Where will the gathering be?

Where will the 2014 gathering be?
Near Heber, Utah. Click here for directions
Who is invited?
Every person with a belly button. If for some reason, you lost your belly button, you are invited as well.
What you really need to know:
How to Get Into The Gathering Without Getting a Mandatory Court Appearance Ticket.
How to Contact Someone?
If after reading the information on this blog, checking out the links on the right hand side, you still have questions, concerns, or problems, email random gatherers for assistance.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Gathering as the art of practicing peace

When we gather, we are practicing the art of spreading peace and love in the world. Just as I practice yoga in my not very graceful way together we practice living peacefully with each other and this beautiful planet we call home. Sometimes more gracefully than others.

There are many styles of yoga to practice: Inyegar, Hatha, Vinyasa, Yin Yoga, Yinki Yoga and the list goes on as do the energies that I experience when I practice yoga.  Somedays, I can do Sarvangasana (shoulder stand) and Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose).  Other days I struggle to do Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II Pose).

Even when I can't do all the poses, I still believe I am "practicing yoga." Sometimes we forget that when we "practice peace," we aren't engaged in the repetition of something we've perfected, but rather on a journey to learn how to create the peace and positive energy we want to see in this world.  Sometimes, we miss the mark completely and fall out of the pose. Sometimes, the stars align and what we experience is so magical, so breath taking, so right, that when we go back to struggling with Tadasana (Mountain pose), we feel we have failed. Perhaps that lesson, that the basics matter, that each day is a new day in which to live our lives is equally applicable to gathering.

Each day I practice yoga, my body is different, my mind is different. Some days I have trouble quieting my monkey mind, other days I am so deep into the moment that my breath and my body encompass my entire world.  Most days fall somewhere in between and despite some less than stellar practices, I return again and again to my yoga mat as it is the practice of yoga and peace that create change in me and around me just as all of us return again and again to a meadow in the woods and practice creating peace.

"The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating.
The paths are not to be found, but made, and the activity of making them,
changes both the maker and the destination.”  ~~ John Scharr

Monday, December 23, 2013

Front Gate Is Everyone's Responsibility

Everyone loves to come home to a Front Gate that reflects the diversity of this beautiful family we love. In order for this to happen, we all need to spend time at Front Gate, welcoming our family, helping them get oriented and making sure everyone who comes home gets a hug, a we love you, and maybe a cup of soup or coffee. Family coming home with small children and groups with differentially abled family may need special support and direction, so please take the time to guide people appropriately.

We all need to make sure family working at the gate gets food and water and support to keep up the 24 hour effort.  Folks with full bellies are usually happier and more positive then those who are hungry.

Positive energy breeds positive energy. Instead of focusing on what we do not want people to experience, try to focus on what we do want people to experience

This is a tough job, standing by the side of the road in the heat or the cold and getting covered in dust. You need to be able to remain peaceful interacting with all sorts of folks from road dogs and yuppies to locals not sure what is happening.  Please don't work this area if you have warrants as folks on the gate need to interact with law enforcement. 

Especially needed in this area are mechanics as some of our family have vehicles that are limping into this gathering. We also need folks to help out with shuttles and coordinating shuttle drop off points.  Folks who can interact with USFS law enforcement on where to park cars and where not to park cars are critical.  Sometimes parking and front gate are handled in the same area, sometimes not. It all depends on the site logistics.  Everything that was said about folks working Front Gate, holds true for folks plugging into Parking and Shuttle.

If you're new to working this area, hang back for awhile and see what others are doing before putting your own spin on welcoming family home. Don't be a back seat driver. We all have our own style. Let's others do it their way and you do it the way you want to see it done.  There's room for all kinds of greetings.

Let's keep the energy loving and welcoming on the road.  Send love to everyone passing by.  Be the peace you want to see in this world.

