Latest Event Updates

WELCOME

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We are pleased to announce a very special conference about living and thriving in the aftermath of climate change. Climate Change & Consciousness: Our Legacy for the Earth will be held at the Findhorn Foundation, North Scotland, April 20-26, 2019. The event will feature some of the clearest and most passionate voices for the Earth ever gathered together in one place, including:

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Please go to the About and Presenters pages for more information about the event.

Over the next two years as we countdown to the conference, we will post here informative and inspiring articles and videos featuring the work of our presenters and other climate change activists around the world. Please do join and support us by following our posts and updates, which you can do by email. (See ‘Follow Us via Email’ above right). Please comment on them and/or offer your own links; all feedback and input is welcome.

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THE INTELLIGENCE OF THE LAND

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THE INTELLIGENCE OF THE LAND: How Nature Teaches Us to Be Resilient Leaders

By conference convener, Stephanie Mines, Ph.D.

It is more than fifty years since Eileen and Peter Caddy together with Dorothy MacLean enjoyed the mythical giant vegetables they first grew at Findhorn. Yet, the abundance of their simple wisdom continues to be harvested. The soil they found where they pitched their caravan was barren, sandy and rocky and they knew little of gardening. However, growing their own food was a practical necessity, surviving as they were on Peter’s unemployment benefit of £8 per week. How were they to do it in sterile soil with little knowledge or experience? It was Dorothy who first received guidance from within about how to garden co-creatively with the ‘intelligence of Nature.’ Her awakening to direct communication with the unseen beings of the natural world, which she called ‘devas,’ not only resulted in many wonderful meals, it transformed Dorothy’s sense of herself.  It awakened in her a capacity for resilient leadership in shaping, not only her own life’s purpose and the future of the Findhorn community, but perhaps the world.

We are grateful to Peter, Eileen and Dorothy (pictured below, left to right) for their legacy, but our deepest gratitude goes to the land itself, the diversity of plants, trees and all the elements that collaborated so that this triumvirate of mystics could remain where they were and ignite what would become the Findhorn Foundation and Community (FFC). In a keynote address many years later, Dorothy said, “Nature is a tremendous force that is reaching out to humanity.” She repeated the phrase “a tremendous force,” underscoring the word “tremendous,” and continued, “Nature does not just want to partner with us. Nature is holding a space of connection with us so that its natural force can flow into the world.” (Positive Energy Conference, Findhorn, 2008.)

The individual lives of Dorothy, Eileen, Peter and their children are woven into the fabric of the FFC story but the main character and the central voice of the story is that of the land. The FFC is an intended as well as an intentional community and it’s the intentionality of the place that has catalyzed the conference, Climate Change & Consciousness: Our Legacy for the Earth (CCC19). The overarching natural forces that hover expectantly on the Findhorn peninsula await the arrival of human beings to whom they can deliver their guidance. As Dorothy has said, they are “waiting in love for our love.” We live in an intelligent universe that repeatedly extends itself to us, to gain our attention and to awaken us to who we are truly meant to be. Whether one is a parent, healthcare professional or corporate executive, listening to Nature offers the inspiration to lead with power and spirit.

Peter Caddy ©Findhorn Foundation      Eileen      dorothy

Assertions about the voice and teaching quality of the land, let alone the existence of devas, appear to defy reason. They stand in apparent sharp contrast to the unquestionable hard science that underpins CCC19. In order to be compelled by Nature as teacher, a visceral and embodied experience is necessary. CCC19 is being designed to make that possible for all participants. It has been said that the real cause of climate change is disconnection. Dorothy, Eileen and Peter received healing at Findhorn of their alienation from the natural world. Their experiences of Oneness were sensory and somatic. Nature as teacher transformed Eileen and Dorothy into prophets and seers via communion with the natural world. The location amplified and made irresistible the invitation that is waiting for everyone who wants to experience authentic empowerment.

