koran, inviting us into peace and together we sang as one. Christine Lines

Love, Magic, Miracles Conference Day 3

4 October 2012 This morning is my first time back to the conference since the opening ceremony, my colleague Christine having attended yesterdays sessions. Stepping into the Hall and taking my seat, I am surrounded by the heightened energy of engaged, animated conversation, a feeling of old friends gathered together. My attention is drawn to five white panels, covered in colourful bits of paper, that are now hanging up around the Hall. For the benefit of those of us who didnt attend on Sunday,

Antonio explains that these are five altars one each for love, magic, miracles, the future generations and our ancestors to which the hopes, dreams and blessings of those participating in the conference have been offered. After the customary moment of silence, the primal sound of a didgeridoo takes us deep into wild nature, deep into the earth, deep into our hearts. Thank you, Craig Gibsone for the grounding resonance I experience listening to the music you create. God is within, and in all things. Through elevating the rational we have forgotten this, bringing humanity to the current crisis situation we face. At the opening ceremony, Caroline Myss spoke of her hope that during this week a type of grace would be generated that in turn would generate the type of miracles that we so desperately need now. This morning, Caroline talks about miracles. Struck by sacred lightning Caroline Myss One of the pillars of Carolines work is her background in classical mysticism. She recognises as an inherent archetype in the human being a fundamental cord of awe and the desire to be struck by sacred lightning, to hear God call our name. Yet as Caroline points out, we fear this the most and experience a push-pull between the ego and the soul.

Intrigued by the mystical life of saints, who had managed to pierce through the portal into the soul and radiate an illumination that the ego was unable to produce, Caroline looked to what was common amongst these men and women that might be clues for us living now to follow. Many of the saints, especially those with whom we may be more familiar Francis of Assisi, Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross lived before the Age of Reason. They were alive at a time when miracles were common, as was seeing angels and visions. These saints lived in a Godcentred world and hadnt separated themselves from the laws of nature as we have. They lived

congruently, standing in the truth, no longer able to betray their own integrity. A me-centred world Caroline speaks of how today we live in a me-centred world, where the expectation is that God should serve us. This attitude of entitlement approaching difficulties as if they shouldnt have happened to us is one of two ways through which we block miracles from happening in our lives. The other way is when we take our pain and suffering and abuse

others with it, attempting to make them feel bad for us. It is at this point that Caroline offers to us a prayer she uses. Feeling the power of the words she used, I share them here: Lord, take me deep down into my own darkness so I can understand why I do what I do to others with the pain and suffering you gave me to deal with. Using the story of Jesus life as she sees it, Caroline suggests that what Jesus lived on the outside is what we must go through on the inside in order to touch compassion. We become a miracle when we allow grace to run through us in service to another person. Miracles of healing occur when the laws of nature bend for us. More than once this morning Caroline highlights that the laws of nature are in us. We dont reach a level of consciousness; we become that level of consciousness. This is what the saints did, and it is in the lives of people who opened themselves to becoming, that miracles occurred.

Musical transformation The Magic of Music, our next session, is presented by Barbara Swetina, with support from Ian Turnbull, Francois Monnet, and Sheila Pettit. Barbara speaks of how powerful music can be, how it can transform us and weave us together as a community even if we dont know each other. Barbaras introduction to the first song we sing together brings to our awareness that what we can know in this year for which many things have been predicted, is that we are here to learn to love. The words of this heart-warming song were written by Phyllida Anam-Aire:

I am with you, that I might heal you are with me, that you might heal We are together, that we might heal We are healing, that we might love. The feeling of being old friends, which I felt earlier this morning, returns with the next song we sing. Through it we are reminded that weve all been together before. The melody, which Barbara plays on the accordion, has the lovely feel of a waltz and as I look around while I sing, I see smiling faces and swaying bodies. The room takes on a wonderful warm-and-fuzzy feel that is comforting to the soul. Encouraged by Ian, Barbara shares with us the story of how music became her passion, and

eventually her career. From singing with her mum while washing the dishes to offering music workshops around the world, Barbara seeks to find the connection with divinity and to help other people do the same. Divinity finding expression Do you ever wonder what happens energetically when a bird or a human sings? Barbara projects on the screen several aura drawings, created through the collaboration of a clairvoyant and an artist, that show graceful, flowing, and expansive shapes. All these images were drawn in the colours of white, golden yellow, pink and blue the same colours intuitively chosen for the conference candle. These colours are often associated with love, compassion, inspiration and integration of body and spirit, and it is through these qualities that divinity can find expression.

We end our morning together by going on a journey, encouraged by Francois, to the Singing Chamber located out behind the Universal Hall. What we experience here is the beginning of the magical transformation of willow branches into a bird that will continue throughout every afternoon, the bird becoming an integral part of the completion ceremony on Friday morning. Before we leave the Singing Chamber, our large group offers a blessing to this labour of love conceived by Ian Turnbull, and completed only just yesterday. The Universal Hall became ever more colourful this evening as people streamed in to fill the seats and hear the presentation by Andrew Harvey. It took a few moments for Michael and Antonio to quiet the audience for the traditional time of silence. Barbara then stepped into the centre and spoke of the full day with all the input were receiving. Lets begin with a zesty, Caribbean song, Halleluia, in praise of life, came her invitation.

Those in the community familiar with the song formed a curve in the centre of the Hall and Barbara led the men in harmony, before guiding the women into higher notes. The sense of joy as people sang and danced created an uplifting tempo for the evening. Caroline Myss then had the pleasure of introducing Andrew Harvey, one of her best friends for quite some time, I watched how he suffered through the birth of his vision, she said. Witnessing what its like to be called to represent a vision that will challenge people to move forward in a world thats on fire. Andrew Harvey turns the heat up From the moment Andrew stepped into the centre, he commanded the stage like a Shakespearian actor in the throes of passion and for two hours didnt stop for a single pause. The heat was turned up high and we sat in a simmering cauldron of ideas and intellect. In the opening ceremony of Saturday evening Andrew had expressed his wish, That we all wake up a commitment to put love into action, now before the world is destroyed. This was

the absolute theme of his talk on Monday night, expressed with relentless fervour, the mind of Oxford academia merged with the heart of a mystic.

