Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Findhorn Foundation

Findhorn Foundation

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, has been home to thousands of residents from more than 40 countries. The Foundation runs various educational programmes for the Findhorn community; 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 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.

A Growing Ecovillage
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, and its residents have the lowest recorded ecological footprint of any community in the industrialised or the developed world, and also half of the UK average.

Organisation Of The Community
The community includes an arts centre, shop, pottery, bakery, publishing company, printing company and other charitable organisations. All aim to practice the founding principles of the community and together make up the New Findhorn Association (NFA).

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.

Individulas Connected With The Findhorn Foundation
Individuals with past or present connections to the Findhorn Foundation include celtic art author Aidan Meehan, Waterboys songwriter and singer Mike Scott, sports psychologists John Syer and Chris Connolly, authors William Irwin Thompson, Caroline Myss, William Bloom, Sir George Trevelyan, Marko Pogacnik and Paul Hawken, Scottish novelist Margaret Elphinstone. motivational writer Carol A. O'Connor, activists May East and Vance Martin, Australian singer Hans Poulsen, Trees for Life (Scotland) founder Alan Watson and naturalist Richard St Barbe Baker.

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.

Links with the United Nations
In December 1997 the Findhorn Foundation was approved for formal Association with the UN Department of Public Information as an NGO. The Findhorn Foundation is a member of the Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CONGO), attends the Sustainable Development Committee meetings and is a founding member of the following NGO groups active at the UN Headquarters in New York: The Earth Values Caucus The Spiritual Caucus and the The NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values and Global Concerns In September 2006 a new sustainable development training facility, CIFAL Findhorn was launched. This is a joint initiative between The Moray Council, the Global Ecovillage Network, the Findhorn Foundation and UNITAR.

Relevant Links:
The Findhorn Foundation's website
Ecovillage Project - overview and background
New Findhorn Association - website for the community association.
Wikipedia Reference For Findhorn Foundation