The interface between science and mysticism is regarded by some as a wobbly position. Those who assert the existence of ‘unseen beings’ are often said to be not of ‘right mind.’ Nevertheless, there are strong parallels between genuine science and mysticism. Both are informed by Nature and require discipline and steadfast rigor. Increasingly, both are coming to the same conclusions about the environment. Ancient cultures and indigenous wisdom were built upon keen observation of the natural world combined with a profound inner focus. And although, remarkable prehistoric feats of engineering, such as Newgrange in Ireland, were achieved without the benefit of clinical investigation, peer reviewed journals or controlled experiment, it’s with the aid of modern science and technology that we’re paradoxically able to appreciate the perfection that arose from astute inner attention spurred by natural world prompting.

It is hubris to assume that human beings are the primary drivers of events, or that people are directed solely by their own inner process or personal history. Inspiration, guidance, or what Einstein referred to as “the imagination,” can spring from Nature and can be the stimulus for scientific discovery or equally, mystical experience. Eileen Caddy and Dorothy MacLean both intuited that each deva had particular work to do. Might it be that, similarly, we are each meant to fulfill a different aspect of humanity’s calling and the destiny of the Earth? Dorothy reported that the deva of the cypress tree revealed to her that plants were long ago given their different assignments. “We each have a portion of our work to do,” the deva told Dorothy. They knew their purpose and lived entirely for its fulfillment. The suggestion that the same is true for us is expressed through the loving compassion that the devas hold for humans. Their patience far outdistances ours. They know that scientists, corporate executives and visionaries must and will come together out of necessity to solve the riddles of our existential crisis as a global community.

Due to Findhorn’s experience and legacy of plant-human communication, Gaian consciousness is strongly amplified there. The discipline of following and listening to Nature that Eileen practiced day after day until the day she passed from her body, has encouraged the devas to be present for those humans who meet them there so that scientific investigation, creativity, imagination, technological innovation, organizing, networking, leadership and education can be fed by their cooperative, co-creative energies. “Just ask for help,” Dorothy said when queried about a troubling problem occurring in the natural world, such as the inexplicable widespread deaths of bees. Instead of encouraging others to rely on her guidance she directed them toward their own. And be open, Eileen said, “Spirit cannot flow if systems are crystallized and rigid….The more you reinforce your identity as the only moving factor in the world the more restricted your life becomes.” Being authentically available for Nature’s guidance will inevitably bring success in any endeavor. “The more you allow yourself to work with us [i.e. the devas],” Eileen was told via her inner guidance, “the more real we become in your life.”

This is why CCC19 will be held at the Findhorn Foundation in preference to anywhere else.

After three years of clear and dependable inner guidance Eileen Caddy wrote, “It was gradually beginning to dawn on me that there might be some underlying purpose behind all that we were being led to do at Findhorn and that we were carrying out some kind of mysterious pioneering adventure.” It is entirely possible that the pioneering to which Eileen refers goes beyond the creation of the Findhorn ‘center of light.’ Could it be that the Findhorn founders, through their humility, gratitude and simplicity, made it possible for the whole global family to hear what Nature is saying?

Eileen Caddy repeated over and over again, in a variety of ways, the importance of being still and listening. She recommended listening to silence, listening to plants, listening to birds, and listening to what is voiced within. It is likely challenging for business leaders, for instance, to see the power and potency in what appears to be simple statements uttered by plain looking women. “She is just like my mum,” one Findhorn community member said years ago. “How could she be hearing God?” Now however, the timing and severity of the crisis suggests that it is actually the voice of Nature that’s being channeled through from them in order to reach us.

I believe that Nature is the real keynote speaker at CCC19. We will assemble to listen to what the land and the natural world are telling us to do, so that we can authentically act out what Eileen called “the realization of the wholeness of One Life.” In 2008 Dorothy said, “We have reached a crisis point. We stand at the brink. We ignore the unseen at our own peril. What community will respond to this crisis? We can give birth to a new consciousness to offset the destructiveness of the planet. This plague of death can be met with our values and our love.”