If Robert Holden was yin, Andrew Harvey was yang. The force of his passion was apparent when he recited Rumi, Loves horse will carry you home. One of the couplets he asked us to remember captures the energy of his presentation, Mount the stallion of love and do not fear the path Loves stallion knows the way exactly. For me certainly it was a wild ride in the Hall, forging ahead into the unknown, being challenged, inspired, awakened into the fire. I believe three things in this moment in life that are all inter-related, Andrew said. We all know the human race is in a massive, menacing evolutionary crisis affecting the future of humanity and nature; there is a great death of the environment, corporate fascism is dominating the world and the new age is willing people to sleep when people need to be alive and active; as a result of this a massive birth is also taking place, the largest movement of civil reaction with two million NGOs on the planet. Not all of us here are with the birth, he continued. Were fragmented, disorganised and time for the human race is running out. Rise to the challenge with the magnificence of souls on fire with love for God and the world, came the passionate call to action, which Andrew defines as Sacred Activism. If you marry a deep, spiritual understanding of the universe with radical, wise action, a holy force is born that turns terror into grace.

He offered a user-friendly definition for people that dont want to be frightened too much. If you marry a deep, spiritual understanding of the universe with radical, wise action a holy force is born that turns terror into grace. Andrew spoke of people who exemplify his point: Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Lech Walesa, Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, describing their lives of wisdom and love. We have no excuse not to know, he said. Diligence and discipline create magic and miracles. Andrew then gave a second, deeper definition, relating to what is really trying to take place. The birth of a holy new kind of human being, a conscious divine being. This is the evolutionary leap that has to happen. The previous levels of consciousness are unable to deal with the destructive systems in place.

Passion for God and justice In a vision that has been central to his life ever since, Andrew described the fire of divine humanity that is born from the fusion between the passion of the mystic for God, with the passion of the activist for justice. A series of mystical experiences possessed him to keep asking questions and he shared a humourous tale about interviewing the Dalai Lama in 1989, the year the Tibetan spiritual leader won the Nobel Peace Prize. I was overwhelmed by his presence, Andrew recalled. At the end of the interview I couldnt get out of my chair. The Dalai Lama said kindly, I have to go now, I need to collect the Nobel Peace Prize. For a moment they were breast to breast as they said goodbye and Andrew grabbed this rare opportunity, blurting out, What is the meaning of life? His dry wit in the retelling of the tale prompted a great roar of laughter in the Hall. The Dalai Lama became calm and quiet and expressed words that forever changed the meaning of the path for Andrew, To embody the transcendent. There is just one question. How in this lifetime do we embody the transcendent? Andrew asked, as he proceeded to speak about his great love for one of the most important mystics of our time, Father Bede Griffiths. Please plunge in if you havent heard of him, he encouraged, mentioning Thomas Merton in the same breath. Father Bede gave me the map.

Andrew then spent ten years writing his book The Hope and six years teaching describing it as, The most difficult thing Ive ever done. I felt intrigued to source a copy, hoping it would expand upon the five sobering truths, the five kinds of service and the five sacred practices touched upon during the evening, that are essential to become, An agent of loving, transformative, radical change. The only hope for humanity is to take up the challenge of the divine and put this into every arena in the world. Andrew then posed the question, What of all the causes in the world breaks your heart the most? Follow your heartbreak of outrage and pain instead of your bliss. What are you prepared to step up and do something about? This is your mission. The only hope for the planet is a grass roots revolution. As the evening came to a close, people stood up around the Hall to applause the power of the presentation and it was indeed an extended ovation. Will we now become warrior lover servant of the new birth? Sandra Mitchell & Christine Lines

Love, Magic, Miracles Conference Day 4

5 October 2012 Sitting here waiting for this mornings session to begin, I realise we are at the halfway point in the conference week. Its been a sumptuous feast so far, with today promising to hold more delicious morsels to add to the table of magic and miracles being created with love.

One of the things bringing forth my joy as I attend this conference is the many moments of laughter we have shared together thus far, beginning with Michael and Antonios magic act during the opening ceremony. A sketch to introduce our next speaker, in which Beverley ACourt and Francois Monnet show us their version of the art of geomancy, has us all doubled over in our seats. Geomancy is of course part of the life work of Marko Pogachnik, a man who 42 years ago was inspired by what he experienced here at Findhorn the connecting of the worlds of divinity with the worlds of nature and who later came back to spend 10 years of his life sharing his work with the community. At the end of this month Marko is to be honoured by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre as an Artist for Peace. A warm round of applause for him greets this announcement.

That the crisis situation we face is the result of our worshiping of the rational mind and the forsaking of the soulful heart is a theme that is presenting itself again and again during this conference. Marko believes that as well as being blocked by our rationality, our learned looking away God in the sky, the sun as the centre is also how we are causing destruction. Look inwards to see the earth Marko Pogachnik He believes we must instead look inwards to the molten centre of the earth, for there we will find the body of Gaia, an essence the likes of which can only be contained in such a fiery ball. Marko encourages us to relate from our own centre to the inner earth as the centre of all life. To turn ourselves upside down, the crown chakra becoming the root, and to honour the pull of gravity as the love of Gaia which holds all beings in their place.

What makes it possible for us to go to Gaia from the centre of ourselves is that we are beings of three hearts: the ruby crystal which is the heart of Gaia; the elemental heart, located at the end of our breastbone, which defines us as members of the devic world; and the spiritual heart, found at the centre of our chest. Marko speaks about cycles of collaboration with Gaia, referring to Lemuria, Atlantis and today, making it very clear that our role is to be co-creators with Gaia. She has a wish to see her own creation and to develop it further. He gives as an example how Gaia creates the mountains and we in turn create the temples and cathedrals and cities. Marko emphasises that it is wrong to see ourselves as destroyers, but to recognise that if we stay on the level of consciousness we are currently on, we destroy more than we create. Gaia is an autonomous being not our mother In order for evolution to continue, we must step into adulthood and accept the responsibility that comes with that role. Marko sees that Gaia doesnt want to be a mother anymore. She is an autonomous being, taking her part in evolution by pushing out those systems that are no longer needed. The old structures are being broken down through ecological disasters and the new structures, which already exist, wait until we are able to perceive them.

