There are many ways to be on Erraid.
– You can come as a guest for a week or two.
– You can come as a long-term guest for up to 12 weeks.
– You can come as a Work Exchange volunteer for up to 3 months. Please send us a message through HelpX if you are interested to join us as a volunteer.
Or you can become a member!
Membership means living and working on Erraid full time. It means enjoying the rich gifts of this beautiful island, as well as being responsible for the island’s infrastructure and people.
As a member of the Erraid community, your home is a beautiful and rugged Scottish island. Your days are filled with the simple tasks needed to look after our land, people, animals and infrastructure. There is time for meditation, for rest, for singing, for sharing and for enjoying nature. You live with like-minded people and meet interesting guests. Your children have a wholesome lifestyle, relatively unmaterialistic and with unusual opportunities for freedom and connection with nature. With the other members, you make all of the decisions regarding daily life on Erraid.
In many ways, life on Erraid is idyllic. However, it does present challenges. Over the years, we have learned what qualities it helps to possess.
The qualities we look for in potential members:
- Open hearts
- Open minds
- Practical skills in building and vehicle maintenance, gardening, electrical, plumbing, cooking, bookkeeping, bookings, animal care, childcare, first aid, boat and tractor driving
- Emotional and physical health and strength (you don’t have to be superhuman or super-fit, but island life can be challenging on all levels)
- Willingness to grow
- Willingness to embrace the principles of the Findhorn Foundation
What Erraid is and what it is not
If you are considering applying for membership, it is important that you know what Erraid is and what it is not.
The Isle of Erraid is owned by a Dutch family, the Van der Sluis. The Findhorn Foundation, via the Erraid Community, have been caretakers of the island for 11 months each year since 1978. The community’s purpose is (1) to look after the island, its buildings and its gardens, (2) to enjoy these, and (3) importantly, to share the island and its gifts with others. We carry out these aims using the principles of the Findhorn Foundation, of which we are a part. Please check out the Findhorn Foundation and Findhorn Community websites for more information.
Briefly, as reflected in life on Erraid, these principles include
- Honouring the earth and each other
- Having a spiritual practice. The exact form of spiritual practice is not specified.
- Being conscious of ourselves, each other, nature and our interactions.
- Being committed to truth, kindness, love, and growth in these interactions.
Welcoming guests to share our lifestyle is an important part of life on Erraid. The Dutch owners generously wish to share Erraid and its magic with other people. Welcoming guests is also an important value of the Findhorn Foundation. These impulses come from a desire to share what we experience as a beautiful, inspiring transformative island. It is also true that the community’s income comes mainly from Love in Action, Retreat Week, Long-term Guests and Trial Members.
Although part of the Findhorn Foundation, the Erraid Community is financially independent. Income arrives with guests, and expenditures cover food, garden supplies, maintenance, animal care and small allowances for community members. Large capital expenditures, such as the refurbishment of the roofs, are the responsibility of the Dutch owners.
Erraid is not an ecovillage or an eco-croft. One of our common values is to honour the environment. We do our best to minimise energy use, garden organically, etc., but are limited by being caretakers rather than owners of the island. We are also limited by climate and latitude, money and skills. We do not argue for these limitations; we merely accept that these conditions exist and are very unlikely to change, for reasons beyond our control. In effect, we demonstrate an aspiration to be as sustainable as possible.
Erraid is not a meditation retreat centre. Although you can choose to do Retreat Weeks, and although meditation is an important part of our daily rhythm, as a member you will be quite busy cooking, gardening, maintaining, transporting, doing the accounts and bookings, etc.
The Erraid Community is a group of people dedicated to creating new and healthier ways of living lightly on the earth and with each other. Many of us have chosen to leave the ‘rat race’ for a simpler lifestyle, but Erraid is not an escape from the ‘outside world.’ We often find that dynamics in the ‘outside world’ are reflected within the community, and we try to recognise them, accept them, and work with them lovingly and creatively.
Erraid is unique. Its purpose, location and guiding principles will appeal greatly to some people, and not to others. We invite you to consider whether Erraid’s particular qualities inspire you and call you. If they do, we look forward to getting to know you!
Please follow this link for more details of membership.