The Findhorn Foundation is a Scottish charitable trust registered in 1972, formed by the spiritual community at the Findhorn Ecovillage, one of the largest of the communes in Britain . The Foundation runs educational programme for the community and has now become an international centre for holistic education, spiritual guidance, and ecoliving, it also houses about 40 community businesses like the Findhorn Press, and an alternative medicine centre .
Starting as commune in 1962, from a caravan park, and founded by Eileen Caddy, Peter Caddy and Dorothy Maclean, the Findhorn Foundation and surrounding Findhorn Ecovillage community at The Park, Findhorn, a village in Moray, Scotland, and at Cluny Hill College in Forres, is a home to more than 400 people . The community has no formal doctrine or creed. It also offers a range of workshops, programmes and events in the environment of a working ecovillage. The programmes are intended to give participants practical experience of how to apply spiritual values in daily life. There are approximately 3000 residential participants from around the world taking part in programmes each year.
Findhorn Ecovillage, has been awarded UN Habitat Best Practice designation from from the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (HABITAT), and regularly hold seminars of 'CIFAL Findhorn', a United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), affiliated training centre for Northern Europe .
In late 1962, following concerns by the hotel's owners over adverse publicity, Caddy's employment was terminated. He and Eileen settled in a caravan near the village of Findhorn; in early 1963 an annexe was built so that Dorothy Maclean could live close to the Caddy family. They began organic gardening as a way of growing food and supplementing their income (the family at this point being entirely supported by Family Allowance). To this activity they brought their spiritual practices, which partly centred on supposed communication with 'nature spirits' or devas as Maclean referred to them; the Caddys credited the garden's success - it allegedly produced "exceptionally large vegetables" - on these practices. Peter Caddy also introduced the positive thinking methods he had learned in the Rosicrucian Order Crotona Fellowship. Locals from outside the community, however, feel that the garden's successes can be explained by the unique microclimate of Moray or the substantial amounts of horse manure donated by a local farmer.
After Peter Caddy had met British New Age leaders, and after Eileen Caddy's theories had been distributed to a New Age mailing list in the form of a booklet titled God Spoke to Me (she claimed to receive daily messages from God in a nearby public convenience) a community began to form around them. Initially, many of its practices were unconventional even by the standards of New Age circles. During the early and mid 1960s, Caddy and his circle of 'channelers' believed that they were in contact with extraterrestrials through the medium of telepathy, and prepared a 'landing strip' for flying saucers at nearby Cluny Hill. The contactee element of Findhorn's origins was gradually played down during the 1970s after the predicted landings failed to happen, and is no longer mentioned in its publicity.
Dorothy Maclean left the community to live in North America in 1973. Peter Caddy left in 1979, shortly after informing Eileen "that he was taking one of the Foundation's young women followers on a trip to Hawaii". Eileen Caddy remained, and in 2004 was awarded the MBE by Queen Elizabeth II. Peter Caddy died in a car crash in Germany on 18 February 1994. Eileen Caddy died at home on 13 December 2006. Dorothy Maclean continues to give talks and workshops worldwide and still visits Findhorn regularly.
Findhorn Ecovillage is based at The Park, in Moray, Scotland near the village of Findhorn. Within the Findhorn Ecovillage at The Park, sustainable values are expressed in the built environment with 'ecological' houses, innovative use of building materials such as local stone and straw bales, and applied technology in the Living Machine sewage treatment facility and electricity-generating wind turbines.
The Findhorn Ecovillage is intended to be a tangible demonstration of the links between the spiritual, social, ecological and economic aspects of life. It is a constantly evolving model used as a teaching resource by a number of university and school groups as well as by professional organisations and municipalities worldwide. It is a founder member of the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) a non-profit organisation that links together a diverse worldwide movement of autonomous ecovillages and related projects.
The Findhorn Foundation Ecovillage Project has received Best Practice designation from the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat).
Since the 1980s numerous organisations have started up in the vicinity of Findhorn which have an affiliation of some kind with the Findhorn Foundation. These include Ekopia, Moray Steiner School, the Phoenix Community Store, Trees for Life (Scotland) & The Isle of Erraid. Collectively they now form an ecovillage which aims to demonstrate a positive model of a viable, sustainable human and planetary future. As of 2005, Findhorn Ecovillage has around 450 resident members.
In 1999 a community association, the New Findhorn Association or NFA, was formed to provide a structure for all the people and organisations in the community. It includes people from within a 50-mile radius of The Park, at Findhorn. Each year a council and two listener-conveners are elected by the membership of the NFA, who organise monthly community meetings to decide upon community-wide issues.
The following have given lectures, workshops or presentations at the Findhorn Foundation: Eckhart Tolle, Neale Donald Walsch, Caroline Myss, E.F. Schumacher, Ervin Laszlo, Geoffrey Ashe, Paul Horn (jazz musician), James T. Hubbell, Paul Winter, Laurens Van Der Post, Jonathon Porritt, Satish Kumar, Joanna Macy, Peter Russell, Anita Roddick, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Petra Kelly, Matthew Fox (priest), Patch Adams, John and Caitlin Matthews, Robert John Stewart, Peter Dawkins (FBRT), Robert Muller, Ysaye Maria Barnwell, Danah Zohar, Machaelle Small Wright, Lynne Franks, Hazel Henderson, James Twyman, Jane Goodall, Aubrey Manning, David Bellamy, Miranda Holden, Sandra Ingerman.
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