Counciling in 1972 by Garrick Beck

Dear Everyone,

I thought you might like to see this image from our Council Circle from July 2, 1972. I think it's inspiring. This is from the 2nd day of our Gatherings ever. Most of the people in that circle had never ever met each other before. Notice how we are listening and paying attention to the person talking, as though what they are saying might really be important. Maybe it's beause everyone there believed that our participatory process was an ancient idea brought to life again in our times, in this moment. Or maybe each person had a different idea about what it meant. But everyone there is really caring that this council is going on. And I believe it's the force of the ideas that were streaming thru us then that have sustained us right till now.

We are approaching our fortieth Rainbow Gathering. Forty years at the edge of the wilderness and is there a promised land? Is there hope that the culture we have grown and grown up with is going to survive and actually help humanity survive? I think so. Take some inspiration from the past and bring it into the present.

For what the truth is worth....there were many arguments in those old time circles. People hollered  at each other, interrupted, cat called, threw things, all the great stuff of councils happened. The lesson? Don't give up, don't give in, don't give out. Keep on keeping on. We are on the good long road together. Take courage and strength from each other. Learn from each other's mistakes. Help each other over the hard parts. We may still be in the wild lands, but wherever we gather, there is some hope, there is the rainbow brought to life.

Peace, Love and Understanding will overcome fear and despair. People will learn to live with each other in Harmony. For all our rough edges and foolishness we are keeping on the good long road together.

I will see you at the Gathering in ...

Peace, love, milk and cookies,


ps. Picture taken by Alan Carey, True Light Beavers Photography

Monday, December 16, 2013

Circles Are Good

Bosnia - 2007
Circles helps us focus our energy, ensure that everyone's voice is being heard, and create a grounding for the gathering as a whole.  When good strong circles happen, the entire energy of the gathering is changed. Not only the people who participate in the circle, but all those bellies hard at work around the gathering will pick up on the positive vibrations coming from the circle and we'll all be a bit more loving, a bit more peaceful and a bit higher in spirits.  
Have a problem, call a circle.  Want to share your love, call a circle.  Want to focus energy in your area, call a circle.  Having cop issues, call a circle off to the side.  When you hear the call "C I R C L E,"  please participate. If world peace is what we're after, a circle never hurts and often helps.
July 4 Om in California 2004 (photo taken by Greg Van)

Friday, December 13, 2013

Access Rap

For people with special needs, ask for Handicamp - a space for people with mobility and other related disabilities with lots of folks willing to help you make the most of your gathering experience.

 While the trails can be tough and conditions vary from site to site, there's usually a couple of friendly folks just waiting to assist with the rough spots. Sometimes we have cool things like rickshaws to assist people in getting around. Bring your own personal supplies (catheter, wraps, chair, medical supplies, diapers, cleanup, etc.). Bring own attendent if you need assistance with personal care (bowel programs, skin, transfer, catheterizations, wounds, etc) or supervision issues or other issues (mobility, access, safety) as needed.

Please, ask for help when you need it and give another gatherer a chance to be of service. If you have a strong body, please offer your assistance to family who need assistance.
Family Helping Family

 If you build a bridge, please consider how a person in a wheelchair can use the bridge.

Bridge to Handicamp Wyoming 2008
If you build a kitchen counter, please consider how family with different abilities can plug in and help out. We all know the woods are rough, but what we build in the woods can be inclusive for all bellies.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Loven Oven's Abe has passed on

To those of you who ever spent time at Loven Oven's at the gathering, you probably bumped into the big lion of a man known as Abraham with his wonderful laugh and his mane of dreadlocks.

Photos taken from some posts on FB today without permission (thanks S.B.).

 I received this message earlier today:

 "Pat would like to say that Abraham passed early this morning in the loving arms of her and Neil. She would like to express her gratitude for all the love surrounding him. She wants everyone to know that Abe knew he was loved and was at peace. He knew everything you wanted him to know... He knew... "

If you use Facebook visit this page to see more photos.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Thanksgiving Council Information

Updated 11/19/13 @ 3:00 PT
After endless hours of conference calls with family who chose to participate in the process, Thanksgiving Council will be in Eugene, Oregon.  Specific directions will be on the North West Tribes lightline (503) 727-2498 on or before Sunday, November 24.

