The An Tearman Community
My true religion, my simple faith is in love and compassion. There is no need for complicated philosophy, doctrine, or dogma. Our own heart, our own mind, is the temple. The doctrine is compassion. Love for others and respect for their rights and dignity, no matter who or what they are - these are ultimately all we need.
The Dalai Lama
Jamie McKenzie Hamilton (Systems Specialist)
“Since being invited to participate in An Tearman, I’ve had the privilege of attending three intellectually and personally challenging sessions. The experience has radically changed my life and thinking and has led me to appreciate just how deep the undercurrents of culture and money run. They’ve brought me to the recognition that we cannot lift ‘ourselves’ out of our toxic economic system, and thus our future depends on projects like An Tearman, which offer serious working alternatives that appear enticingly similar to the world we know, but furnish an unforgettable and rewarding experience of what could be, and the skills to realise it.”
Jamie was co-founder and Managing Partner of online research software and service pioneers, OQ Solutions (trading names: Nqual / Netfluential) where he acted as a consultant and solutions designer for companies including Microsoft, Google, HTC, Nokia, Samsung, Tesco, VISA, RBS, ITV and the NHS. He has a 1st class honours degree in Psychology and a Masters in Systems-Based Environmental Decision-Making.
Since exiting OQ early ‘11, he moved to Scotland to lead the Stop Climate Chaos Scottish Elections campaign, before receiving Forestry Commission sponsorship to conduct a PhD thesis into relationships between experiences of nature and the development of language and creativity in Early Years. In his free time he runs futures workshops and maintains a popular blog on socioeconomic systems analyses and interventions.
“I was introduced to Monica and An Tearman through my partner Gayle. Having known each other online for a year or so, I finally met Gayle at an An Tearman Permaculture weekend and shortly thereafter we spent a week together visiting the Lammas Eco-Village Project in Wales. We knew that this more sustainable model of living was what we wanted for our future and for our children. When Monica gave me the opportunity to come and live in An Tearman with Gayle, Toni and our new child to be, I did not hesitate. I am particularly excited to be working with Permaculture methodologies and to help however I can to develop the garden, while learning sustainable living skills to benefit my family now and in the future. It is such a huge privilege to be involved in this project from its infancy!”
Nick worked in various retail jobs after college, most notably as a Senior Technician at PC World. During the years working in retail, Nick felt that the focus was too much about company profits and not enough about genuine customer service. He started to look elsewhere for inspiration, continuing to work as a self-employed computer technician to support himself.
He started investigating other methods of existing outside the materialistic western society we have come to accept, learning about living off the land and meeting various like minded people, including his partner Gayle. His explorations have culminated in moving to An Tearman with his young family, and looks forward to becoming one of the main volunteers helping to drive the An Tearman Permaculture Garden project forward.
John Sparks (Property Investor and Musician)
“I have been involved with the An Tearman project since early in 2012, not long after meeting Monica at Occupy Glasgow and visiting another community, Culdees, with her."
John spent the first part of his career in optics, working at board level in several large multiples before starting his own group of practices in the West of Scotland. Aged 45 he studied for an MA in IT Management at Sheffield University and then worked as an Internet Consultant and as a lecturer in computing at Reid Kerr College in Paisley. John then ran a property networking group whilst building up a property portfolio with his business partner and fiancee, Christine.
Christine and John also work as musicians singing and playing a wide range of different musical styles.
“I first came to An Tearman a few years ago when Monica invited a group of us over for a camping trip and the connection was immediate. After various other visits the idea of forming an intentional community here with an extended group of like-minded individuals was developing. Having attended a Permaculture Weekend along with my long-time friend and now partner Nick, it was a natural progression of events that allowed us to turn Monica’s invitation to come and live at An Tearman into a reality. Mixing with the amazing group of people that share our vision brings an indescribable richness to our lives. Having an opportunity to connect with the land and learn the skills required to live sustainably is fundamentally important to me and my family.”
Gayle has a background in Web Design and Multimedia, having worked in various creative roles in Design, Training and Consultancy for clients such as Scottish Enterprise, moving into Freelance work and expanding her training further with skills such as advanced Photoshop and Digital Photography.
After the birth of her first child Toni, her priority was her role as a mother. She now has a second child and lives with her daughter and her partner Nick. Whilst preparing for the birth of her second child, Gayle began studying a course in Herbalism and volunteers to maintain the website for An Tearman, as well as helping regularly with garden and kitchen duties. She plans to study Permaculture once the baby is a little older and to return to singing as a source of income.