Our primary spiritual task is to help the planet move forward, and to do this we need to be grounded, holistic and loving human beings. Marko finished his presentation by leading us in a meditation to connect with our Gaia heart so that we might change our relationship to our planet and to Gaia. The energy that was created in the Hall by all of us was of such beauty that at the end of the session, Marko asked for us not to clap as that would destroy what we had created. I left the Hall and walked through The Park wrapped in the warmth of Gaia's love.

The lights of the Hall were gently dimmed and the sound of Barbara playing the harp floated softly through the air. After a few moments of silence Antonio introduced David Spangler, An extraordinary man, with great presence. As soon as Davids smiling face appeared on the giant screen via video link I felt great warmth for him and a deep respect for his contribution to Findhorn since the early 70s. David Spangler electronic avatar Its wonderful to be with you like this, to show up as an electronic avatar, his welcoming words were greeted with laughter. Thank you for the opportunity to take part in the conference and for the privilege of addressing you. I was struck by his humility; it felt such a privilege to be in the Hall listening to him!

The theme of Davids presentation was Everyday Magic and The Power of Partnership, and the conversation immediately touched upon the magic and miracles at work, making this moment happen. I come from an unusual direction, he began. The idea of boundaries can be a good thing, to express our uniqueness where co-creativity can take place. However, some boundaries can also limit us. Conceptual, not physical, boundaries are created by the way we think, how we analyse and name the world to grasp its complexity. He invited us to approach the concepts of magic and miracles in ways that liberate their potential. When we talk about ourselves its common to identify with our various parts mind, body, emotions, soul. Depending on the depth of our thinking, our tradition, or everyday experience, these words have certain meanings for us. What is not always clear is how these parts interrelate, we think of a hierarchy of different parts rather than a single, whole life. David shared a sweet story to illustrate his point. The caterpillar was asked by the beetle, Wow, you have a lot of legs how do you co-ordinate them all? The caterpillar lay in a ditch and thought about it, and then couldnt run any more. Go into the world looking more deeply for magic and miracles. Become more connected and learn how to be a loving partner with the subtle worlds.

There is an organic wholeness to things we do naturally, he explained. If we overanalyse it we lose the felt sense of that wholeness. We need to enter into a state of awareness that is free of naming, free of concepts, and feel beyond them. Miracles are a natural process He spoke of the wonderment and spaciousness of miracles, saying, We hunger for this natural state of who we really are. Daily life builds up a sense of constraint, a loss of mystery

that we intuitively know we are connected to. Magic and miracles are taken into the territory of extraordinary and we overlook them in the ordinary world.

There is a tendency to think that miracles transcend natural law and cannot be explained, rather than recognising them as emergent phenomena, an unexpected process of a completely natural process, such as a newborn coming into the world. Our conceptual boundaries isolate magic and miracles. Davids words were infused with such clarity I had a sense that parenting his four children, with his wife Julie, which he describes as his primary spiritual practice, had simplified his teaching in a way that made his understanding accessible for all, more so than his earlier work and I felt incredibly grateful for this. Go into the world looking more deeply for magic and miracles. Become more connected and learn how to be a loving partner with the subtle worlds, he encouraged us. There is no healing power, what exists instead are healing relationships and the power of love. The most fundamental aspect he shared is that everything is alive and sentient a living presence.

Our task is to connect in a loving way with this living presence. How can we do this if we have no natural affinity? David then shared with us a series of steps to help us love unconditionally: A simple acknowledgement of whats there; Respect and the right of the other to exist; Appreciation for this presence in my life; Liking the other through learning more; Loving and the holding of the other, seeking to enhance connectedness. We need to recognise how deep the threads of partnership go and the profound collaboration of beingness. Everyday magic is an energetic, loving place. Every day is another opportunity for our love to reach out, connect, engage and enhance the natural unfoldment, David said as his talk reached its conclusion. The more we align with that, the more we enter into the willing empowerment of life around us. Our everyday experiences hold natural magic Thomas Moore Continuing with the theme of magic, our speaker for this evening is Thomas Moore, perhaps

known more for his books and talks on caring for the soul. Tonight he delivers an enlightening and often humourous presentation on what he terms natural magic, revealing the deep connection that exists between living a soulful life and living a life of magic. But before we enter the world of magic, miracles are once again brought to our attention as Sheila Pettit shares with us a song that came to her when she asked John of God for healing.

Sheilas voice is that of an angel, and with the words of her song she invites us to listen to the silence within the temple of your soul. Thomas gives us his definition of natural magic, using the words ordinary and unexpected. It is to be found in our everyday experiences and in the material things with which we interact. Thomas illustrates this through the story of how he chose the topic for his doctoral thesis, introducing at the same time a particular form of magic which he calls book magic. You know, its the magic that happens when just the book you need at a certain time in your life appears from the most unlikely place. Language and words also have magic. Thomas explains that our words have within them a daemon (spirit) power that we can feel, and reminds us of how when we need to express something painful or difficult, we often find ourselves seeking for the right words. He also points to the importance of recognising when words are more than rational by relating the story of how, beyond all reason, he was not offered tenure at the university where he was working. He heard the angel in the voice of his department head and knew this was fate talking to him. He didnt fight the decision and his life went in a direction he could have never imagined. Thomas inspires us with the words, I never looked back. Thomas points out that music too has magic, something that I think we have all felt at one point or another during this conference, given all the beautiful music that has been shared with us. Thomas suggests that part of living in a soulful world is to read it. Here he gives the examples of using tea leaves or an obsidian mirror to receive information. His experience of the mirror is that through it a whole world opens up to him. His intuition is ablaze and when a question is asked the answers immediately come. He also gives the example of going to a clients house and reading whats there in terms of colours, feelings, the type of furnishings, in order to help the client move forward in life.