These words are even truer today than they were when uttered by this sweet, humble and simple woman as she turned to the audience in the Universal Hall and asked each participant with her gaze what they would do with the wisdom she offered. The gentleness with which the question was put forth belies its searing implications. We must, all of us, from all walks of life, revisit that question, in that very same place, at the Climate Change & Consciousness conference. Our answers are needed with far greater urgency than ever before. I have no doubt that we will find them. But more pointedly, we must then act on them.

*All quotes from Dorothy MacLean and Eileen Caddy are taken from the Archives of the Findhorn Foundation. Thank you Keith Armstrong for your support.

A NEW STORY ABOUT FAST AND SLOW

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By conference convener, Stephanie Mines, Ph.D.

“One of the warning signs that a dangerous warming trend is under way in Antarctica will be the break-up of ice shelves on both coasts of the Antarctic Peninsula.” ~ John Mercer, Institute of Polar Studies.

Any time now, perhaps even by the time you read this article, a section (about 10%) of the West Antarctic Larsen C ice shelf will break away to become the largest iceberg ever recorded. The process, called calving, will generate a resounding rolling thunder clap in the vast silence of the Antarctic. The world’s sea levels will immediately be effected, as water that was held back is released in quantities that are impossible to accurately predict. “Ice shelves are like corks in a bottle,” says David Bromwich of the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Centre, Ohio University. “They are holding back the contents of the bottle. You take the cork away and everything flows out. We don’t know the time scale of this. But sea level rise of this magnitude is alarming.”

Capture  LarsenC_photo_2016315_lrg  cxaovzcwqaa0nll

Ultimately, this single calving event will increase sea levels dramatically. To quote David Vaughan of the British Antarctic Survey, “When it calves, the Larsen C ice shelf will lose more than 10% of its area. This will fundamentally change the landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula. The ice it holds back could add about four inches to sea levels.” Or, from Nagraj Adve, author of Global Warming in the Indian Context, “Ten centimeters of average sea level rise from the collapse of Larsen C may not seem like much until we put that figure in perspective. It’s a little over half of all the sea level rise the world has already experienced since 1901. This should deeply concern us.”

This sudden cataclysmic event, likely to be seen or heard by only a few, will reverse hundreds if not thousands of years of geological trend, depending on how one dates the formation and reformation of the mother ice sheet. The question I pose here, is whether human consciousness is ready for that moment when calving occurs. Decade after decade of ignorance and denial of global warming and climate change has brought us to the threshold of disaster. We have laced ourselves into a fateful straitjacket. However, there remains a way out, although it has to happen fast and it will require collective responsibility and human solidarity. As Dr. Stefan Rahmstorf, author of Our Threatened Oceans says, “The creation of a viable future for ourselves and for future generations requires the commitment of everyone on our planet.”

Just as that moment of calving in the Antarctic is the product of a long history, so is this moment of opportunity to collectively choose to live differently. The awakening may be as sudden for you as it was for me, but it is still likely to be a result of what preceded it. I was reflecting on this recently and wrote this poem to explain the guidance that resulted in the birth of the conference, Climate Change & Consciousness: Our legacy for the Earth.

Guidance
Guidance recalibrates the logical mind
And consumes excuses with fire.
It seems a speedy process but
It is built on merit you did not know
You accumulated in order to
Burn resistance into
Love in action.
Suddenly you find
You are not making a decision;
The decision makes you.
This is the work of the
Goddess of Electricity.
It is hummingbird medicine.
Before you know it
The I has become We
And nothing is impossible.

If we look around at the chaos in the world, the injustices and the suffering, it feels like we are living in a degraded age or what the yogis called the Kali Yuga, defined by excesses, mechanistic thinking, materialism, greed and a focus on the gross aspects of life. But according to Vedic calculation, as described by mystical teachers like Paramhansa Yogananda, we are actually living in the Dwapara Yuga, an age of refined thinking when we are sensitive to energetic vibrations, bioelectrical rhythms and the power of thought.

