People at Findhorn generally focus on groups, experiences and feelings, however, it also has a remarkable and coherent set of core techniques. These are notable packaged into the Experience Week and other workshops held there.
The community could easily be overwhelmed with visitors, so it needs to carefully regulate the way outsiders come “inside”, and it has developed the Experience Week to simplify and structure this process, and also to create a “safe space” so that the visitors can have the techniques and ideas passed on to them. The week-long process is also a microcosm of the development of the community.
However, the "Findhorn Techniques" could be made clearer, and even passed on via social media.
My partial list of the techniques would be:-
- (group) Alignment. At Findhorn, we would align ourselves to the “Angel of Findhorn” or the group being of our particular group – though these may be human constructs, they work, as long as you align yourself to something higher and external, even the Christ or Buddha – align to the highest you can conceive, and then to open up to it !
- (group) Attunement – This is opening up to the “vertical dimension” after alignment. In the Experience Weeks, in a short meditation we used to read out a list of work department jobs to the guests – amazingly, they would all either hear, see or feel what to do, and often it all worked out perfectly in a few minutes. You can attune to a work to do, a place to go, a book to read, almost anything.
- (group) Distribution. In meditations, even a short attunement meditation, it's best not to hold all the energy for yourself. This would be selfishness. Generally it’s thought better to distribute it to the world, radiating it outwards, trying to set up a flow of energy to channel it out into the world.
- The above three steps form a typical Findhorn group attunement, which is really a type of short dynamic group meditation. Typically a small group would form a circle holding hands (with right hands up and left hands down), and the focaliser would say as few words as and when needed to lead the meditation through the stages of opening up to the group - aligning vertically -opening to spirit - distributing energy. The leader squeezes the hands on either side, who pass it on to mark the end. However, you can follow the same procedure on your own. This type of attunement is also used for personnel decisions, as to who will join the community, and management decisions of all types, often also to “check inside” that a decision is the right one)
- sharing. This is one of the Findhorn essentials. Each group would begin its meeting with an attunement, and then have a sharing – a chance for people to say how they feel, and what is going on for them. This could be from the attunement meditation, from dreams, relationships etc. - whatever is most important for the person so that they feel heard and supported. There is a practical side to this – you can make allowances for people, and organise the work better – if someone is unhappy, you don’t want them to make the soup –it might be better for all concerned if they scrub potatoes !
- guidance and inner direction. The Findhorn experience is that everyone receives guidance – sometimes it comes as a sudden shock of knowing what to do or how to do something, at other times it comes as a slow condensation, or after a series of intermediate steps. It’s a process that needs to be nurtured, though some people try help the process along by keeping a journal. Some find that there are stages when this needs silent care, but at other stages of the process sharing helps
- angels. Two Findhorn members created the “Game of Transformation” to help people with their spiritual lives, and as part of this they made pack of Angel Cards, which have now become more famous than the game. To do an angel meditation, you first lay out the cards in a nice pattern, face down, and then close your eyes. Take time to breathe and relax, and then notice that there is a cloud of angels nearby. If you ask for help, one of them will come to you – try to open up and let its energy enter you (it’s OK, they are all energies such as Love, Light, Purity, and they are willing to help you). Listen or feel if there is a message or image as well from the angel, and then open your eyes and take the card that you are most drawn to. After a while, look at it and see what it is called. Some people return to their angel for a week in short meditations to get a “refill” and send this energy out to the world too. Others may have Angels for difficult situations, some have them for a year – do whatever feels right for you.
- co-creation with nature. The Findhorn garden was famous once upon a time when ordinary vegetables grew to huge sizes. Partly this was because of enormous levels of caring for the plants, plus good organic gardening techniques, but, there was also an element of “co-creation with nature” - listening or feeling what the plants needed to reach their full potential, rather than trying to make them fit into the gardeners own plans. You could also explain this as a combination of green fingers and second sight – both of these are talents that can be developed !
- focalising rather than managing. Every group at Findhorn has a focaliser – the person who “focuses the group energy”. Sometimes this is more like a manager, other times it can be an expert, or the most experienced person. At other times it may be best to have a leader with the most enthusiasm. Generally the groups choose there own focaliser, and at best, this is not a fixed role - ideally different people will step forward to provide leadership at different times, as needed for the work that needs doing.
- work as love in action. Findhorn is built on hard work, and lots of cleaning to establish and maintain the safe and spiritual space there. Work is vital for this. Everything is done as well as possible, and the way they do work is the measure of the person. You may have read 1000 spiritual books, but if you don’t get the dishes clean, what use is it ? This is how people are evaluated there. I think it also applies “out in the world” – the way you drive your car is one of the great tests of personal growth !
To be fair, some of these require the person to open up to the unknown and be vulnerable. It’s much easier to do this in a safe and protected space, such as Findhorn. It’s much less easy to be open in a city like London, where you may have to go out afterwards and ride on a tube train !
(As far as I know, no-one has ever listed these techniques in this way before)