Thomas then shares with us some images to illustrate natural magic and its connection to soul. One of these images is of a medallion, created for a 15th century Italian magician named Pico della Mirandola, which has as a description of his life the Three Graces of beauty, love and pleasure. Thomas points out that soul likes pleasure, and he elicits laughter from the audience when he expresses how much he likes pleasure. As a finish to the session, Thomas offers the music of his daughters chanting. Listening to her voice is a sublime experience, a gift that is indeed magical. I join those around me in honouring Thomas with a standing ovation. Sandra Mitchell & Christine Lines

Love, Magic, Miracles Conference Day 5

6 October 2012 On Wednesday morning, day five of our conference, we began with our customary moment of silence and Antonio invited us to honour the five pillars of future generations, ancestors, miracles, magic and love. Michael then began his introduction of Dr Ervin Laszlo, a philosopher of science and systems theorist, twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. He underscores the importance of developing a holistic perspective on the world and humanity, an outlook he refers to as quantum consciousness.

As we all looked at the screen Dr Lazlo magically appeared before us! He had originally planned to join us in person, however due to an unexpected health issue which his doctor felt needed immediate rest, we were able to connect with him via video link instead. What was the title so I know what Im talking about? asked Dr Lazlo to the laughter of the audience. The Akasha the New Worldview for living in the New Age, replied Iain Davidson, who was in the Hall as our technical magician for the morning. There is a revolution in science and evolution in consciousness, Dr Lazlo responded. Science is progressing beyond what most sciences recognise. The scientific paradigm is constantly being upgraded, new discoveries become an anomaly, unexplained in respect to the old. A paradigm shift is on the horizon. We reached a critical point 100 years ago and about 50 years ago a more holistic picture began to emerge. What is happening now? Why isnt the old paradigm suitable anymore? The universe is instantly connected Ervin Laszlo Things cannot be confined to one place and time, he said. This dimension is non local, all quantum is entangled. We are dealing with a universe that is instantly interconnected, however the connection is not always apparent. In the typical consciousness of the Western world, these connections are repressed or considered esoteric. Information received in the brain is not limited to here and now. It could have originated anywhere in the world at any time.

The quality of our video connection varied as Dr Lazlo was linking in from the countryside of Hungary and I sometimes strained to follow his every word. Here was the founder of general evolution theory, an author of over 70 books, talking about science, (a subject that I have never been able to comprehend), and his words resonated from a spiritual perspective. The connections meet our brain but dont reach our consciousness. What we see, we often dont believe. If we dont believe, then we tend not to see or cannot conceptualise the evidence. He introduced the fact that our brains can pick up information from the world and emit information they are both receiver and transmitter, this contrasts with the more classical perspective that the brain is a receiver through the senses.

Information received in the brain is not limited to here and now. It could have originated anywhere in the world at any time, it is part of the quantum level of the information field. We have the ability to pick up on the immediate, spontaneous level. The ancient Indian seers had a deeper dimension, 34000 years ago, the Akasha dimension. This is a holographic field where everything is simultaneous. What does this mean for our time? In the background a brilliant series of slides were displayed as Dr Lazlo spoke, which helped deepen my understanding of the challenges we face in this era. The evolution of complex forms The first slide explained that a fundamental change in human societies follows the logic of the evolution of complex systems. Its principal phases and features are (1) increasing instability producing intensifying crises, leading to (2) a crisis that is no longer reversible; (3) this crisis triggers a rapid change in society of which the outcome is not determined in advance. It can lead to (4) breakdown and chaos, or (5) to breakthrough to a new world of higher complexity, greater information content, and a more evolved structure and form of organisation.

The breakdown is marked by conflict and confrontation, economic, political and cultural polarisation, escalating violence and war leading to chaos. The breakthrough still has conflict, however the response is dialogue, which leads to the spreading of peace and ecology movements, global institutional change, more cooperative lifestyles and government structures, and a more sustainable future. There are four main stages in the evolution of society: mythos based on sacred narrative; theos based on belief and intuition; logos based on the empirical; and holos a holistic world view where we perceive the connections and allow our intuitive connection with the world. This is the new paradigm which is needed to establish coherence and is marked by a strong sense of seeking harmony. Dr Lazlo finished his talk by explaining the sixteen hallmarks of an evolved consciousness and I had a deep sense that here in the conference, here in the community, amidst all the activism taking place in the world, we are engaged in the world shift and moving from a fragmentary to a planetary, holistic consciousness.

Playful spirits We waved and applauded Dr Lazlo as he disappeared from the screen and Barbara invited us to end the session singing rolling Oms or Amens. Sounds gently erupted around the Hall and she then said, You might want to open your eyes. My attention was drawn to the skylight above as sheer fabrics began to float down, seemingly by magic. Three nymph-like young women, all barefoot, danced underneath as more colours caressed down upon them. There was a playful spirit as they wove them through the audience, draping the fabrics over heads, around shoulders, clustering people together in connection. Transformation is already happening, said Barbara as she began to play the piano accordion. The music became faster and faster, we began to clap, the nymphs enticed people onto the floor for an informal Scottish jig accompanied by yelps and squeals of joy, and shades of green, orange, blue, purple and pink, sixteen different colours which Francois explained would be part of the celebration on Friday. There was an extended tea break for the signing of the new book, Messages from God, by our only remaining co-founder Dorothy Maclean. A steady flow of people lined up for a handwritten message, accompanied by a beaming smile. I overheard Dorothy say to one person, God comes first and those three words seemed to capture her very essence.

