The community that has grown up near the Scottish village of Findhorn defies easy definition. It has evolved heuristically without a blueprint or mission statement. It did not model itself on any previous organization or grouping, and it has continued to change and evolve as the years have gone by.
In terms of raw facts, Findhorn is a small village on the northeast coast of Scotland. It lies on a bay off the Moray Firth and was at one time a port and fishing village.
The community associated with its name begins in 1962 when three adults (Eileen and Peter Caddy and their friend Dorothy Maclean) plus the three Caddy children were more or less forced to settle near Findhorn in a trailer (caravan) park. The Caddys had lost their jobs as live-in managers of a Scottish hotel, and this meant that they also lost their residence. With no savings, and nowhere else to live, they moved into their travel trailer (holiday caravan) while they pondered their next move.
The three adults had all been students of Sheena Govan, and had continued with the spiritual practices taught by Sheena Govan during the five years they were managing hotels together. They all felt they wanted to continue to work together in this way, and so Dorothy Maclean decided to settle in close proximity to the Caddys, at first in a rented room, and then in the spring of 1963 in an annex to the caravan.
Continue with the spiritual work they did as they went about the ordinary business of feeding themselves and living in close proximity. Over time this spiritual work produced such astonishing results that others were drawn to become involved with their life near Findhorn. In 1972 a legal charity was established, the Findhorn Foundation, to act as a formal focus for these endeavors. The "community" in the 2000s now consists of some members who have a formal affiliation with this Findhorn Foundation and some who don't but have simply chosen to live nearby on an informal basis.
So what is Findhorn? Well, the village of Findhorn which has existed for hundreds of years could be described as a community in one sense. But the term "Findhorn community" usually refers more specifically to those either formally or informally associated with the Findhorn Foundation. They support themselves with a variety of businesses and educational offerings. What differentiates them from any other geographical grouping of businesses is their felt sense of connection with the original spiritual work of the Caddys and Maclean. On account of its grounding in this core spiritual work, Findhorn is a "light center."