The European Bibliodrama Network Congress in Scotland

August 31st to September 4th 2019

Last updated July 29th

Registration is now closed for the congress.  This page is regularly updated with information especially regarding travel possibilities such as train times between Forres and Findhorn and details of the bus service.   Some are planning to arrive by train and we will try to give some advice on how this might be possible, at least from within the UK.  

The Congress will take place at the Findhorn Foundation near Inverness in Scotland.  

 

The Findhorn Community is an 'Intentional Community' that has a strong focus on ecological issues and spirituality drawn from a number of sources.  It owes much to the influence of New Age spirituality so opens up a little explored dimension of interfaith dialogue. You can visit its website here.  Findhorn is also the name of the nearby village so it is important to speak of the Findhorn Foundation or Community rather than just Findhorn!

A planning visit was made in April 2018 by Ditty, Mandy and Dave to explore the layout and how the congress can best be planned and organised.

The congress will be slightly different in several ways because of the location.  It will take place in the Park at the Findhorn Foundation and we will be more closely connected with the life of the community than is usually the case. We also anticipate that more of it will be out of doors than usual - weather permitting!

Accommodation will not be in one block but in a number of smaller units around the centre of the community and the venues in which groups will meet are also in separate buildings.  The community can accommodate 56 people in a mix of accommodation but in addition there is also the possibility of Bed and Breakfast accommodation on the park in private homes.  The cost of that would be different but would allow us, if necessary to go beyond the 56 limit.  There is also an adjacent caravan park.  There is a mix of single and shared accommodation and on the registration form you are asked to select what you would want.  Single accommodation is therefore limited and also costs more  - see below under costs for details .  A description of the accommodation can be downloaded here.

Please also note that due to the way in which Findhorn arranges its weeks, accommodation will not be available before the 31st but it will be possible to stay on beyond the 4th at your own cost.  For anyone who has to arrive before the 31st, it may be possible to be accomodated in one of B&B's on the park again at extra cost.  Please take this into account when planning travel!

Meals will also be organised differently to the usual pattern.  Breakfast will be in the separate accommodation units, mostly with 4, 6 or 8 people together.  Lunch and dinner will be in the Community Centre.  The pattern is buffet style with people serving themselves and this will be shared with members of the community and other guests.  The food is almost exclusively vegetarian, but most of it is organic and some of it grown in the community.  There is a well stocked local shop on site.  

Travel to the community from abroad is easiest by plane.  There are regular flights via KLM from Amsterdam to Inverness.  It is also possible to fly to Aberdeen which is further away.  Please don't assume that Edinburgh is close to Findhorn it isn't!!  Here's a map showing where Findhorn is and where the nearest two airports are. It's about 200 miles from Edinburgh to Findhorn.

Travel by train is also possible to the town of Forres which is a short distance from the park.   For travel information and to book tickets the best site to use is www.thetrainline.com  Please remember, when booking your travel that it's not possible to stay at Findhorn from the 30th to 31st only by booking one of the B&B's on the park or nearby. 

Findhorn have provided the names of members of the community who are prepared to collect participants at a cheaper rate than taxis, they are :

Yvonne Cuneo  yvonne.cuneo@findhorn.org

Ania(Anna) Konarska   anna.konarska@findhorn.org

Rosie Turnbull    rosie.turnbull@findhorn.org    

Stewart Friendship    stewart.friendship@findhorn.org

Marja Kuijer 07786 580049 / 01309 358462

If you are arriving by train at Forres station the number 31 bus runs from near the station to outside the park.  Here is a link to the online timetable which we have given rather than post the timetable as it may change over the summer.  https://bustimes.org/services/31-forres-circular-findhorn   you should ask for the Caravan Park at Findhorn.

Below is a map showing the location of the bus stop, it is not the stop outside the station.

Costs  Most participants know the costs and have paid.  If you know you still need to pay, please do so as soon as possible

The theme of the congress 'Every creature, every plant, every rock and grain of sand'  focuses on our relationship with nature, ecology and related spirituality drawing on Celtic spirituality and other faith traditions. We hope to involve a larger number of other faith participants than we have in the past.  We will also engage with the distinctive ethos and spirituality of the Findhorn Foundation itself. The symbol at the centre of the logo is the Triskelion.  This is an ancient celtic symbol first used, it is thought, 5,000 years ago! Part of what it symbolises is movement and action  but the three fold nature of the symbol also connects with Life -Death - Re-birth; Spirit - Mind - Body; Creation - Preservation - Destruction; a Christian interpretation is also clearly Trinitarian, Father - Son - Spirit.  So for various reasons it suggested itself as a powerful symbol for our congress.

