History of the Project
In initiating this Centre I have been influenced by the experiments in living and authentic community conducted by several international communities that I know from personal experience: in particular, Findhorn in Scotland, ZEGG and Tamera in Germany and Portugal, respectively, and Auroville in Tamil Nadu, S. India.
For many years these intentional communities have been quietly developing new models of living, working and relating below the substratum of our mainstream culture. Each propounds a philosophy that spirit can and must be brought into everyday life, and purports, at least, to live a vision that ultimately sees us all as one.
If we can manage to live our lives from this vision we can move towards a new holistic culture that will allow each individual to live his or her own individual truth and in so doing create a social fabric characterised by honesty, transparency, openness, sharing and cooperation.
In a word, Utopia is right here and now and would be available to each of us if we could treat others as ourselves. Such a vision is not really “new”; it is the perennial philosophy, but the culture that it implies would contrast strongly with our current materialistic social fabric which emphasises separation, competition, secrecy, manipulation, rule by the strongest or richest, greed and fear.
Use Your Vacation to Save the Earth
Decades ago I realized that many of the values and practices developed in these so-called “spiritual” communities and ecovillages could be brought to a summer holiday where holistic workshops plus the sun, sea and all that is Greece would provide the overt vehicle to attract those who wanted an alternative holiday. That is, a vacation that provided “something deeper than a suntan”, and would afford guests the opportunity to come into practical contact with such ideas and meet others also looking for holistic alternatives to our mainstream culture.
I was always interested in doing more than talking about such ideas, and I recognised that just in the simple everyday activities like cooking and cleaning and gardening there was the possibility to put in practice what we might be learning in workshops about ourselves and our patterns.
The implementation of this new culture of wholeness requires new structures and processes for group living. The communities I mentioned, and others, have all developed and are continuing to refine such processes. Concepts like attunement, focalisation, personal sharings based on the native American Way of Council, consensus decision making, deep permaculture, the Forum of ZEGG and Tameraall these and others provide practical tools in process work and communication. They help foster new ways of making decisions, provide concrete tools for living in harmony with ourselves as well as our planet, and create a way to live from a basis of unity that both respects the individual's uniqueness whilst holding to a collective vision.
My own vision for this Centre is not fixed. I believe it must evolve out of the daily interactions of the people who are drawn to the note that this place is sounding. We began a practice in the summer of 2009 of having a weekly "Matinée" vision meeting, where we share our ideas about this place and discuss topics of interest. (See archived links in the box to the right.)
We offer part bursaries and scholarships to those who would like to attend our summer school, but for whom doing so would be a financial hardship. Your generous donations make this possible. Thank you !
Implementing the Vision
Here is a sketchy outline of the ideas that in 2001 I began with:
Exactly how this place evolves, what manifests and grows here will be an organic process stemming from those who are attracted here and become connected with the project. Although I hold a strong vision of holistic community, I do not wish to constrain the form or forms that arise out of it organically with fixed thought forms.
- Planting some seeds from the ecovillages of Findhorn, ZEGG, Tamera, and Auroville in the soil of a beach holiday Centre; that is, a mystery school in the guise of a holiday workshop Centre.
- Bringing many of the rhythms, practices and values of these spiritual communities to that Centre.
- Practical holistic education in the form of groups coming and going and engaging in the everyday work of maintaining the community with a semi-permanent staff who are developing the themes that initiated this place.
- International characterpeople from many countries and from many different indigenous cultures coming together to share their perspectives.
- Gender balancemen and women in approximate equal numbers.
- Workshops and retreats in four (4) areas compatible with the holistic vision to support and hopefully contribute to what the community itself offers in daily interactions:
- Personal Creativity (Art, painting, music, creative writing, stained glass, pottery, weaving, collage, dying, photography, theatre...)
- Healingof self, society and earth (Natural medicine, healthy eating, honouring nature, living lightly on the land, alternative technology, natural building, deep ecology, permaculture...)
- New models for intimate relationships (Tantra workshops to work through our sexually repressed social conditioning, polyamoury workshops to open our minds to alternatives to coupleism, Men-Women peacemaking, building intimate partnership, etc.)
- Self Enquiry retreats for those who seek the Truth beyond words (Vipassaña, Advaita, Yoga, Sufi, Kabala...)