From Findhorn

I am in Findhorn (situated in the North of Scotland, not far from Inverness), or more precisely the Findhorn Foundation, one of the oldest intentional communities. I am here for a week long workshop which will start on Saturday. It is a workshop with one of my teachers Stephen Busby on Embodying Higher Consciousness.

I know most of the people who will be participating as I have followed this work quite intensely for the last two or three years. And I have already met some people who will participate in the workshop too and enjoyed walks at the beach.

Last year I came to Findhorn for the first time and spent 10 days here. I was fascinated by the story of the beginnings of the Community which developed around a group of three people, who beside other practices meditated regularly and received messages from God or a Higher Force, whatever you want to call it, and followed what they heard. They went through some tough and dire times but kept going and then later created this beautiful place where lots of good ideas are born and are spread from here to other places. One key aspect for me is the communication and cooperation with the invisible world. The three founders experimented with communication with the devas of the plants and flowers in their garden and in cooperation with them managed to transform the first fairly poor soil into a rich soil and received amazing crops. That is when people started coming here and many stayed.

The other aspect that is touching me, is a daily meditation in the sanctuary, the centrally situated meditation space. I participated daily in the morning meditation last year. Since the creation of this place a group of people meditates for an hour every morning, the function of this meditation being to be a vessel to receive Christ Consciousness to let it flow into the Community and all it’s actions and further out into the country and world. The sanctuary during morning meditation is one of the most peaceful places I have sat in, I had some of my deepest meditation experiences here and got a taste of receiving light and then letting it flow through me. When I decided to come here, the meditations called me most.

And then of course there are all sorts of interesting people here and a lovely little village and a long beautiful beach to walk along.

Also my new writing coach happens to be here at the moment. She had come up in my mind a few times when I was wondering how I could best improve my writing, my own experience while writing and possibly the reading experience too. So far it feels super helpful. The first session was mostly about daring to find my own voice, allowing myself to write about what interests me most as opposed to what I think people want to read. And noticing the fear in me, that some people look at me less favorably when I start to become more and more spiritual in my writing. But then my whole project is about a spiritual practice and what has happened in the last few months is connecting and opening me more and more to the spiritual or subtle world = heaven. So more writing will be about that and my practice to connect the subtle to the material world = earth.

Today during our session I realized that I often stay at a very superficial level in my writing which partly mirrors my sometimes superficial experiences. However, the post about Iona in particular does not at all mirror the deep and often magical experiences I had while being there.

My practice in the next weeks and possibly months will be to allow myself to feel each moment as deeply as I want and to find expression for it. I will also rewrite the posts about Erraid and Iona to bring this new level of expression into practice.

The workshop next week will also be a good place to practice exactly this, I am just noticing how thankful I am that I am here and can be here and the luxury to have all this time and coming to beautiful places and starting Saturday to connect to a group of people who are here for very similar reasons.

Iona – Kissed by God

After my community week on Erraid, I moved to the island which I had in sight most of the week, Iona. 

Iona is a little bigger than Erraid and has a different energy, much more soft and full of love as I slowly discovered. Thousands of people are called to visit Iona during the year, most of them just come for the day to visit the main sites and then return to Mull with a short ferry ride. 

I was a bit doubtful if my choice of camping was a good idea in September, but as I had left booking a bit late, I did not have so many other options. And it turned out fantastic. The Iona campsite rents tents, mats and sleeping bags, so I did not have to carry everything and lived in a very spacious lovely tent. I did beinring, however my own sleeping bag which was a good idea as particularly the first two nights were clear and thus cold.

The first morning greeted me with a cloud free blue sky. I had my morning tea outside of my tent on a little grass covered hill of rocks in the morning sun. That was the first of many magic moments on this island, when I felt completely happy and at peace. From where I was sitting, I could see Erraid across the water and enjoyed the fresh and clear energy of the place.  There is something very nurturing about the island, on another day I had the feeling of being in the womb of a soft and loving mother, completely protected and receiving all I need. 

Many visitors come for the peacefulness and tenderness they can feel here. Yes, very tangible as if the love is coming out of the rocks. 