The Kali Yuga is the Old Story and the Dwapara Yuga is the New Story. There are periods between these Yugas which are called Sandhis or transitional cycles. This is where we often feel stuck between stories. But the Yogic Masters say we are truly living in a time of hope. Our capacities have finally, over thousands of years, evolved so that we can unite to live brilliantly in a climate changed world. Collectively, we have developed the capacity to understand the truth about matter. We have cultivated the resources to expand true knowledge and have refined our means of expression. In the Dwapara Yuga, inner consciousness rises above density to perceive the quantum flow of energy. It is when individuals are empowered, transcending the subjugation and passivity of the Kali Yuga and instead, choosing awareness, compassion and inclusion.

Charles Eisenstein points out in The Most Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible that in order to cross over into the New Story we have to fully know the paradigm that we are leaving behind. This appears to slow us down but actually, it allows us to move forward with confidence. Then, when the old paradigm is fully spent, as I reference in my poem, change seems sudden, perhaps even instantaneous. Guidance tells me that on April 20, 2019 we will be ready to come together for a decisive shift in the collective understanding of ‘our legacy for the Earth.’ “Climate change is an intellectual challenge; but it is also a test of human solidarity,” says James Flynn, author of No Place to Hide. The representative gathering in the Universal Hall, Findhorn, will personify our readiness, as will thousands of people in hubs around the world participating through live streaming.

When the Larsen C ice shelf calves, will you hear it?
When your guidance descends in a whoosh of awakening, will you follow it?

I answer YES to both of these questions. I am reminded that guidance ‘recalibrates the logical mind and consumes excuses with fire.’   “Making people better informed is rarely enough to solve problems of great consequence, but I am convinced that the problem of climate change may be one of the rare exceptions,” says Jim Flynn.

The next blog in this series will reveal why the Findhorn Foundation is the perfect location for this decisive moment in our history.

UPDATE, July 12th, 2017.

The iceberg has broken away. See here.

THE NEW LINEAGE

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THE NEW LINEAGE: How Climate Change is Creating a New Epigenetic Transmission

By conference convener, Stephanie Mines, Ph.D.

I was born into an immigrant household that insisted I honor my lineage by associating only with people who looked, behaved and believed as we did. I was repeatedly drilled in my responsibility to ‘my people.’ My job was to memorialize our history, maintain our practices and pass all this on to my own children when I became a parent. There was no possibility to marry outside of my faith; this was the only way, I was told, that ‘our people’ would survive. My teachers had direct knowledge of genocide, poverty, violence and deprivation, which buttressed fear of ‘the other’ and a perceived, ever-present threat of loss, starvation and tragedy. We lived in cramped quarters with other family members. Aunts, uncles and cousins were close by in our urban ghetto, intensifying the attitudes that became my foundation for meeting the world. Even when I moved out to be more independent, become educated and expand my awareness to form new ways of thinking, I carried these early teachings with me and adapted them to my new lifestyle.

That is, until full comprehension of climate change and what it means for the world dawned on me last year. This awakening has completely shifted my internalized definition of ‘my people.’ I had long since moved on from believing that it referred only to a certain group, but I had not yet replaced it with the notion of a ‘global family.’ This awakening to being a global citizen, a global parent and grandparent, and someone who is responsive to the events occurring everywhere on this planet was ignited by looming catastrophic climate change. Climate change has globalized my lineage and, in so doing, has altered my brain. I am infused with a new neurochemistry that hormonally displaces the rigidity of an older, entrenched paradigm of separation. Does this mean I have altered my DNA? I think the answer is yes.