In my work over the years with a wide range of people, from captains of industry to street children, I have discovered a common thread of humanity encompassing love, a sense of fairness and an inherent responsibility towards the totality of creation. Where any of these qualities are absent, it has been as the result of unmet needs leading to imbalance; efforts to redress the balance are tainted by the imbalance itself and can lead to further problems, usually strengthened by the bias of cultural influence.
My interest at An Tearman is to reconnect to that basic common ground, through an awareness of cultural intelligence, respectful communication and seeking consensus and community from which to explore a life-sustaining way of living on the Earth.
"My interest in An Tearman is as a prototype for sustainable tenure of and investment in land. In particular, I see An Tearman as a potential exemplar of a path to the resolution of unsustainable debt and the transition to a sustainable low carbon economy.
21st Century problems cannot be solved with 20th Century solutions, and in the course of my work and research I have come to realise that the answers in fact may be found through updating frameworks and instruments which pre-date existing legal and financial structures by hundreds if not thousands of years."
Chris has 35 years' experience of the legal and financial world, via insolvency and fraud investigation, to many years' experience of market regulation and development. Among other things he was a Director of a global energy exchange, and set up a market 'Dot Com'.
Having come to the conclusion that conventional market architecture and instruments are the root cause of society's troubles, he has been working in Scotland with the Nordic Enterprise Trust to develop simple but radical partnership-based legal structures and related financial instruments.
Following the financial system crisis of 2008 Chris was asked to become a Senior Research Fellow at University College London where he is not only 'thinking the unthinkable' in relation to resilient markets and finance but is actively engaged in going out and doing it.
"My interest in An Tearman stemmed from a deep seated desire to see fairness in society and a burgeoning interest in the idea of building sustainable communities. It is clear that the current economic system, focussing as it does on individual wealth acquisition, with money concentrated in the hands of fewer and fewer individuals, is not working for most people. An Tearman offers a real opportunity to create an enterprise economy, with individual businesses having their roots firmly in the community and their branches reaching out beyond Bute."
Karen was a board member of a multinational healthcare company at the age of 29 and has started entrepreneurial businesses since then. Before being head-hunted to run the Scottish Biomedical Association, Karen ran a successful marketing and design business, offering specialist services to biotechnology companies and acted as a consultant to Scottish Enterprise, advising on technology transfer opportunities between universities and business. She was founder of an award winning e-commerce business, which became Scotland’s largest internet retailer, and advised the Scottish Parliament on e-commerce strategy.
She now runs the3rdimagazine, a member owned co-operative magazine, which looks at business issues from a woman's perspective. In addition Karen is on the board of a number of organisations, including Glasgow Women's Library and Co-operative Development Scotland, and acts as a consultant promoting ethical business practices to a range of clients. Karen is also a gallery artist with sculptures in galleries across Scotland.
"I spent most of 2012 in community-based projects in Scotland but I have been particularly interested in An Tearman because I feel that we are trying to achieve something very worthwhile here: a new way of being and living together. We want to express this through permaculture principles which are: care for the earth, care for people and fair share."
Anne has a degree in sociology and politics. After working in theatre for ten years, she moved to the North West of England where she worked in deprived communities, attracting external funding and managing the delivery of programmes. She worked closely in partnership with agencies at a senior level and voluntary and community groups to ensure a comprehensive approach to the
issues being addressed. She was interested particularly in women's issues as part of this work and, for example, led work to provide services to sex workers. She is now business manager at the3rdimagazine, a member-owned co-operative magazine looking at women's issues from a business perspective.
"I have visited An Tearman twice for Wisdom Economy gatherings and found it very inspirational and feel very supportive of the project. I have offered my support and bookkeeping skills (I am also a certified bookkeeper in part time practise since 2006). Many blessings on this venture!"
Louis runs two Scottish companies, World Finance Initiative and Care First World. He works on the transformation of how we create, use and allocate money, promoting a Care First approach. In Care First money is used in service of our values and the well-being of people and the Earth and not at their expense (Money First).
Louis has worked as an intuitive counsellor for 30 years and began to look at issues we all have with money, survival and work in the late eighties. He developed a workshop "Meeting the Mystery of Money” to assist people overcome fears and conditions in their relationship to money and find trust, hope and clarity. In Nov 2011 he published Dare To Care - a love based foundation for money and finance - in New York.