I spent last week at the Findhorn Foundation, a spiritual community in northern Scotland. I went not knowing what to expect and welcoming it as part of my journey as a seeker to better understand myself, to deepen my relationship with God, and to contribute positively to the world. Since these principles are also central to the core of Spirit in Action, I want to share 3 tips I gleaned to aid those who are seeking:
1. Working with love makes the work light.
Throughout the week, we had the opportunity to practice “love in action” as we helped the community with the daily tasks. My department was Homecare, which is their term for housekeeping. Rather than think of it as a glorified name for a maid, they think of the service as the Department of Transformation. This is because cleaning a space leaves it totally transformed. Every part of the big house (which was originally a hotel) was cleaned regularly so no dirt had a chance to pile up. While deep cleaning I practiced feeling love (it was love in action, after all) for each space I was cleaning, and sharing good energy with all who would use the space throughout the week, and remembering all those thousands of people who had used it over so many years. I found myself really enjoying the work and finding it meditative and relaxing – something I never thought I’d say about housework.
2. Spend time in “thin places.”
Have you heard these? Thin places are “where the distance between heaven and earth collapses and we’re able to catch glimpses of the divine.” (Read more about them here: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/11/travel/thin-places-where-we-are-jolted-out-of-old-ways-of-seeing-the-world.html?_r=0) Findhorn had many thin places – many places where I felt connected and close to God and the many thousands of people who had prayed in the same places over many years. The gardens, the hills, the beach, the river all had a tangible sense of the power of the Universal Pulse. For me, these were places where the connection and the prayer came easily and effortlessly. And sometimes this clear, easy connection gives the seeker courage to go on.
3. Learn from diversity.
I joined 15 others (including 2 facilitators) in a small group experience. The 16 of us represented 14 different countries – many of us living in different countries than we were born in. Italy, Spain, England, Scotland, France, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Argentina, Brazil, Netherlands, Tasmania, Denmark, and me from the US.
From this very global group there were many different backgrounds, different languages, and different cultures. I revelled in how unique we each were and yet also how much we had in common. We were all seeking, we had all felt like outsiders at times in our lives, and we all wanted to contribute to a better world. I’ve written before about the importance of diversity, and this was a great experience to accept differences and instead focus deeper on the Light and goodness in each person.