Iona is made from some of the oldest rocks that exist on earth. Some of the rocks are 2900 million years old. And while sitting on one of the rocks I got the feeling that they came directly from the primordial fire. As close to the beginning of time on earth as possible, maybe this can explain the presence of love from the initial impulse of evolution. 

And heaven is already connected to earth here as I could feel in my walking practice. This also led to the expression Kissed by God which I used in the title. A very special place indeed. 

Iona became famous as a point of pilgrimage after St. Colomba left Ireland to found a monastery on Iona in the sixth century. Thousands of pilgrims came to the island after he died and his holy bones were placed in a shrine. Also kings and lords chose to be buried here, possibly to be closer to God.

Before St. Colomba came and helped to spread Christianity from here, some very interesting things must have been going on here, the island was a place for rituals and sacred work of druids, for many years some kind of headquarters for their work as I read in an article in the internet. 

On my walks across the island and through very boggy farmland I stopped to connect to the spirit of the island which becomes a new practice for me. As far as I understood, Iona is and was an important point of connection to other sacred places on Earth. One aspect of the connection is to keep balance on Earth. 

I am very curious to find out more about what the druids worked on in ancient times. So many new realms I am learning about. 

Besides my contacts with subtle worlds, I also enjoyed lovely moments with fellow humans. The campsite was fairly empty, however John and his dog where there most of the time. John was very friendly and helpful and nice, I liked when during one of our chats he said about himself that he likes talking. Yes, he did. He told me of interesting places to walk to. And one evening he asked me to bring a particular beautiful stone, he had found that day, to his wife who participated in an organized week in the Iona Abbey, built on the site where once Colomba founded his monastery. I joined two of the evening services there and delivered the stone.

Another camper was Steve, a cyclist who I had met in the self service coffee place one morning and who decided to stay on the island after our chat. We spent one sunny day together, lots of fun and interesting exchange. And he came with me to one of the services in the abbey which he enjoyed much more than he had anticipated as he described himself as an aetheist. We walked to the bay where Colomba supposedly first arrived in his boat with 12 disciples. A magic place, a very sheltered pebble beach and some rocks to sit and climb on. It was warm enough to spend some time and enjoy the sun and the peaceful atmosphere. The way to and from the bay lead us through often boggy marsh land along a lake and sometimes meeting other visitors on their way to one of the most visited places on the island, Colomba Bay. 

On the way to the campsite I walked past the house of a massage practicioner and decided to have a massage after having walked past a few times. The day after the massage was my most social day of the week. As if the livelyness that I felt in my body after the massage attracted people to me the next day. Very interesting experience, planning to repeat this. 

I had conversations with different people and then even met three ladies who I had spent the week with on Erraid, who were there for another week and chose to go visit Iona on their free day. They invited me to tea and scone in one of the two hotels on Iona. A fun day. 

I was very lucky with the weather. Camping could have been much less comfortable otherwise. And although I had to sleep with my hat on and even gloves for two nights, I would not have wanted it any other way. Being so immersed in nature and sleeping directly on the Earth is very nurturing for me. I sleep deep and well and enjoy being outside most of the day. 

 

Erraid

One week on a tiny island off Mull in Scotland. I joined a small community on Erraid, which is part of the Findhorn  Foundation . The community, 8-15 people looks after the island and receives guests. 

I had chosen to come here to experience a small community and be with people for a while before exploring some more solitary travelling again. A very wholesome experience. On Monday, Tuesday and Thursday guests were invited to participate in so called Love in Action, which could be weeding, cooking, making fire wood, etc. Monday was special because the whole community and guests were invited to help with a sheep round up for the local farmer. In two round about 120 sheep were brought together. Fun and a good way to see all of the island, cross country over hills and through bogs in welly boots that I could borrow. There was also meditation and singing and lovely community meals. On one of my free days I went up to the highest part of the island and tried to connect to the spirit of Erraid as after my experience on Amrum, I was curious if such a connection is possible in all places. While my connection to the Amrum spirit had felt easy and natural and I was full of questions, here I did not know how to start. I started with some mantra recitation to free anything that might be between me and the spirit. Slowly I could see more of the beauty of the island and I could sense how I felt more open to connect. Definitely no connecting from a closed or neutral heart space. And what I sensed was a certain raw beauty of the spirit. As if the island is about the beauty of our most raw aspects. Possibly by being so raw in it’s beauty allowing people who come to the island to find the next level of rawness inside themselves. 

