As I write this, I am participating in the Centers Gathering of 2012, being hosted by the Findhorn Community in northern Scotland. This year features an inspiring collection of 27 centers from 17 countries and five continents. And the 2012 gathering is little extra special, because it marks 50th-anniversary years for two of the world's best-known centers -- Findhorn itself, and the Esalen Institute of Big Sur, California.
The 2012 Centers Gathering conference includes many other established holistic centers and communities, including Open Center of NYC, Harbin Hot Springs of Northern California, Indralaya of Orcas Island Washington, Kalani Oceanside on Hawaii's big island, The Haven on Gabriola Island in the Canadian San Juans, Auroville of India, and Oregon's own Breitenbush Hot Springs and Retreat Center. The 2012 gathering includes representatives from Laos, Vietnam, Russia and Kenya, Africa. The Global EcoVillage Network was in attendance. The formation of intentional communities and ecovillages seems to be picking up some steam as a worldwide trend.
I am here representing the Divination Foundation, which supports a number of these centers directly or indirectly (via Pathways podcasts, for instance), and whose mission is in alignment with the worldwide holistic community movement that is served by this event. On a personal level, I am having a blast ... been feeling happy for no good reason ... perhaps simply because of the fact that such a movement even exists!
The idea of forming communities to be in service to the planet or as a way of life seems a little mind-bending in the overdeveloped world. Also, for many of us who are getting older, it's a deja vu of the 1960s and '70s when we, ourselves, lived in communes of all kinds. It's no accident that I feel like I've come home a little bit here, as do so many people of all ages who visit Findhorn -- or any of these centers of light in a darkening world.
You can get a good glimpse of this year's event and all the participants via the new website, CentersGathering.org, produced by the 2012 conference's brilliant organizer, Christine Lines of Findhorn Foundation. Greetings from Scotland!