Neuro Resiliency Master-1

Neuroendocrinologist Bruce McEwen has been one of my neuroscience heroes since I first began to inquire into how the human nervous system responds to trauma. McEwen still conducts cutting edge research demonstrating our endless capacity for resilience and neuroplasticity. As a holistic investigator I was tantalized by McEwen’s articulation of human responsiveness to stress. It illuminated what we can do to maximize creative buoyancy in all aspects of human function, including movement, expression, health, social engagement and creativity. He emphasizes the potency of education, outreach and access to resources to dramatically enhance our human capacity to meet challenge. We do this with brilliant innovation, which changes old patterns by writing a completely new blueprint of possibility. McEwen’s research helps me understand from a scientific standpoint how it is possible for me to change so profoundly. Family lineage informed me of the threat of having everything stolen from me. By contrast, the threat of omni-present climate change, is now evoking expansion, evolution, intelligence and a sense of belonging that has always eluded me. Stewardship is not only about saving the Earth’s resources, protecting its creatures and developing technologies for low-carbon energy generation. It also embraces inclusion and cooperation, collective problem solving and community sustainability, thus resourcing our children and our children’s children. This will alter the neurochemistry of brain development so that future generations will continually be more creative in rising to the challenges of civilization, culture and climate.

The concept of the evolutionary epigenome was developed collaboratively by geneticist Moshe Szyf and neurobiologist Michael Meaney. It somehow seems fitting that an Irishman and a Jew together proposed that one’s environment can serve not only to deepen molecular brain scars but also to obfuscate them. The human blueprint is not etched in stone; it is more like a sand painting. If mentoring and mirroring are encouraging, the brain can endlessly shift, rendering human evolution a tabula rasa.

During the Climate Change & Consciousness conference, we will collectively build the vibrational field that is our legacy for the Earth – a diverse, representative microcosm of the macrocosm that serves all humanity by combining hearts with intelligence to sustain human civilization. Thus we offer our children the chance to respond to the threat of climate change with joy and excitement; to grasp the opportunity to meet the greatest challenge humanity has known. Those of us raised in lineages of limitation that engraved the terror of imminent threat onto our cellular structure can offer future generations an entirely different option. If you are willing to allow your own personal story to morph into something entirely new and perhaps unknown, you can be a force for the emergence of a new lineage. The possibility for neuronal vibrancy is endless and indifferent to age. We are all instrumental in rewriting the script for civilization.

2019 is the perfect time for us to join for this purpose and Findhorn is the perfect place. Subsequent posts will explain why.

CCC19 POSTER

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We have produced an attractive poster to help spread word of the conference. If you’d like to print it at A3 or A4 size for your wall or noticeboard, please go here to download.

CCC19Poster

LEGALLY BLIND

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LEGALLY BLIND: How the Law Interferes with Consciousness

By conference convener, Stephanie Mines, Ph.D.

“Law frustrates the process of transformation by becoming an end in itself. It inoculates us from the real thing, which is always relationship.” Richard Rohr

For most people the Law exists somewhere in an unconscious realm along with God and Queen, enshrined and untouchable. Or else we choose not to think on it at all. In almost every country however, the Law shapes its people emotionally and biologically, usually unbeknown to them. More often than not, the Law creates and maintains an unnatural separation between people. It disrespects the natural world by violating our relationship with it through objectification. The so-called ‘Law of the land’ is an oxymoron; it distorts our perception of, and connection with, the land by classifying it as a commodity.

I have lived for a long time with an environmental attorney who is a lover of, and advocate for, Mother Nature. And yet, until I had talked to Mumta Ito about her organization Nature’s Rights, I hadn’t realized how I had unconsciously allowed the Law to hijack my perception of Nature. She was quick to show me with her fiery love, how I projected onto Nature what I needed it to be, seeking to make it serve my needs, rather than deeply listening to her own true voice.

The shift that is occurring in me as a result, is taking me to another level of perception. Some might call this development ‘shamanic.’ I feel that Nature is communicating with me; I am no longer interpreting Nature. Words do not easily convey this experience, but I know it to be a profound shift in consciousness, one for which I am extremely grateful. I want to share the opportunity to cultivate intimacy with Nature with everyone who attends the Climate Change & Consciousness conference. That is why we have invited Mumta to lead a workshop there. And it’s why we are determined to find sponsorship for indigenous environmental leaders from around the world, particularly those from places already impacted by climate change. Their wisdom will bring forth the resilience and intelligence required to face what is truly an existential crisis. Nature herself can guide us if we can hear her speak.