Unusually there is no single text for our congress, instead we will adopt the approach of Scriptural Reasoning, an approach used in interfaith dialogue where texts from different sources are brought together around a theme.  So, in due course there will be a 'ring of texts' and different groups may work with different texts, but all around our theme.

Here are details of the full programme:  Additional Information or any changes may be added. A printed programme will be given out at registration.

Saturday 31st August

During the day - arrivals.  Anyone arriving before registration can leave bags in the area near the toilets in the Community Centre.  It will be possible to but lunch in the Phoenix cafe No 16 on the map at the Universal Hall or walk into Findhorn Village. 

4 - 6 pm Registration - This will take place in the Community Centre - No 6 on the map of the Park below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6.00 p.m.  Dinner in the Community Centre - we are asked to sign up for washing up duties on registration.

7.30 p.m.   Welcome session - Upper Community Centre - Upstairs in the Community Centre at No 6

 

9.00 p.m.  Evening meditation 

Sunday 31st August

Self served breakfast in individual accommodation units

9.30 a.m. - 10.45 a.m.  Taizé singing - This is organised by members of the community - location to be confirmed

11.00 a.m. Brunch - early lunch in the Community Centre

12.30 - 1.30 Tour of the Park and introduction to Findhorn - led by two members of the community, Andrea and Rosie who are our hosts from Findhorn for the congress.

2.00 p.m. - 5.00 p.m.  Workshop session 1  - Location of the workshop spaces will be indicated on the tour.

6.00 p.m.  Dinner

7.30 p.m.  Evening session - an introduction to the Celts and Celtic culture - Upper Community Centre

9.00 pm Evening mediation

Monday 1st September

Self served breakfast in individual accommodation units

Options for morning prayer or meditation:

 

The community organises the following options:

6.30 - 7.30 Silent mediation

8.00 - 8.30 Taizé singing 

8.35 - 8.55 Guided meditation

(Location of the above will be confirmed)

We will also offer our own option of the Christian Celtic morning prayer in the Upper Community Centre at 8.00 a.m.

9.30 - 12.30 Workshop session 2

12.30 p.m. Lunch 

After lunch until 6 p.m. Free Time - for the options follow the link here 

6.00 p.m.   Dinner

7.30 p.m.   Story telling around the fire in the 'Singing Chamber.'  - The singing chamber is not shown on the map as it is a new addition.  In the case of bad weather this will need to be in the Upper Community Centre.

9.00 p.m. Evening meditation

Tuesday 3rd September 

Self served breakfast in individual accommodation units

Options for morning prayer or meditation: as above

9.30 - 12.30 Workshop session 3

12.30 Lunch

2.00 - 5.00 p.m.  Workshop session 4

6.00 p.m.  Dinner  - This will be our final evening dinner, still with members of the community with whom we will also share the typical foods from our different countries that we have brought with us.

 

7.30 p.m. until late - Ceilidh  - traditional Scottish dancing in the Universal Hall  

Wednesday 4th September 

Self served breakfast in individual accommodation units

9.00 a.m. Closing Ceremony

11.00 a.m. EBN meeting 

12.30 p.m. Lunch and departures

Workshops

Here are descriptions of the three led workshops.  At the moment no-one has signed up for a leaderless workshop 

which suggests that depending on numbers, there will either be only three workshops or we may need to establish a fourth.  We will be contacting registered participants in a few weeks when things are a little clearer but for now this is the information as it stands.

Workshop 1

 

Leaders:  Lotta Geisler, Sweden and Roshmi Lovatt, UK

 

Using as our inspiration the symbol of the Triskelion, we will use texts from three (or more) traditions including New Testament, Bhagavad Gita and Celtic Folklore.  We will draw upon the natural environment of Findhorn to access the participants’ relationship with the earth and nature, and connect this with differences and commonalities within and between us.

We will encourage participants to explore their intra and inter relationship with these traditions through using creative, playful and expressive techniques.  This will include the use of poetry, movement, sound, drama, art image and form, with moments of reflection and sharing.

 

This workshop is open to all participants who wish to engage their curiosity and openness to explore faith, nature and creativity as individuals and as part of a group.

