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The traveler: An expected journey This time it's the Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Sweden & Norway before England again for several weeks and on to Croatia.


UNITED KINGDOM | Tuesday, 10 April 2018 | Views [315]

I won't be the first to say that time is an odd thing. The days at Findhorn were long, but enjoyable, and yet so soon after arriving it was time to leave again. I was showed to my shared cottage by one of Eileen Caddy's son's, who spent some of his childhood growing up at Findhorn in the early years. Ironically he took me to a different cottage than I was supposed to be in; we only figured it out later when it was over booked, but thankfully I didn't have to pack up to move down the street. Later on in the weekend workshop out of about the 100 people there I happened to get to know the Danish people staying in the cottage I'd originally been booked into! The cottages were quite nice, and to my surprise everyone had their own small room with a shared sitting area and kitchen (at least that was the case in mine).
One of the best parts of the weekend was meeting so many wonderful people, largely British with Danish (for some surprising reason) and Irish attendees a second and a few Canadians and one other American. Because almost all of us were there for the workshop we easily jumped into interesting conversations over meals, without any need for small talk.

The workshop itself was taught by Robert Holden, one of my favorite authors on living life with joy. Over the weekend we explored the 9 points on the Enneagram, an old method for understanding yourself, others and our paths (challenges and talents) in life. This particular weekend focused on purpose and meaning. We all relate to a bit of everything, but tend towards one point more than others. Listening to the descriptions is one of those times that it seems someone has looked at you and without asking anything already knows you. The brief partner exercises throughout the weekend were moments when we were asked to answer questions honestly, and speak of things you might not usually tell anyone. I think it brought everyone closer, and closer to ourselves. For each of the 9 points Robert invited 3-4 people from the audience, who aligned most closely with that characteristic to come up for a short panel to answer a few questions about themselves and the Eneagram. These were both humorous, and deeply moving, but always very memorable.
We had 2 lovely meals served each day in the community area, always vegetarian and usually a mix of cooked and raw food including a couple lovely soups. Being in Scotland we of course also had a tea and biscuit break in the afternoon.
Apart from the workshop, which covered 3 sections each day with an additional evening talk, we had a tour of the Findhorn Park. We started in the original garden with the caravan where 6 people initially lived before visiting the biomass heating system, the new brightly colored community living houses, the meditation space, the signing room situated in a perfect Hobbit house, the giant wine barrel houses, and the clever sustainable new caravan houses. Luckily "caravan" is defined simply by being able to be moved and no bigger than 6 meters wide by 24 meters long (?). Perhaps unsurprisingly Findhorn has run in to some issues with council building permits; the typical bureaucracy versus creativity.
On Sunday evening several of us found our way to the hot tub for a late evening in the hot water while star gazing in between conversations. The cool breeze across our faces and shoulders kept us almost cool enough. It was an experience I'd gladly repeat.
On Monday morning most of us got up a bit earlier to attend the morning signing followed by morning meditation. Even if signing isn't one's strong point it is lovely to listen to the voices.

The last night of the workshop Universal Hall became our dance room for a typical Scottish Ceilidh (kay-lee) with an accordion player. It was both incredibly fun and tiring. After 10 - 15 minutes on each dance I think most people had managed to figure out the steps. I had laugh at our guide's ambitiousness though at the beginning of some of the dances. The Scottish had a wonderful knack for creating lively group dances! After 2.5 hours though I was completely exhausted.

The day we left was a wet rainy one. By chance I'd found 2 other ladies on the notice board who were driving to the Aberdeen airport. Over the next hour the Canadian, and myself talked quite a bit with the Irish lady about Ireland in the past and the current times. Many Irish people in Northern Ireland are queuing up to get Irish passports to complement their British passport, so that when the UK leaves the EU, those lucky Irish will still be able to travel freely in the EU. The general sense I've gotten over here is the feeling that the older generation swung the vote to leave the EU and have done so without any consideration for the younger generation, who will now have to deal with the consequences. The up side is that it might motivate more young people to vote because it hits home so hard.

Quite to my surprise my plane from Aberdeen back to London left 20 minutes early after everyone boarded from the Tarmac. Thankfully this is not British Airways custom, or I certainly would've missed my flight home today. I remember wondering as I made my way through the Aberdeen International Airport how much more expensive it would be just to fly in and out of Britain from here; it was so small and laid back, and actually quite pleasant to go through. The cost for this ease is probably a few hundred dollars and an extra plan flight.

Tags: ceilidh, enneagram, findhorn, robert holden


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