Life is a pilgrimage Geoff Dalglish South African Geoff Dalglish gave the final presentation of the morning called Life is a Pilgrimage and shared a stunning slideshow. It began with a quote by the Peace Pilgrim,

Mildred Norman, an American pacifist who walked across the United States for 28 years, Life is like a mirror. Smile at it and it smiles back at you. We are all walking our own paths, Geoff began, and its our choice whether to be conscious or unconscious. Living on the edge has been my passion, adrenalin my drug of choice. I was a news reporter, war correspondent, race and rally driver, 44 instructor and overland expedition guide. My life was all about cars and speed and its funny to be standing here now. Along the way, Geoff has driven over two million kilometres, often at speeds over 250km/h and spent much of his life on aircraft. I had a huge carbon footprint, he admitted. If everyone lived the way I did, wed be trashing the planet much faster than we already are. I knew something had to change. Geoff came to Findhorn and joined the month long Findhorn Ecovillage Experience programme. This was one in a series of inspirations that marked his transition from petrolhead to pilgrim and he now walks as Earth Pilgrim Africa with the message of treading lightly and lovingly upon the earth. He began his own pilgrimage last year on the sacred Isle of Iona and has so far walked 7000km.

When I wrote my book, Lost and Found*, lots bubbled up, it has been an incredible journey with so much pain. The slideshow will introduce you to some of the people, landscapes and events that have shaped and inspired me. The poignant image of a single footprint in the sand begins our visual journey. We accompany Geoff into the high Himalayas, on his trek to the base camp of Everest, mother goddess of the world. I had led the first overland expedition from China to South Africa, and afterwards just had to walk to connect my feet with the earth. For 16 days I didnt see a single wheel, neither bike nor wheelbarrow. Why would God give me Ferraris? Geoff had held the belief, Why would God give me Ferraris, Porsches and 4x4s to play with, if She expected me to walk? We see a photo of him in the Ferrari F40, in the 80s the fastest car on the planet, and then in a 44 in Namibia amongst the worlds tallest dunes. He witnessed and photographed the racing fatality of a grand prix driver he much admired and eventually his love affair with the car was over and he turned his attention to walking long distance instead.

He met two friends, David and Braam, who ran the Great Wall of China, the mind-blowing achievement of the equivalent of 98 marathons in 98 days. Later he arranged for them to run 90km on the 90th birthday of Nelson Mandela, starting from his prison cell on Robben Island, to raise money for a childrens charity offering surgery for facial disfigurements. A photo of a young African girl with a disfigured cleft is displayed on the big screen. Im really squeamish with blood, but I spent 11 hours in surgery with little Zama and other children. After the operation they handed her a mirror and this changed her life in an instant. Soon she was tucking all the other children into bed, reassuring them their operation would be fine. My life then became about service, rather than just me, me, me. The photographic journey took us to the melting snowcaps of Mount Kilimanjaro, and on a Timbuktu expedition that included the Grand Mosque that is the largest mud building in Africa. Along the way we witnessed the rape of the rainforests and the decimation of wildlife. Love for the natural world shone through in Geoffs slideshow. Ive always felt totally connected in nature and find peace there, he said. Three years ago, 50 pilot whales beached near his Cape Town home. He was involved in helping to guide them back out to sea but they kept coming back. I contacted the animal communicator Anna Breytenbach for help. She said they had swum through pollution and many of them had been poisoned. They had chosen to die on the beach together to make a statement.

Geoff also spoke about his love affair with elephants and a charge that was the most frightening experience of his life. Hiding behind a tree, I tried to communicate telepathically that I was not there to harm them. If I survived I vowed to dedicate the rest of my life to Gaia. He began his pilgrimage on the 7th July 2011 to honour the life of Peace Pilgrim who had died exactly 30 years earlier. There are times when Im walking that every step is a prayer and a blessing. Ive realised that the luminosity of first light is love itself and feels to me like an early morning hug from God herself. Or a gentle caress from an infinitely loving Creator. (*You can find more information on Geoff from his website, and his book from Findhorn Press or Amazon .) Christine Lines

Love, Magic, Miracles Conference Day 6

7 October 2012 As I approached the Hall this morning I could already hear the buzz of conversation and laughter inside. Choosing my seat, I noticed the chairs were arranged to create a circular space, around the candle in the middle, drawing us closer together. The audience came to a natural quiet and Antonio introduced David Harrison and Vera Bohlen who were holding the session, Harmonic Temple, saying, They have a resonance in heart and being that is beyond words.

David invited everyone to stand for a warm up. When we sing, our bodies are our instruments, he explained. We shook our feet, wobbled our knees, hulad our hips, gave our hands a good old shake, flapped the elbows, wriggled our

shoulders and loosened our lips with a brrrrrr sound. With feet shoulder width apart and hands on our bellies we took a few deep breaths to ground our bodies and open our voices. Our first harmony was a two-part setting of the words shalom, peace in Hebrew, and salam peace in Arabic. "They have a beautiful flavour if we alternate and sing them together." I noticed the men were sitting in one half of the circle and the women in the other, as David led the male voices, before Vera invited the female voices to accompany them. Sing out as if a prayer to the world Harmonic Temple As the sounds and voices merged I felt bathed in love and tenderness, with a beautiful sense of cultures meeting in peace. Sing out as if a prayer to the world. My eyes were moist and in the silence afterwards we could almost hear the song continuing in the universe.

Singing is the most immediate connection to spirit I know, through singing we can move beyond the mind and into oneness, David said. Nickomo Clarke created Harmonic Temple chants. The words come from different sacred texts and traditions, and the melodies often come to him in nature. In the harmonies we can hear the angels sing with us. They introduced our second chant, the Tibetan mantra for compassion, Om Mani Padme Hung. To paraphrase Thomas Merton, Its not about achieving a new state of compassion, instead its about returning to our natural state. We were to build up the chant in four parts, eventually singing it like a prayer wheel spinning around continuously. It is a prayer going into our hearts and out into the world. With each turn of the wheel we send our prayers to liberate the suffering, with each turn we become our more loving, authentic selves. People gravitated towards the centre of the Hall to sing, a few walked in a circle symbolising the turning of the wheel, others stood with hands outstretched or palms resting on their hearts. The loving devotion was tangible in the air as the repetition of the chant moved into different layers of sound. Our final chant of the morning was the Sanskrit word Namaste. I honour the place in you where the entire universe resides. I honour the place in you of love, light, truth and peace. I honour the place within you where if you are in that place in you and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us. The sounds of soprano, bass, alto and tenor came in one by one,

merging together as people sang in greeting to one another. The paradigm shift into oneness inherent in the chant.

