The Transformation Game began thirty years ago at the Findhorn
Foundation, a thriving international spiritual community in
Scotland which welcomes over 14,000 visitors from more than
70 countries every year. The original version of the Game, known
as The Planetary Game, involves 20-120 people moving across
a life-size board and is still played at Findhorn every four
years to give guidance to the Foundation. This version was then
condensed into a board game which allowed players to move through
seven levels with the help of two facilitators; you can still
play this version, called The Game of Transformation, at Findhorn
in the form of three or seven day programmes.
Many of Findhorn's programmes include playing the Transformation
Game, as it is so fundamental in understanding what our vision
for our life really is and in giving us the insight necessary
to reach it. As demand grew to play the Game outside Findhorn,
Kathy Tyler and Joy Drake, who developed the Game, decided the
next step was to produce a version that could be played with
greatly simplified rules and be sold commercially. This box
game version with four levels can be bought mail order or in
specialist shops and is now played all over the world with up
to four players, with or without a trained Game Facilitator.
Playing the Game with a Facilitator takes the whole experience
to another level. A Findhorn-trained facilitator uses a much
more complex set of rules which are closer to the original version
of the Game. As a rule, the Game requires a level of honesty
and self-disclosure that make it best played with people you
would happy to open up with. A Facilitator will always ask for
a confidentiality agreement before starting any Game. The Facilitator
holds a safe space which allows you to go much deeper and gives
guidance and support as you process the issues that arise for
you on your life path. A facilitated Game usually takes a day
or a weekend and can be played with between two and four players.
How does the Game work?
Your Game begins as you set your intention or Playing Focus,
which may reflect any area of concern such as 'I intend to release
my fear of intimacy' or 'I intend to clarify my life purpose'
or 'I intend to remove my blocks to financial prosperity'. With
this intention in your mind you then fill your Personal Unconscious
Envelope using various decks of cards, including Angels, Insights
and Setbacks. Once play begins you incarnate on the Physical
level and begin to move along your lifepath, mapped out as a
series of different squares, by rolling a di in the time-honoured
manner of all board games. Each square requires you to make
different choices which may test, among other things, your Free
Will, your Intuition, your concept of Service or your level
of Appreciation. As a consequence you may be asked to pull out
Setbacks, Insights or Angels from your Unconscious Envelope
and to deal with the issues that come up. Setbacks are usually
accompanied by pain which is then cleared with awareness.
What can I expect from a Game?
As you travel through the Game on the Physical Level you fill
a scorecard which enables you to move up in turn to the Emotional,
Mental and the Spiritual Level; the level where you spend a
lot of your time usually reflects the area where you are most
blocked and how you move from one level to the next can be very
illuminating. For example in one Game I facilitated, a Player
whose Focus was to release blocks to expressing her Creativity
spent most of her Game on the Physical Level. It turned out
the key to her block was changing her nutrition, which showed
up as the 'nutrition' awareness token. This realisation enabled
her to come off anti-depressants, get in touch with her natural
vitality and she has now started a drama course. What stops
you moving up a level?
How does it reflect your life?
The symbolism of the Game is often stunningly accurate. In a
game I facilitated recently a player needed to pick a Setback
from her envelope and picked an Insight instead. Once she corrected
this, her Setback read 'You are set back by your avoidance in
the current situation' - what's more, her favourite way to avoid
the issue was to concentrate on the positive! In another memorable
Game I facilitated a Player who landed on Depression three times
in six hours and, on the first two occasions, was 'rescued'
by the other Player. The third time she refused to be rescued
and decided to really look at the patterns of belief whose consequences
kept leading her into depression. On her next turn the light
bulbs came on; she had a huge shift in understanding and committed
to a new way of reacting to the old triggers. She then threw
the di and landed on a Miracle!
As a Transformation Game Facilitator I have laughed, cried,
danced and sung, admired the full moon, shared hugs and watched
the birth of wonderful new connections and relationships.
It's an unmissable experience and each Game is different because
each of us is unique, yet when we share an experience like
this, we emerge stronger, clearer, brighter, more inspired,
empowered and more open to life.
To be informed of future Game events, local facilitators
and developments, please subscribe to our monthly E-Newsletter
using the link above left. You may unsubscribe at any time.
The Transformation Game - An Article by Mary Inglis of Innerlinks
Sometimes life is filled with blessings, insights, and a heart-felt
sense of connection with people around us. Other times we stumble
through a series of setbacks, accumulating pain, even falling
into depression; and nothing we try seems to help us get out
of it. Sometimes someone unexpectedly appreciates us or offers
to serve us -- or we reach out to help another. Sometimes miracles
happen, pain is lifted, new directions open up, and the seemingly
Just as life is filled with this rich variety of experience,
so is the Transformation Game®, a fun and complex board
game developed originally by Joy Drake and Kathy Tyler at
the Findhorn Foundation.
Since the first Game workshop was offered there in 1978,
thousands of people have played the Game in its various forms.
The original version, an indepth experience for five players
facilitated by two trained guides, is offered either as a
three-day intensive or as a weeklong programme. The Planetary
Game involves 20 - 120 people in a life-sized format where
players have a unique opportunity to explore the interconnectedness
of all aspects of life, and to work creatively with areas
of planetary and personal concern.
