A Findhorn Farewell

by rhiannon on July 31, 2009

Blue.2Recently I attended  a regular Findhorn ritual—a leaving meditation. This is not only an opportunity for the one leaving to say goodbye, it is also a conscious act of stepping out of one phase of life into another. It marks an important event and assists the one leaving to disconnect energetically from the passing phase and step cleanly into the new one.

Rituals to mark the important life milestones —birth, coming of age, marriage and death are universal—and the Findhorn community has added a few more. One couple I know were separating and created a ritual to release each other in a spirit of love and mutual respect. Not a bad idea in a community where people have to live and work closely together irrespective of what their personal relationships might be.

Before the event I go to the Community Centre for dinner. I seldom eat there but this evening I want to join Julia (the leaving one) for her last meal there. I arrive a little early but already there is a long line. A workshop, a Family Experience Week, is going on so it’s pretty full. I see no one I know, then I notice Rosie wending her way through the crowd balancing her plate and I discover that everyone is already here and are in the extension at a specially reserved table. I get my nut roast, which tastes a lot better than it looks and join them. It’s a varied group—people from different phases of Julia’s life. I haven’t a clue who the person sitting on my right is, probably someone from the kitchen where she worked. Others I know very well. The atmosphere is relaxed and quietly celebratory. I have to tell Julia that she has chosen a good moment to go what with the upcoming grand trine between Venus, Moon and Jupiter/Neptune. She thanks me for this but lets me know that despite the auspicious aspects, she’s had a crap day.

SanctuaryAfter dinner I walk to the main sanctuary for the meditation. Mary, who is going to hold the occasion, is already there. When everyone (about 30 people) has arrived we begin with a celebration song for Julia which makes her cry. Mary is the Game Queen (that’s the Game of Transformation, not video games) and has structured the event in the form of a Game feedback session:

Mary: What purpose did you came to Findhorn to work with?
Julia: To love everyone unconditionally.
Mary: And have you achieved your purpose?
Julia: Pretty well but there are a few people who…… hmmm.

Everyone laughs. Loving unconditionally is not easy.

Mary: Would you like to take to minutes to talk about your experience of Findhorn?

Julia does. She talks about coming here and feeling as though she had come home, the departments she had worked in and the people she had worked with, those who had touched her, were her friends, what she had learned; how she was sad to leave yet it felt like the right thing to do.

Mary: Are you open to feedback?

She is. There follow appreciations, reminiscences, stories and good wishes from any who wish to speak, which most do. People acknowledge her zest for life, her openness, generosity,largeness of spirit, her Latin nature. As I listen, I reflect on how affirming it is for a person to hear how they are experienced by others. Seeing ourselves as other see us can be a pleasant surprise.

I notice a Buddhist nun in the circle and wonder who she is. She tells how earlier she had asked if she could come to the meditation. Julia had said, ‘yeah sure’, without having the faintest idea who she was. It was, the nun said, a different look and she appreciated the generosity that impelled Julia to say ‘yes’ to a stranger. She is not a stranger but a former member. I didn’t recognise her either.

When it feels like my turn to speak, I wonder if I should say what’s been distracting me for the last half an hour, which is that I have this sense that someone on Julia’s left has their arm around her. I glance at her neighbour several times who isn’t doing anything. I decide to say it, weird though it is. Julia confirms that she felt something like that too—a strange but good omen. I say other, nice things as well.

Central gardenWe then go into the silence for about 20 minutes to hold Julia in our love and send her blessings on her journey and finish by sounding a harmonic note that ends up being quite beautiful. I walk back to my car with Susie and Julia through the central garden. We stop and appreciate its loveliness. I say my final farewell and go home.

She’ll be back, of course, if only for a visit. They all come back sooner or later.

{ 2 comments }

JULIA August 1, 2009 at 9:41 pm

thank you rhiannon what a lovely entry in your lovely blog, I shall treasure this, I still can’t believe I am no longer there, although the reality of Seville is too strong to ignore, heat, sun, more heat and more sun and my lovely granddaughter Lucia. Many blessings to you and i am glad that you are keeping up with this blog julia

rhiannon August 2, 2009 at 12:20 am

Thank you. I enjoyed writing it and, as I say, I know you will be back.

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