The miracle of healing Sylvia Black When I returned to the Hall after tea break the setting had changed to an intricately carved wooden lectern in the centre, next to a lower table draped in sheer lilac silk with a jug of water and a glass. This session was a talk on Miracle Healing by Sylvia Black who lives in The Park with her partner John Willoner. I noticed John sitting in the front row, next to Dorothy Maclean, our remaining co-founder and delightful presence in the community. To create a bridge between the sessions we need a Francois moment, said Michael. With his delightful French accent, reminding me of Hercule Poirot, Francois explained the creation of a bird from the branches of a willow tree for the celebration ritual. This afternoon white silk paper will form the body of the bird, a physical form of the invisible, and I invite you to join me in the Singing Chamber from 2pm.

Michael then gave a warm introduction to Sylvia. She walked to the lectern and paused for a few moments before stepping forward with poise and presence. Id like to start by sharing an extraordinary experience that happened to me, one I am still learning to understand. I was lying on the healing table of my healer, Tjitze de Jong, who worked with me throughout my cancer. An explosion of gratitude happened in my head, like fireworks. My body was shaking and then went stiff; it was extremely scary. I heard a voice in my head, saying that I need to ground Christ consciousness. Sylvia wondered how to do this. I was already part of the Christ consciousness group that met every week. Thats all you need to do, said the voice. Ok thats not so difficult, I thought. I was told I would get the next download on Table Mountain. It was my intention to go to South Africa as soon as I was well enough. I was yearning for sunshine, to be outside.

Just radiate who you are She recovered there very fast and healed in the sunlight. On the day I was on Table Mountain, I found a private spot and lay down on a rock. I felt I was sinking down into the rock, merging into the mountain. It was an amazing experience of oneness. The same voice came in my head, You dont have to do anything. Just radiate who you are.

Sylvia recalled a great sense of relief; there were no books to write or talks to give. Here I am six years later. I dont feel I have the answers; everyone has their own journey, especially through cancer. Its a huge opportunity. She acknowledged the people in the audience who have already been through a similar journey, or those who know people who have been through it. Some people die, some make it. Those who die havent failed, who knows what their soul journey is? Sylvia made it clear she wanted the morning to be a group experience with time for sharing at the end. We were all witnessing a very personal journey that held a collective pain. Time and again I was struck by Sylvias positive attitude and the gratitude she expressed for the gift of learning along the way. I understood some of the patterns I developed early in life which led me into cancer. One of six children, she learnt to be good, to stay in the background and put others first. Aged 18 months she broke her leg and was in traction in hospital. When my parents left I cried so much and out of concern the nursing sister suggested that my mother stopped visiting until Id forgotten them. My heart sank at the pain of abandonment so young. On some level I chose this, said Sylvia with great optimism. But the fear of loss and betrayal was deep.

Taking back my power Her first husband died in a car accident with another woman. It was a huge experience to go through that still affects me even though Ive worked through a lot. Sylvia learnt how to meditate and joined various courses. I thought Id done a lot of healing when I met my second husband. It was a very dependent relationship and I realised it was easier to betray myself rather than him. The cancer gave me the courage to leave. I had lost my self and leaving was a big step in taking back my power, a huge part of my cancer journey. Sylvia spoke of the incredible support she received from her sister and the unconditional love of her two sons and the fun they had along the way. She was determined to heal emotionally before having medical intervention. You name it, I tried it, she said. I followed my guidance all along, through books, dreams and my inner voice. However she continued to go downhill and Tjitze recognised what was happening, Youve handed over your power. She realised the decision to have the operation was the attitude of you fix me, rather than the more co-creative attitude of complementary therapy. It took her a long time to get her power back. Sylvia remembered being close to death when a meditation tape helped her face her biggest fear, death itself. After facing it through visualising the different stages she felt incredibly peaceful. I really surrendered, it was a big turning point. The operation itself had nothing to do with curing her from cancer. The medical team discovered there was no trace of cancer in the remains of the tumor they removed, Sylvia said. I was clear before the operation that nearly killed me which was an absolute miracle and my oncologist and medical team said they were gobsmacked! Sylvia described having cancer here at Findhorn as another miracle, with so much support in the community. One of my wonderful friends asked, How are you going to celebrate when you're better? It was incredible to set the intention. I imagined playing golf again which I've always associated with having fun.

Life is a miracle Six years later she describes life as quite remarkable and the learning continues. I still sometimes lose my way, but now its easier to get back on track. Its wonderful that I can now give back to others. It was a huge miracle to walk the Camino de Santiago recently and I live with the most wonderful man, our great relationship is a reflection of where I am. Her closing words, before the audience were invited to share their personal journey with cancer, were a gift to us all. What I heard on the mountain I now understand. The voice said to me, Just living and radiating who I am is a gift. Not because Ive come through cancer, this applies to every single human on the planet, just by being born. Life itself is a miracle. We all need to radiate who we are. We are love. National Poets Day Jay Ramsay Tonights session is Poetry and The Greater Love with Jay Ramsay, a leading and influential poet in the transformation of consciousness, and Herewood Gabriel, an artist-musician who Jay describes as a great friend and fellow 5Rhythms dancer. The Hall has a more intimate

feel to it this evening, with the lights down low and the mellow sounds of piano and guitar creating a relaxed atmosphere. Several rows of chairs have been set up down on the floor, facing the front of the Hall where conga drums, a ballaphon (African xylophone), singing bowls, a rainstick and an Indian Shruti Box (drone instrument) await. I sense this is going to be a very different kind of evening. We have a light-hearted start as Michael introduces Jay with the help of a poem Michael hastily wrote upon learning that today is National Poets Day. We all enjoy a good laugh together and then sit back as Jay and Herewood approach the stage, Jay on djembe and Herewood on Native American flute. The sound is haunting, yet soothing at the same time. Jays poetry walks on the ground of mysticism and vision, and he cites as his influences the English Romantic tradition of Wordsworth and Shelley, the sacred tradition of Rumi and Gibran and a long study of alchemy. He tells us that his sense of language is that it needs to serve the great transparency of our time.