If you're not familar with Thanksgiving Council, click here to learn more.  If you're not familiar with the concept of a focalizer, read this very useful rap.
This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.  There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it.  Everybody was sure Somebody would do it.  Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.  Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody's job.  Everybody thought Anybody could do it but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn't do it.  It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done. 

Who are you?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

So you want to focalize a kitchen?

In my humble opinion, the gathering needs more kitchens like it needs more dogs, but for some  reason, everyone wants to focalize a kitchen. Seems to me that being part of the kitchen provides an amazing growing, learning experience on working collectively and provide safe and healthy food in the woods.


The reality of focalizing a kitchen goes something like this.

Unless you're serving main circle (dinner circle), Main Supply won't provide food for cooking. This means you provide the free food in the woods. While some kitchens have a donation can on the counter for after people have been fed, in reality most of the cost of food is born by those running the kitchen. You'll need to provide pots and pans for cooking, 5-gallon water buckets for dish washing, filtered drinking water for you and your crew and hopefully for all gatherers. You'll need to chop wood, haul water and wash dishes in addition to cooking.  You'll need to make sure you provide sanitary cooking and serving facilities, keep sick people out of your kitchen, deal with late night movies and work your ass off.

If you've never plugged in with a kitchen at a gathering before, you might think about joining your energy with a well established kitchen to get a sense of how hard cooking in the woods can be before you strike off on your own.

If you're ambitious enough to serve main circle, make sure to be at kitchen council so your kitchen gets some of the supplies (often around 11 AM near INFO). But keep in mind that even those kitchens serving main circle only get a portion of the food they serve from main supply.

Sure late night zuzu cooking is fun, but it also is hard to work around all the tripping hippies -- especially those who need baby sitting at 2 AM.

You'll also need to have some serious shitter movies going down. Not only for your crew but for anyone who is attracted to your camp. This can mean digging a new shitter every day from July 1 to 3 when the gathering population swells.

When the gathering is over, you get to disappear your kitchen so no one knows it was ever there. You get to haul your trash out, bury your compost and fill in your shitters.

What do you get for focalizing a kitchen?

More personal growth than you ever imagined possible in a couple of weeks. More stress than you can imagine and more people smoking you out that you could ever wish for if you're kitchen is dank. You get to move your kitchen three times because the US Forest Service keeps changing the rule on how close to surface water the kitchen can be - play it safe and go 500 feet if you want to avoid the move your kitchen game.

You get people bugging you at all hours of the day and night because they're hungry or thirsty. You get random dogs digging through your supply tent and eating the food you just hiked three miles on your back. If you leave your kitchen unsupervised by trusted kitchen crew, you come back to a kitchen missing pots or oranges or a tarp.

The wonderful tarps you strung over your kitchen collapse from rain in the middle of the evening meal. And above all, you get to have a complete temper tantrum when your nerves snap because no one wants to help wash dishes or dig the next shitter.  Of course, you can plug into an existing kitchen and learn from experienced family how a great kitchen works. (Try the Ovens, Kiddie Village, Musical Veggies, Fat Kids, Instant Soup, Iris, Tea Time, and BARF to name but a few of the great kitchens. Ask at Info when you get to the gathering).  Most kitchens welcome new people who are willing to work (the key concept is being willing to work).

It's a wonderful magical crazy ride and worth every second if you last. But please, please, please read the Kitchen Mini Manual so you don't get your family sick due to lack of proper hygiene. If you're not sure about your hygiene, ask the other large kitchens how they handled things

If you've every plugged into a kitchen, please share your words of wisdom.

Monday, September 2, 2013

What is Thanksgiving Council?

