Thursday 2 February
The Salisbury Centre is a thriving community of people. We hold regular community events where newcomers to the Centre are very welcomed. Our community is composed of a wide diversity of people, some come occasionally and others have been involved for a number of years.
We welcome people from all faiths and backgrounds. Our intention is to be as inclusive as possible to all, inviting people from all genders, ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations, class and ages. The ground floor is wheelchair accessible and we have recently installed full accessible toilets.
I am now retired from my working life as a social worker, educator and manager as well as a psychotherapist working in the voluntary sector and privately. My first contact with the Salisbury Centre was through my psychotherapy training which brings together western and Buddhist understanding of human behaviour. Since then I have followed a Buddhist path and have worked in the Salisbury centre and attended classes and events there. From 2012 to 2017 I was a trustee of the Centre, and saw it through difficult and challenging times. Since my retirement from psychotherapy I have run some groups there and been involved in thinking about how the Centre could look. In early 2020 I rejoined the board as a trustee. I love the beauty of the Centre, and its central message of bringing heart mind and body together in a spiritual path. Not always easy but always rewarding
Colin Abdul-Malik Orr has been a trustee of the Salisbury Centre for 2 years, and facilitator of the Friday evening Sufi Dhikr group for over 3 years. He is a student of the Sufi Shaykh, Shaykh Nazim. He works as a gardener, but has had previous careers as a bookseller and as a mental health worker. His home is in Fife, which is why he is rarely seen at the Salisbury Centre during the day!
Neil is originally from Aberdeen but has lived in Edinburgh for over thirty-five years, most of which has been spent as a local resident of the Salisbury Centre. He has been attending events/workshops at the Salisbury Centre since the 1980s and feels a close affinity with the Centre and with its aims. Complementary therapies play a large part in Neil’s life. He has studied massage and qi gong. He is married to a homeopath and reflexologist, and they have two daughters. Neil has a background in administration and finance, having spent all his time in Edinburgh working in the funeral services industry. Neil is a keen supporter of Aberdeen FC and is also part of Edinburgh City’s Walking Football group. He can often be found on his allotment, or browsing in one of Edinburgh’s many second-hand book stores
Neill Walker is Scottish, born in South Queensferry, Edinburgh, and is very actively involved in spiritual, social, cultural, environmental, and political events and projects in Scotland. Neill is also a freelance photographer who photographs widely across contemporary Scottish society.
Following a long career in the corporate world, I started The Surefoot Effect, CIC after receiving an award for Social Innovation in 2012. Surefoot supports organisations tackling the Climate Emergency and social justice issues. My work includes training facilitators for group work, resilience workshops, mentoring, assisting community groups with defining and working with their values, and working with corporates to lower carbon impacts. Via Surefoot I’ve secured funding for and managed several Erasmus+ projects with European partners in the Adult Education strand, focusing on tackling the climate emergency and building resilience for individuals and communities. I am on the board of the Scottish Communities Climate Action Network and a facilitator of Natural Change, a programme offering transformative experiences of nature for wellbeing, resilience and purpose. I have a Masters degree in Environmental Architecture and was previously Centre Manager at the Salisbury Centre. My love for the place has brought me back in this role.
I have lived in Edinburgh for nearly 40 years, as a mother bringing up my two children, co-director with my ex-husband Jimmy Boyle of the Gateway Exchange for 10 years in the 90s, running a therapy centre in Inverleith called the Mews for 20 years, as a therapist, counsellor, energy healer and more recently interfaith minister. The Salisbury Centre has a special place in my heart as a place for spiritual and personal growth, also for the creative arts. I was a trustee for 10 years and have recently stepped back into this role. I am a regular visitor to Findhorn and am committed to supporting a living connection between this long standing spiritual community and the Salisbury Centre - both are places of light, hope and inspiration for those following their inner calling, whose deepest desire is to lead a heart centred, nature based and ecologically sustainable way of life.
Hi, I'm Alan. My gardening interests are more in permaculture and forest gardens, I'm keen to introduce much more edible stuff all around the garden and more native wildflowers. Currently I also teach spoon carving and whittling. I have also worked in forestry, habitat surveying and conservation. I like a bit of foraging and hope to make people more aware of the wild plants in the garden that are not weeds, but free food. Also hoping to do more laughter yoga, perhaps here in the garden.