At least this is what happened to me after this experience. For a day I felt a bit tired and less willing to do physically taxing work, then during the last morning meeting where all community members and guests meet to briefly check in and then say what they will be doing during the day, I had tears rolling down my face from being deeply touched. 

I think what touched me was the feeling of love when we all stood in the circle holding hands. Such a diverse group of people, and the love flowing was tangible. I understood that only diverse groups can flourish, we need variety! What a beautiful aspect of community when this is possible. And then healing is possible, in my case it felt like in the circle my body was reminded of something it very rarely or never experienced, or I was never able to experience so deeply.

So possibly each place has their own access to healing. Amrum was about balance, Erraid about rawness and Iona where I am now seems to be about love and tenderness. I am excited about connecting in this way.

More about Iona in my next post.

Amrum

I just arrived in my hostel for this night in Glasgow, the flight and connections went all very smoothly, friendly people telling me where to go. Already bought my bus ticket to Oban for tomorrow morning. After bus, ferry, bus and another ferry, I should arrive on the island Erraid tomorrow afternoon. I will be a guest in a small community on the island for one week. 

However, before I start this new journey in another country, I wanted to write about my time on Amrum, an island off the coast of Northern Germany, where I spent a whole week at the end of August. 

After my trip along the river which I finished with a visit at my cousin’s place, I took the train and then cycled to a little harbour with ships leaving for the islands off the coast. I had not booked, thinking that there would always be a place for me and my bicycle. But no, I had to wait 24 hours to get a place on a ferry! Fortunately there was a campsite not far from the ferry landing. Interesting to feel the strong longing to be on the island. 

Then finally, the next day I had a beautiful ferry trip and settled on a nice place at the campsite, camping directly in the dunes, comfortable sleeping and sitting in front of the tent.

Amrum has a 10 km square sandbank at it’s west side, one can walk for miles over the sand or take a bath where it meets the water. I had been on Amrum before, as a child and also later and always loved it.

And again, as before on the island of Samso in Denmark I could feel how an island is having a relaxing effect on me. To feel the limits of the land, surrounded by water, allows me to settle inside of me and stretch my spirit. 

I love to walk on the sandbank, it is so big, that only rarely one meets other people, a wind is blowing and one can see far into the distance. I spent most of my time there. 

And on one of the days I had the impulse to talk to the spirit of the island. It felt like a very clear conversation. I could ask questions and received instant answers, I heard it in my head. I was blown away by the experience. 

As one example, I asked about the function of the island and if different islands have different functions in the bigger web of things and learnt that each island has it’s own function and all it does is that it expresses itself. Just like what people should do to be themselves. Amrum specifically is a lot about balance between the sea and the land. I also had the impression that an island and it’s people are naturally more exposed to the strong expression of other elements of the nature, such as the sea and the wind and the sun, that it needs to find it’s own expression to live on. This aspect also seems to lead to a more healthy environment. Not sure what healthy means in this context, in the case of Amrum the fact that big areas are saved for nature and animals only, the number of tourists is kept at a level, etc. And it has a regenerating effect on the people who come to spend time there. 

The conversations with the spirit of the island seemed mostly to be about balance. And interestingly, I seem to be a little out of balance at the moment. The theme was well chosen. The constant travelling and being in different places and my tendency to balance the feeling to be out of my comfort zone with coffee and cake, my body moved into an acidic state. I had some symptoms which are now already receding, but I will have to take more care of myself. 

For the next few months of travelling I decided to stay longer at one place and maybe also change other aspects which I don’t know yet. I trust that I will be shown if I ask.

Back to the spirit of the island, I started to write down the conversations and I decided to come back to Amrum for a whole month in November to discover more about the island and to continue the conversations. 

