Michael Reid

Michael is one of our Directors and lived in the Elm Grove community at Goobarragandra for several years.

I’m the second of 5 children, and was raised in Sydney in a loving family. My parents were very involved in the community, and my father particularly was a great inspiration in his very long life. My mother suffered with some mental health issues later in life, but dad was always a great support.

I went through the Catholic system of schooling, but finally rebelled in my teenage years and refused to go to church any more. While this was difficult for my parents, it was the beginning of my spiritual journey, as I felt that the church was not meeting my spiritual needs.

After working for 7 years in TAFE, I took a year off with a mate and we travelled around Australia in 1979. This was the beginning of some major changes as I became a vegetarian, and started living with friends John and Sandi in the Shoalhaven area who ran a retreat centre at Tapitallee. John was a TM teacher, so this started my journey with meditation in 1981. I came across a One Earth magazine from the Findhorn Foundation, an international spiritual community in Scotland, and it spoke to me. I said to Sandi that I would love to go and visit Findhorn, and she said “What is stopping you?”. I realised that nothing was, so off I went.

From 1982 I lived as a member of the Findhorn Foundation for 3 years. This was a most life-changing and fabulous experience. I worked in various departments of the community, and ended up co-leading workshops for about the last year.

When I arrived back in Australia (for a visit I thought), I went to a talk in Sydney by Eileen Caddy, one of the founders of the Findhorn Foundation. In one of life’s great “mysteries”, I happened to sit next to an unknown person called Laurel Lloyd-Jones! Well that was the start of my next journey.

Shortly after this meeting, I moved to Elm Grove Sanctuary at Goobarragandra in March 1986 and stayed for a bit over a year. I have such great memories of this time, working the property, group meditations at the outdoor chapel, meeting guests (including Peter and Krista Sands), playing music with Ed, so many shared meals & fun working bees with the many visitors.

I then moved to Wagga Wagga and Brisbane, but came back to Elm Grove in September 1989 for about 2 and a half years. This was a very interesting and life-changing period, as Ed and Laurel decided to go to the Omega Foundation in the UK for almost a year, so I was left in charge! When they came back, we went to an Omega week-long retreat in Sydney. The night before we attended, I had a dream in which I met my partner, which I shared with everyone at Sheila’s place the next morning. Later that morning at the Omega retreat, who should walk in the door but my beautiful wife-to-be Rita, and I instantly knew she was the one!

I proposed to Rita a week after we met, and Rita joined me at Elm Grove after we were married there 5 months later under the elm trees in March 1991. We lived with Ed and Laurel in community for 9 wonderful months, and then we decided to move to nearby Canberra as Rita was pregnant with our first child Clare, and we needed to set up our family home.

Back in Canberra, our son Julian was born in 1998, and over the next years we sent Clare and Julian to the Orana Steiner School for a more rounded education.

Over the years we have continued to keep in touch with Elm Grove and Ed and Laurel, through many visits and special times. It has been an absolute privilege to work with Ed and Laurel over so many years, I am in awe at their journey and dedication. They are two of the most beautiful souls I have ever met.

Following is a photo from when the family visited Uluru in 2008 in one of our many caravan trips.

Here is a link to some of my photography.

Here is a link to some of my music.