 

Lotta Geisler is Bibliodrama trainer in Sweden.  She works part time as a Therapist with young adults, and is a Group Supervisor.

 

Roshmi Lovatt is a Creative Arts Psychotherapist in the UK.  She works with individuals and groups.

 

 

Workshop 2

 

Leaders:  Mandy Carr, UK and Ruth Knaup, Germany

 

7 But ask the animals, and they will teach you,
    or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you;
8 or speak to the earth, and it will teach you,
    or let the fish in the sea inform you.
9 Which of all these does not know
    that the hand of the Lord has done this?
10 In his hand is the life of every creature
    and the breath of all mankind.

 

Job 12: 7-10

New International Version

 

Whilst the chosen text is from the Old Testament, it not only reflects Jewish and Christian approaches to spirituality, but also the traditional Celtic belief, that the divine can be found in every living creature - also in ourselves.

 

Playful exploration through bodywork, dance, drama, poetry and creative writing will aim to encourage physical, emotional and mental openness to the range of our spiritual and creative responses to the Bible-text and the natural world surrounding us.

 

Activities will focus on nature as a lens through which to view and develop our personal and collective spirituality.

 

We welcome participants from all faiths and none!

 

Please bring the text in your first language to the workshop sessions.

 

Mandy Carr (England), is a former senior lecturer in dramatherapy at Anglia Ruskin University. Her interests include intercultural, interfaith and inter-political dialogue through the arts. She is currently engaged in doctoral research into the tensions and harmonies in the relationship between dramatherapy and religion/spirituality. A Jewish woman originally from Liverpool, Mandy has been a member of the ‘Liberal Judaism’ movement for twenty years.

 

Ruth Knaup (Germany), Psychologist, dancer, choreographer, author. Working with Bibliodrama for 15 years in various combinations. Her personal focus is on fostering personal growth through creative play. She published several books on self-care and finding joy in life. Herself rooted in the Christian belief, she is very interested in interfaith-dialogue and a more open spirituality.

 

Workshop 3

 

Leaders: Tünde Kocsis, Romania and Dóra Falvay, Hungary

 

While being individual yet organic parts of Nature, in the rush of everyday life and work we rarely get a respite to marvel at the magnificence of the Universe. Now we should jump at the opportunity. An encounter with anything heavenly casts a light at our fragile minuteness which only by faith in God, the Creation and ourselves can be resolved from tension into active presence. What is our real measure in this Creation? Are we in our rightful place in it? Can we feel our life to be part of the immense system, not futile, but irreplaceable, individual addition? Are we, after all, Crown of Creation or do the feelings of dependence, vulnerability and irrelevance overwhelm us?


In the workshop we will be working with Bible texts exploring the littleness and grandness of human life. We look for stories where God provides through Nature support, and where a human feels low or even sublime and blessed in his being a creature. 
We are looking forward to much play, movement, observation and perception, to releasing and recovering in Nature, in the group, through the Bible texts. We want to use the Triskelion symbol as a help to find to our power sources.'

 
Tünde Kocsis and Dóra Falvay will be trying to combine psychodramatic and text-oriented methods of bibliodrama. 


Tünde Kocsis, drama educationalist, bibliodrama leader, Transylvania, Romania
Dóra Falvay, translator, bibliodrama leader, Budapest, Hungary  

 

To give you a flavour of the Park on which the congress will be held  below are some pictures from the April visit at which we were made extremely welcome and at which a lot of interest in the congress was shown.  We hope that we may be able to interest some of the community members in taking part.

When planning to come, you may wish to consider fitting this into a longer stay in Scotland either before or after the congress.  You might for example want to visit the Edinburgh Festival beforehand that runs from August 2nd until the 26th or stay on longer and travel through Scotland perhaps to visit Iona.  There is the possibility of staying on longer at Findhorn itself until the following Saturday.  Anyone wishing to come earlier than the 31st would need to make separate arrangements due to Saturday being the change-over day.

Please get in touch if you have any questions at any stage.  We will be happy to help as much as we can.

Contact us here.

One of the accomodation units

Upper community room. Group room and intended plenary space

Group room

Labyrinth of stones.

Meditation space.  Free for individual use but can also be booked for groups.

Accommodation unit

Nearby pub (above) and views across Findhorn Bay, below  (there may be dolphins).

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