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Game Background

'God speaks as softly as he can, and as loudly as he has to'. Rafi Zabor

The Transformation Game®

Click here for Game Article by Mary Inglis

Background

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.

Development

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.

Facilitated Games

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.

Nikki Wyatt, Accredited Transformation Game Facilitator - +44 (0)1273 77 33 24

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 UK

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 impossible occurs.

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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To be informed of future Game events, local facilitators and developments, please subscribe to our bi-monthly E-Newsletter using the link above left. You may unsubscribe at any time. New subscribers receive a FREE soul flower reading showing your main life challenges and soul gifts and an introductory personal attunement discount.

The Transformation Game is a registered trademark ®1986-2004 Joy Drake and Kathy Tyler, InnerLinks,Inc. All rights reserved.