Relating to the River Eider

Since I have come back from Denmark I partly cycled and partly took the train to the Celebrate Life Festival. Spent 9 intense days there tuning into and learning about Personal, Collective and Transgenerational Trauma. The Festival has been initiated 14 years ago by the spiritual teacher Thomas Hübl and I have participated in most festivals since 2008 when I was first introduced to this type of work/life. So many insights, inspirations and hints to more healing I have received there. And again this year it has been an amazing space with around 700 people coming together. 

After the festival I half cycled and took the train to a small village at the coast of the Baltic Sea to visit a friend for a few days. My current project is to explore the river Eider which runs through my home region Schleswig-Holstein from the East to the West. The idea was to practice relating to a river while I cycle or walk along the shore.

And the more I learn about the river Eider the more exciting and interesting I find it. 

In the house of my friend we looked at maps and read in books, I was reminded that this part of Germany is fairly young, having been created only about 13000 to 15000 years ago when the ice from the great Ice Ages was melting and left masses of  rubble here, created streams and lakes and the different faces of this region.

Then the search for the source of the river, according to reports of local people and available documents the source is not visible, it is under the earth until it appears as a small water way, flows into a lake and then comes out as a visible fairly fast flowing river. I cycled around the source region to somehow honor the source. 

And when I had my first meeting with the river later on it’s way, I felt that an important aspect in trying to connect to the river is to honor it’s source, or honor the way it has taken until it came to this place. As I spent more time watching the river I noticed that as I move from my habitual more analyzing look, how big, how many plants, etc to a gaze from my heart I see more of the beauty around the river and how it can only exist in it’s surroundings, plants, animals, insects, etc. Beautiful blue insects where flying very close to the water, the weeds in the river creating bubbles and little waves, at one particular beautiul spot I felt intimately connected to the river, this space where you can forget about time. 

The river is teaching me how to relate to my fellow humans in new ways.

I spent a few nights camping close to places where I felt I could connect to the river. I enjoyed a few warm and sunny days, though this summer often rain is in the air and heavy showers come down. Also paths near the Eider are very muddy and some not passable due to the strong rains this summer. 

I stayed longer than planned with friends in my home town Kiel and enjoyed good times there. Since yesterday I am on my way again going West. Not far away from Kiel the Eider river bed has been used as a base for the Kiel Kanal. Looking at the place where the Eider and the Kanal link this felt rather violent to the river as the water in the Kanal flows on the hights of the sea level and the Eider used to flow 7m higher. 

Where the Eider in it’s early stages seemed like a happy river, here I thought I felt real confusion. The Eider as one example of how nature suffers when artificial sea ways are being built. 

I feel that honoring the fate of the river is somehow helpful and seeing how through all the re-directing and canalizing it still continues to flow. 

For me it also feels good to connect and learn more about my home region while taking the Eider as my focus. 

The rain feels challenging, currently I am staying at a farm which offers sleeping places in the straw, certainly more comfortable than my little tent during heavy downpours. Later today I will walk to a part of the old Eider-Kanal, the first canal that was built to connect the North Sea with Kiel and allow ships to go from the Baltic Sea to the North Sea instead of having to go round Denmark. 

As more and more ships wanted to take this way the Kiel Kanal was built at the end of the 19th century which is still one of the most used artificial water ways in the world. Although I am used to seeing huge ships in the Kanal since I was a child it is still fascinating to see these ships go by so close.

What I also wanted to tune in during my trip, is the aspect of the Eider as a border. For around 1000 years from around 800 to 1800 the Eider served as the border between Germany or the German Roman Reich with Denmark. Today it still marks the border between the regions Schleswig and Hostein. Wondering what the river has witnessed during these border years. 

So many aspects about the Eider, connecting East and West and dividing or connecting North and South. 

Maybe my current exploration can also help me to see and then connect and integrate different parts in me. And help the Eider to connect and integrate different parts too?

More photos follow once I have a wifi connection.

        

                                                                       

Samso

Samso has been wonderful! I stayed for nine days, left this morning with the ferry. And am now on my way back to Berlin, still cycling, staying at other nice places on the way. 

The workshop was such a revelation for me. We danced through old patterns, witnessed each other in this, we opened our feminine bodies and organs with breathing exercises. Now I can connect to the Earth in a much deeper way. Clearly being connected to my body and organs offers new ways to connect. 