MumtaMumta Ito

Watch the video below about Nature’s Rights and open yourself to a refreshing, consciousness shifting relationship with Nature herself. Even if you already consider yourself an environmentalist, conservationist or outdoorsy person, open yourself to the surprise that can occur in really listening to Nature, rather than experience separation from her due to your preconceptions.

Mumta Ito is a lawyer and Founder of the young international NGO Nature’s Rights. She sees law as a vehicle for social transformation in a paradigm of restoration, reparation and healing. One of Europe’s leading advocates for rights of nature and earth jurisprudence, she is also European facilitator of the UN Harmony with Nature expert dialogues and initiator of a European Citizens Initiative to propose nature’s rights to the EU legislative agenda.

About Nature’s Rights: Nature’s Rights (previously Rights of Nature Europe) is a young international non-profit organization committed to establishing rights of nature in law and policy in Europe and around the world. Among its innovations is a Draft EU Directive to codify nature’s rights into European law.

Email: contact@naturesrights.org   Twitter: @NaturesRights

A POWERFUL ADDITION TO THE PROGRAMME

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The organisers of CCC19 (Climate Change & Consciousness, the week-long conference at Findhorn in April, 2019) are filled with gratitude for the momentum the event is gathering. We are constantly being approached by preeminent climate change activists keen to be involved. Most recently, environmentalist author, philosopher and poet, Kathleen Dean Moore, has spontaneously and generously offered to perform at the conference and facilitate workshops. Kathleen will be joined by piano virtuoso Rachelle McCabe whose accompanimentpiano4 (2)t to Kathleen’s spoken word makes even more palpable her passionate expression of love for the Earth and all of Nature. If you come to CCC19 for their performance alone, you’ll not be disappointed; your spirit will be uplifted and you will be forever changed. Go to A CALL TO LIFE: Variations on a Theme of Extinction to experience the power and beauty of their collaboration.  Here is a brief description of the piece, A CALL TO LIFE, provided by Kathleen:

“Words alone cannot express the moral urgency of action,” says Kathleen Dean Moore, “and so we turned to music.” In a unique creative collaboration, classical pianist Rachelle McCabe and Moore, a philosopher and writer, have created a music/spoken-word performance piece, A CALL TO LIFE. In the program, McCabe plays a breathtaking interpretation of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Variations on a Theme of Corelli.”  Moore weaves words between the variations, creating a call to action to save the planet’s lives from the dual threats of climate change and ocean acidification.  “We are using a formidable piece of music to address a formidable global crisis,” McCabe says. McCabe and Moore have performed for audiences all over the United States. “It is at once devastating and inspiring, despairing and hopeful,” wrote ocean conservationist Mark Hixon, who heard the performance in Hawaii. The synergy of words and music creates what one audience member called “as powerful a message as one could imagine.”

A longer blog post about the work of Moore and McCabe is available here.

XIUHTEZCATL MARTINEZ JOINS CCC19

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A key tenet of the vision for the Climate Change & Consciousness conference is that the voice of youth be heard, loud and clear. That aspect of the vision is now being realised with Xiuhtezcatl Martinez joining the CCC19 programme. Xiuhtezcatl (pronounced Shoe-Tex-Caht) is the indigenous hip-hop artist who is taking on climate change with passion and power. He’s one of the 31 youth suing the US government for not safeguarding their future. Xiuhtezcatl is the Youth Director of Earth Guardians (www.earthguardians.org), a worldwide conservation organisation. His infectious spirit of artistry and daring “just do it” attitude resonates with every phase of the CCC19 programme’s tripartite structure: AWAKE, CELEBRATE, ACT. You can see it all in this video.