From conditional to unconditional love Though Jay also writes political poems, he has specially chosen tonights poems to be stepping stones from conditional to unconditional love. He speaks of love as a great mystery, and the poems as being about what love does with us. To illustrate this, Jay quotes Rumi as translated by Andrew Harvey: Blood must flow he said For the garden to flower And the heart that loves me A wound without a shield. Inviting us to close our eyes while we listen, Jay begins to recite while Herewood creates a soundscape appropriate to the feel of each poem.

Through the four sections of poetry and music to accompany each poem, we are taken on a rollercoaster ride of human emotion: the longing for the authentic self, for the other, for a connection to something greater than ourselves; the pain and suffering of separation; the joy that comes from being accepted as we are. The themes of loving ourselves, empathy, being open, living in the unknown, serving one another, and faith and trust are all explored. Each poem has a power all its own and together they reach into my soul, touching me as an individual and connecting me to all of humanity. Id like to share with you a few of the lines that in particular penetrate through to my inner sanctum: The pearl we are has to be cracked open to become the pearl. If you havent learned to praise and dance, your inner being stays closed like a door. Only the heart can see who we are; only the heart can see true gold. All this time a rose secretly has been opening in you.

The last poem is simply called Lullaby and through it Jay reminds us that in this time we are held by something greater than ourselves. The music that follows is an invitation to us all to praise and dance and we joyfully accept, stomping feet and clapping hands keeping time to the rhythm that Jay and Herewood create with the rainstick and ballophon. The clapping in time with the music turns into a standing ovation for these two men who have created an evening that can truly be described as being filled with a greater love. Christine Lines & Sandra Mitchell

Love, Magic, Miracles Conference Day 7

9 October 2012 We entered into the richness of the final day with a few moments of silence. Becky and Niko, young musicians in the community, then performed a beautiful rendition of I Dreamed a Dream by The New Troubadours, a group formed here by David Spangler in the early 70s.

Niko played the wooden flute while Becky strummed the ukulele and sang the lyrics that reached out to us all, Where the trees stand in silence yet singing their song I know what a wonderful world it will be, when we each learn the part that we play. The song was greeted with delight, before Dorothy Maclean gave a warm introduction to the talk of the morning offered by Judy McAllister: Myth and Reality, Legend and Legacy. Judy has a vast and deep inner connection with herself and with Findhorn, over many decades, said Dorothy. She has a quiet and clear wisdom, and is a great friend and support to me.

Findhorn is Gaias response Judy McAllister To have Dorothy introduce me is a privilege and a pleasure, said Judy. Its Friday, the end of a long, full week. Id like to thank all of you for telling me about your miracles. I did indeed lose count. She began her talk by saying it was not to be a history lesson, as that has been recorded many times, rather an attempt to draw out some of the threads. Having arrived in the community 35 years ago, we were blessed to hear Judys insights and perspective on the past. On my travels people would always ask questions. The word Findhorn is recognised all over the word and its a privilege to live in and be part of a global phenomenon. I think Findhorn was one of the many responses that grew out of the soul of Gaia in response to the challenges and despair over the future.

Almost fifty years ago to the day, the world saw the publication of Silent Spring, written by Rachel Carson, a book widely credited with helping launch the environmental movement. We faced a nuclear threat through the Cuban missile crisis and the very soul of the planet was under threat. These events occurred around the anniversary of the sudden firing of Peter and Eileen Caddy from their positions of managing The Trossachs Hotel. Dorothy, Peter, Eileen and the boys realised they had only one place to go their small caravan on the Findhorn peninsula. There are many stories of these three individuals and Peter embellished many of them to make a point, however, the truth is worthy of a legend in itself. Judy knew all three of them well and through her innate curiosity asked many questions, wanting to know what had really happened.

Life with God at the centre All three had consented to living life with God at the centre. They had each spent nearly ten years honing their connection to that divine source, with love as the common thread. The clear inner voice of Eileen, the telepathic guidance of Dorothy and the intuitive sense of Peter all led to the community we know today. Years ago in one of Judys meditations, she was asked to reflect upon the scream from the soul of humanity. I think Findhorn was one of the many responses that grew out of the soul of Gaia in response to the challenges and despair over the future. Judy shared a five-minute slideshow of then and now which we contemplated together in silence. The landscape was sandy, barren and windswept. Slowly the area transformed into a

green and vibrant Garden of Eden. What struck me most were the trees that have grown up over the years. The show ended with the provocative caption, and weve only just begun There are two main principles involved, the first that we can all have a direct and personal connection with the divine. Getting people to talk to God again, and listen, we seem to be doing pretty well. The second, co-creation with the intelligence of nature, seems to need some more work. What happens if we all believe the subtle realms want to co-operate with us? she asked. Not if only, but what if? To act from this place, day-by-day, moment-by-moment. This is the essence of Findhorn, a centre of incarnation. The invitation is extended to us all

We can choose an active co-creative relationship with nature The nature beings have emphasised one message over and over again, We have to approach them, explained Judy. Were the ones gifted with free will and can choose to engage. They tell us that we have no idea who we really are, magnificent human beings, the peak of evolution on the planet. It is time to step into our potential; were on the verge of becoming Gaian human beings working in equal partnership with nature in conscious co-creation. The subtle, invisible realms require us to stand in our largesse so they can meet us. This is the creative partnership that will make miracles, as we currently understand them, ordinary. How do we enter into an active co-creative relationship? We need to break free from the tyranny of denial and lack of hope. If you think youre too small to make a difference youve never been in bed with a mosquito, said Judy to the laughter of the audience. It is our choice. Fifty years ago three adults chose to follow a certain path and made a commitment. Miracle is not a big enough word to express the transformation that took place. It wasnt just thousands of hands and hearts, it was a constant cooperation between our human kingdom and the other non physical realms.

