When Winter Comes to Mt Pelion

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I like to show Mt Pelion in January (see above) to remind us that Greece is not always a warm country and to show you why our summer school Centres are closed for seven months over the winter. 


Although the trees and herbs appear dormant beneath a blanket of snow they are building, unseen, the energy for their growth that will explode in the spring. We too, unseen, spend the winter building the energy that will become a full programme of workshops and retreats come summer.


Even before we close down the three campuses (Kissos, Anilio-STK and Alexandros) in early October and return to our winter bases, work has begun to recruit the workshop leaders for the following summer. With three campuses coming fully active in 2014, this is a very big job. Altogether in 2014 we have 40 leaders and 30 workshops/retreats scheduled. Contracts, deposits and writeups for the websites have to be secured, web pages have to be built and edited. New leaders have to be briefed as to how workshops interface with the communities that run each campus.  




We strive to have our summer programme fully subscribed by the first of December, after which we begin work on the brochure which is, in effect, a mini version on paper of the three websites. This year the brochure is 33% larger than ever before so a new format had to be devised. Working together on two continents, Adam Reising, Friederike Ernst and Jock Millenson have pulled together a beautiful new brochure that went to the printer the first week of January, in order for it to be out and circulating by early February. 


Summer 2014 is chock-a-block with the biggest programme of retreats and workshops ever. In July, Brad Blanton is back with Radical Honesty, Henk Barendregt returns with a 10 day Vipassana retreat as does Louise Simmons with Scaravelli Yoga. Our raw food fortnight that runs concurrently with Dr Helen Ford’s Healing weeks, now features both Sheila Gibbons and Paula Wilson, and as usual follows the ever popular August Family fortnight, with new leaders at both Anilio and Kissos campuses. We have three Advaita non-dual satsangs—Lisa Cairns, Amoda and Krishna—this last of which is being offered on a gift economy basis as we start to put in practice what we see as part of the shift from an industrial growth society to a life-sustaining civilisation that Joanna Macy is calling the Great Turning. Speaking of which Hanna Morjan is back in June with Taste of Findhorn and Joanna Macy’s The Work That Reconnects


Aside from the old favorites such as Biodanza+, Byron Katie work, Elemental Movements, Deeper Democracy, and Mediation skills, we have a new Astrology workshop, an autumn herbal workshop with Judith Hoad and more of Joanna Macy with Naturally human, naturally wise



Those of you who have not yet been to Greece might enjoy seeing the film made by Olina Laurencova last summer which contains some beautiful footage of our area, shots of all the campuses and interviews with guests to give you the flavour of what it’s like to be here on a workshop or as a community guest. 


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