1987 saw the launch of the Transformation box Game, a distillation
of the original workshop into a board game which can be played
at varying levels of intensity. It can be played by 2-4 people
in as little time as an evening, as a light-hearted way of
gaining insight into themselves; or it can be used, with or
without a facilitator, as a tool to help solve problems, clarify
important personal issues, or change unproductive behaviour.
Since then InnerLinks
, a company formed to research and develop Transformation
Game programmes and products, has developed other versions
of the Game, as well as trainings for facilitators.
The Game offers a playful yet substantial way of understanding
and gracefully transforming the way you play your life. One
way of viewing it is that it aims to recreate in miniature
the soul's journey through life, providing a context where
people can look at the kinds of experiences they create, and
assess the value of their particular patterns and of their
attitudes and responses to life. It highlights strengths,
identifies blind spots and limitations, and brings fresh perspectives
to current challenges.
In the Transformation Game® version, you start by creating
a focus or purpose to keep in mind as you roll the die and
move along your life path. Before being 'born', you fill your
'Unconscious Envelope' with a set of cards which indicate
the strengths, challenges and inner qualities that have a
bearing on your purpose. You choose a guardian angel and then
move along your life path, taking cards from the Unconscious
and playing them on the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual
levels. Some of the cards bring awareness, others bring pain
-- and you can use awareness to clear pain. You also have
opportunities to exercise free will and intuition, to connect
with angels, and to share appreciations and feedback.
Although players move their 'personalities' from square to
square at the throw of a die, you are by no means a passive
participant in the process. Many of the squares and cards
require you to exercise initiative and imagination, to share
on a deeply personal level and to make your own choices and
decisions. It is a game that comes alive through personal
sharing and interaction, and it has a definite therapeutic
value, although it was not designed as a therapy. It is up
to the players to decide how deeply to participate, and to
make what you choose of the experiences that come to you.
There are two main card decks in the Game: Insights and Setbacks.
The Insight deck contains cards like: "An unexpected crisis
provided an opportunity for you to actualise your inner strength
and power" -- "I'm willing to undo my belief system to accelerate
change" -- "You hold a positive outlook". Players receiving
these cards will share about how they assist with their purpose,
or give an example of a time when the card applied. Other
Insight cards require more involvement: "An opportunity to
give truthful feedback to another player who is born" -- "If
you could change one aspect of yourself right now, what would
it be and why?" -- "Take personal responsibility; chose where
you move next."
Setback cards highlight behaviour and attitudes that cause
difficulty in our lives. Examples include: "You are setback
by your avoidance" -- "You constantly look outside yourself
for sources of direction rather than following your own inner
truth" -- "Preaching instead of practising". These cards provide
players with the opportunity to look at areas of difficulty
in their lives and to explore ways of changing them.
The original version of the Game was developed by Joy Drake
, who lived at the Findhorn Foundation for 15 years. "I wanted
to recreate the 'Findhorn experience' in a way that would
allow people to learn the lessons and receive the insights
that that environment provides without having to go and live
there for three years," she says. "It was a way of distilling
the essence of the educational process that happens as we
begin to view the whole of life as a learning arena."
Although the original idea for the Game came from Joy, many
people were involved in developing and refining it. Principle
among these was Kathy Tyler, who with Joy developed the commercially
available Transformation box Game. But there were also many
hours of playing with 'Game devotees' on makeshift Game boards,
intense brainstorming and feedback sessions, and long philosophical
discussions on the nature of pain, creativity, God, spirituality,
the personality, wholeness, how the world works, and a variety
of other topics.
There is now a network of Game facilitators in different
parts of the world, trained in different versions of the Game.
Joy and Kathy now live in Asheville, North Carolina, USA,
where they research, develop and market a range of innovative
transformational tools through InnerLinks Associates, a consulting
and training company which supports the outreach of the various
forms of the Transformation Game. InnerLinks continues to
be affiliated with the Findhorn Foundation and maintains an
office there. Mary Inglis is a partner with them in InnerLinks
UK, which organises programmes not only at the Foundation
but also throughout Europe, as well as Japan, South Africa
and South America.
Several programmes and products now make up the Game 'family'
and are available world-wide through Innerlinks. The Findhorn
Foundation, where the Game was originally developed, is the
centre for Game programmes in Europe.
Different forms of the Game include the commercially available
Transformation Game, which can be played at varying levels
of intensity, with or without a facilitator; a more indepth
intensive 4-day Game of Transformation workshop; various team
versions applicable to particular situations and groups; and
the Planetary Game, a life-sized version of the Game which
works with collective as well as personal issues. There is
also an organisational version, Frameworks for Change, a self-directed
learning programme which provides a creative space for teams
and organisations to examine their responses to their own
working environments and team challenges. InnerLinks trains
facilitators for the various versions of the Game. Click for
Calendar of 4 Day Games and Facilitator Training Programmes
and here for
Training Programmes in Frameworks for Change
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The Transformation Game is
a registered trademark ®1986-2004 Joy Drake and Kathy
Tyler, InnerLinks,Inc. All rights reserved.