My eco journey began in Canada and evolved across continents as a bit of a global nomad, but I was repeatedly drawn back to Scotland and finally decided to hang my rucksack here more permanently. My background is in learning for sustainability and creating spaces and experiences which enhance individual and community knowledge and wellbeing, nurturing a greater capacity to care for our planet. Since qualifying in community education at the University of Edinburgh, I have led several projects in the sustainability sector, complemented by my previous experience in social justice, conflict mediation, outdoor experiential learning and more recently, working with the Eden Project in Cornwall. I am inspired by the Salisbury Centre's commitment to supporting ecological wellbeing and so grateful to be part of such a genuine, heart-led team and community. I have a deep love and respect for nature and all her beings and in my free time my passions include being in, on, or beside water, photography, natural health, and adventuring in wild places with my partner and our dog.
I have always had a deep love of nature, animals and exploring having grown up in a small village surrounded by fields, woods and farm land. Throughout my summers during my degree I spent my time travelling and volunteering around the World. I moved to Edinburgh to complete my undergraduate degree in Sports Science and completed my course in Sports Massage and Cupping. After this degree, I moved to New Zealand for two years, where I volunteered at a number of permaculture farms and spent much of my time exploring the beautiful lakes, mountains and coast lines. On returning home I studied massage therapies and have a great passion for alternative therapies. During my studies I worked for the Go Green Team at Edinburgh College, specifically working with students to help them reduce their carbon foot-print. I am very excited to join the Salisbury centre team and to work with such a beautiful community.
'One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times' - cfr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes. Hi, I am Francesco and I strive everyday to become a better version of myself. Originally from Italy, I have completed a degree in Ecology at Edinburgh University and dedicated the past 10 years contributing to social-environmental activism and community building. I also have had many years travelling, training and working across Central/South America, Asia & Australia, becoming deeply inspired by grassroots networks and by tribal spiritual traditions, Natural laws and Shamanic practices from all around the World. In the process I have studied to become a Shiatsu Practitioner, Movement Instructor, Singing voice facilitator, Ceremonial space holder and a Carrier of the Sacred Fire. I am currently the co-founder of the international Lotus Consciousness Network and share my passion for rituals & group mantra chanting with my partner Katie in our Inner Cheile duo. I am now deeply honoured and committed to be helping the Salisbury Centre to thrive, and to help narrowing the gap between Spirituality, Creativity and Activism.
My background is in the voluntary and community sector, most recently at Citizens Advice Scotland, and prior to that in London and Brighton. I have a passion for arts and music (particularly drumming), and really enjoy organising events that are inclusive and uplifting. The Salisbury Centre is clearly a very special place, with a long history and the support of many wonderful people. This sense of community is more important now than ever.
Rumi and I both love living at the Salisbury Centre. It feels close to living in a village, with a rich tapestry of different generations and life experiences weaving together to support and inspire one another. As Community Development Worker I imagine my role as a mycelial network amongst the roots of our Salisbury Centre ecosystem, supporting the exchange and connecting of ideas. Outside of the Salisbury Centre I offer student-led mentoring to teenagers in East Lothian, supporting them to find and explore what they love. My deepest wish is to support myself and others to grow and thrive in love; through community, creativity and education.
Rumi takes his role as 'Feline Ambassador' very seriously, and especially enjoys chaperoning people in and out of the garden, and taking part in community events (especially the Friday community lunch).
As a teenager I knew I was looking for something, but it took me years to find out what I was looking for. A centre like the Salisbury Centre, offering many different ways of developing oneself, helped me on the way. I like meeting like-minded people and want to contribute to the Salisbury Centre's work: IT, bookkeeping, fixing things, I was a trustee for a while, any excuse to spend time in the centre. My personal practice is Tai Chi, Okinawa kobudo, transformational breath and many forms of meditation.
Over 30 volunteers are currently involved in the daily life of the Centre. They are crucial to running the daily meditations, upkeeping the garden, preparing the different community meals, organising events, supporting the administration work, running the library, looking after the plants and the building and so much more!
The Salisbury Centre is a thriving community and this section is due to be shortly updated with the profiles of those contributing to it so generously.