As I have experienced before. It starts inside, if parts of my body are contracted or uninhabited by me, I cannot see and understand certain things in the outer world. The more I discover myself inside, the more I see, also in other people.

During the workshop I discovered that my habit is to overstretch my body, and thenis could lead to overstretching in the outer world too. If I connect consciously to the ground in the morning and start from there, I don’t need the overstretch anymore. 

With the tiredness I had been feeling after the camino, I believe that it has to do with a tiredness that has been held for a long time in my family, more specifically my mother, her mother, and maybe further back. It shows up in me to finally be seen and felt. The seeing and feeling could happen when we moved and witnessed each other in the old family patterns. The witnessing is a big part in this. 

It is so interesting that with the tiredness still stuck, it was not even possible to rest deeply, I assume my mother and grandmother were never able to really fully rest in themselves. Now we all can.

So, thanks to my inability to make plans before I left, I had a whole week to explore and practice on this beautiful island. I became friends with my tent neighbour, a woman from Denmark who is basically on the same path as I am. We spent one day walking together. And last night when we marveled about all the similarities in our lives she brought in that in another life we were probably twins. 

There were a few things to do on the island, so I indulged in some activities. And I also made room for just sitting at the beach, playing with spirals, trying to understand how they work. And I spent a few hours near a well, which is situated very close to the sea. Here I had my first encounter with fairies which was very touching. And then there was an intriguing rock I spent some time with. Those are the special times I want to integrate more of these very calm, soft encounters in the near future.

Greetings from Denmark

Greetings from Denmark! Sitting in my little tent with a view of the sea. Sometimes the sun breaks through the clouds, a beautiful place.

After I came back to Berlin around 2 and a half weeks ago, I felt tired, confused and a little lost. The experiences of the camino have touched and shaken me deeply. I do understand that I am tired, but there is an exhaustion in me that I know from other situations and I feel utter resistance against it. Starting to feel the resistance itself though which is better than just wanting it to go away …

I cancelled my trip to Malta, because I was just not ready for another country and trip so soon again. It felt strange to not go but also relieving. 

I went to Lübz, north of Berlin, to visit a friend who lives in the middle of fields and forest. This becomes my place to wait for new inspirations inbetween longer trips, it seems. 

And then last Monday, I was ready to leave again, with my bicycle to Denmark where I will be participating in an intuitive dance workshop on the island of Samso this weekend. I arrived last night on the usland and stayed at a camping site close to the beach. It is beautiful, will probably stay here on this island for a few days after the workshop too. It inspires me to write and let go and relax.

Already in NZ I started dreaming of going on my bicycle instead of walking. I met Don, a cyclist on one of the campsites I stayed and imagined that I would feel more free on my bicycle, even if it was just to cycle to new places from which to discover the nature in a walking manner. And indeed cycling is deeply associated with freedom in me. I started going on bicycle trips when I was 18, and I loved it and came back refreshed and well. So maybe this will be a good combination, cycling and walking. 

Interesting though that I needed some time to allow myself to cycle, as if the Himmelsläufer practice can only be done walking. I experimented with the practice while on my bike and the feeling is similar. When I bring the Heaven under my feet or wheels I feel abundance in my whole body, actually too much abundance to be able to hold it. As if I have to widen my container to take it all in, which I can allow more I feel.

And my recurring dream of walking or cycling or travelling in some other way the silk road comes up more urgently. I had put it back to be tackled after I have more practice travelling like I do at the moment. I will hold the silk road vision as more of a possibility now, maybe even next year.

One realization around reasons for my felt exhaustion: I need to connect more consciously to the online communities I belong to. I somehow disconnected myself although I know that active participation has always empowered me. As we follow our impulses more deeply and engage with the world more and feel the feelings of v the earth and places we visit and more consciously witness all of it, we cannot do this alone. I/we need to take a seat in bigger cycles to rest in and share the experiences.

I have been fascinated by virtual fields, meditation fields, blessing fields, the yogini circle, etc for many years, now I can feel the need and empowerment to be consciously part of one or more of these fields or circles directly. The noosphere that Teilhard de Chardin was talking about is coming into existence through these circles.

Now off to the dancing workshop!