This how I started in Permaculture.
I found out about Permaculture about 20 years ago when I picked up a book in the library by Bill Mollison, one of the founders: Permaculture a Designer's Manual. I found it very inspiring, not least because it had good pictures, and I adsorbed some of the ideas, which stayed with me when gardening and designing.
I finally managed to go on a course in 2005 and started with a five day introduction by Patrick Whitefield. I really caught the bug then and enrolled on the Sustainable Land Use (SLU) course at Ragmans Lane Farm, again with Patrick, and did the Permaculture Design course in June as part of the SLU. After that I still hadn't had enough and enrolled on the Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design.
Permaculture originated in Australia, when Bill Mollison and his PhD student David Holmgren coined some of the principles from natural eco-systems and showed how by applying them in our design of man-made systems, we also could be more efficient and less wasteful.
A good overview of the principles can be found here.
I did a short audio introduction to Permaculture interview for Traydio, a place to share useful and creative audio interviews.
For information about projects in the UK and internationally, course listings and much more, have a look on the Permaculture Association (Britain) website.
The really inspiring Permaculture Magazine is published by Permanent Publications.