My understanding of co-creation with nature continued to deepen and my hope soared as Judy spoke. We do ourselves and Gaia a disservice if we stop here. Lets allow ourselves to entertain the reality that there are larger forces at work. The subtle beings welcome our partnership. We have the creative brain and imagination; they do what they do in joyful harmony with one another. Together we can create something entirely new if we engage their power and energy.

This is not a moment where God is coming to the rescue; it is about us working creatively to find solutions and form a new sense of balance on the planet. It is a challenge and an invitation with which we can all engage. Judy shared about her visits to Brazil last year, into the 3% of the remaining Atlantic rainforest. Each morning she would follow the path to a waterfall nearby the house without electricity where she was staying. Walking in a living prayer Walking through the forest I was almost unable to breathe. There was an overwhelming energy of exaltation, walking through this ancient, pristine forest, Judy said. I realised I was walking in a living prayer and I became part of that prayer. She described both laughing hysterically at the joy and also weeping at the sheer beauty of this rarefied land as she encountered the voice of the forest. Sitting in meditation on the last morning she received a letter by dictation and was asked to share this where and when she could. Taking the leaf of action from the book of our founders, she chose to share with us these precious words. She took a few moments to find the letter amongst her notes, as sharing it was unplanned. Dear child of the earth, it began. We call to you from this heart of green, from tree-clad slopes and mountain tops We call to the nature in you We call out our welcome. Will

you hear? These are brief extracts from the longer, more beautiful letter. Will you walk silently amongst us, listening to the sounds of the forest? Will you come with your eyes open and see the beauty? Will you come with your hearts open and allow them to break openly fully with wonder? Will you come that you may know yourself; that we may know each other? The invitation is extended to us all. Will we come and enter the potentiality of partnership and play our part? If we live a life with God at the centre, we may do strange things, find ourselves out of sync with the norms of society. Eileen, Dorothy and Peter were way outside the box of their time. What would it be like if we were all willing to do that? Judy asked. She left us with an evocative question in her own heartfelt way, And what will the next 50 years bring us? We were asked to return to the hall in silence after the break in preparation for our completion. When we came back, Barbara was playing the harp and thoughts disappeared from my mind as the presence of music entered my heart.

Judy invited us to close our eyes as she led a meditation to extend our gratitude and blessings. Imagine in your lap a small bowl and into that bowl begin to gather memories, associations, moments of magic, insights, moments of healing, of forgiveness, and gifts of kindness. We are all a superhero We then imagined ourselves becoming a superhero, beginning to collapse the bowl the way the earth collapses coal to make a diamond, transforming all the contents into a gem, and placing all that we hold precious into our hearts. Know its within you for recall, anytime, anyplace, Judy said. When its anchored sufficiently in yourself, gently open your eyes and bring yourself present into this time and place. Slowly all that we had created was gently dismantled. The five banners were lowered and a few people from the audience removed the colourful messages that had been pinned to them in our opening ritual. Francois had created an almost egg-shaped container from willow and paper as a vessel for our messages to be offered up to spirit this evening in ceremonial fire. Everyone sitting stepped into the power of the witness, silently connecting with the invocations represented in each message. Once again we entered into a meditative space, In honour, respect and gratitude of our ancestors. In appreciation for the people who represent love, magic, miracles and remain present within us, and with awareness of those who follow after us, the future generations.

Francois carried a bowl of semi-precious treasures into the centre of the hall, making a rustling sound reminiscent of the waves against a pebbly

shore. The bowl, draped in silk, was delicately unwrapped and placed upon a fabric on the floor, with tiny squares of different colours all around. Come and choose one, he said. Make it more holy by wrapping it in colour. Everyone in the Hall made their way down into the centre, lining up in three directions from the bowl, as Barbara played the familiar sound of Over the Hills to Skye on the piano accordion. Allow the hands to hold the semi-precious stones and fabric, allowing the sense of touch to move into a deeper level of awareness, Judy said. This is a gift from Gaia, held by the great cosmic angel of stone than spans the galaxies. Ultimately were all made of stardust. We were asked to enter a relationship with the piece of stone and imprint into it our hopes, commitments and dreams; the essence of all that we take away from here. The stone holds in partnership with you that dream. Be aware the stone joyously accepts whatever you ask it to carry for you. Great angels and great forces gather in these seemingly small pieces of the earth. Then came the great element of surprise

Sacred fire of mysticism and activism Know you have given the most precious of dreams, said Francois. Now youre going to release your stone and offer it to someone else, as an expression of our interconnectedness. Taking care of each other, praying for each other. I looked at my beautifully shaped stone of deep green one last time and then released it almost ruefully to the friend next to me. I received his small stone wrapped in bright red. Thats not a colour I would have chosen I pondered to myself, later realising it symbolised the sacred fire of mysticism and activism that will forever be with me as a soulful gift from this week. As we had done in the opening ritual, we sang the song that is part of the Hopi Prophecy. We are the ones weve been waiting for This is the time and this is the hour, all together we have the power. The energy in the hall was even greater this time, the voices imbued with our collective belief and joy in the future of Gaia and all of humanity. Mid way through the song we were asked to turn around in the same direction and face outward with our palms outstretched. Send the energy into the past, to our ancestors that it may heal, integrate and release. Move the energy out into the world; into the community that it may continue its work. Gather grace and miracles and move this energy out into the global network of light sustaining our world and evolution. There was an incredible sense of power and strength as everyone faced in one direction, preparing to move out into the world and share the richness of the week, in their lives beyond

here. May all beings everywhere benefit from the blessing of this magical time together.

Christine Lines