The gathering has a cyclical process.  In Montana this summer, vision council on the land reached consensus that the 2014 gathering will take place in the state of Nevada or Utah if no site is found in Nevada.

But then what?

Because the Rainbow Gathering has no leaders, no board of directors, no staff and no one in charge of anything, we depend on people working together to do all the preparation for the gathering in Nevada or Utah. So over the years a process has come together to make sure that planning is open to everyone who wants to be involved.

The year starts off with Thanksgiving Council or T-Council over the four day weekend of the same name. This is a time for people interested in plugging in, talking about visions for the gathering, discussing scouting, strategies about legal issues, etc. to get together.

T-Council generally takes place in the state or region where we will be gathering. It's usually a camp, cook, council, share heart songs kinda of thing. Often but not always, the people at T-Council pick the dates for the Scout Rendezvous and Spring Council. Often times a PO box is established for snail mail and a banking council is formed to deal with any donations.

As with all things Rainbow, no experience is necessary, just a willingness to participate. Keep in mind this is not a gathering, it's a working council and the way this council unfolds sets the tone for the gathering. If you're not familiar with our style of council process, read the Council Mini Manual.

Generally folks in the area take the lead on finding a place to hold T-Council.  Planning is underway and directions usually come out the second week of November.

I'm hoping that there will be a real mix of generations at T-Council. We need older people, we need younger people, we need more experienced gatherers and we need less experienced gatherers to come together to create a vision for a peaceful, healing and fun gathering in Nevada/Utah 2014. Be the change you want to see in this world.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Ideas for 2014

Share your ideas!

For all of you who were in Montana this summer, what ideas did you have to create positivity, love and health at future gatherings?  Add a comment to this post with your idea(s), so we don't forget about them in the excitement of getting ready for the 2014 annual gathering in the USA. I'll turn them into a blogpost in May 2014.

Where will the gathering be?

Usually when someone gets on my email list, this is the first information I send them. So to you out here in blogsphere, here's that same information.

From the invite to the very first Rainbow Gathering in 1972:

We, who are brothers & sisters, children of God, families of  life on earth, friends of nature & of all people, children of humankind calling ourselves Rainbow Family Tribe, humbly invite:
  • All races, peoples, tribes, communes, men, women, children, individuals -- out of love.
  • All nations & national leaders -- out of respect
  • All religions & religious leaders -- out of faith
  • All politicians -- out of charity

to join with us in gathering together for the purpose of expressing our sincere desire that there shall be peace on earth, harmony among all people. This gathering to take place beginning July 1, 1972, near Aspen, Colorado - or between Aspen &; the Hopi &p; Navajo lands - on 3000 acres of land that we hope to purchase or acquire for this gathering -- & to hold open worship, prayer, chanting or whatever is the want or desire of the people, for three days, but upon the fourth day of July at noon to ask that there be a meditative, contemplative silence wherein we, the invited people of the world may consider & give honor & respect to anyone or anything that has aided in the positive evolution of humankind & nature upon this, our most beloved & beautiful world -- asking blessing upon we people of this world & hope that we people can effectively proceed to evolve, expand, & live in harmony & peace.

On July 11, 2013 vision council on the land in Montana reached a consensus that the 2014 annual gathering of the tribes will take place in Nevada or Utah if no site is found in Nevada. Consensus reached on July 11 by a passing of the feather in silent consensus between 2-2:30 PM by a group of over 30 individuals.

Wording of consensus:

The 2014 rainbow family of living light world peace and healing gathering will take place July 1-7, 2014, in Nevada or Utah. The gathering will not take place at the 2003 Utah site.

Thanksgiving Council

The next step in the process of landing on a site is Thanksgiving Council (T-Council) which takes place over the four day Thanksgiving Holiday in or near the area for the following gathering. This is a time of people to council and share their hopes and dreams for the 2014 gathering.  If you have potential sites you think are worthy of scouting in the spring, bring topo maps and forest service maps.  Directions to T-Council usually come out in the first half of November. Check back then. If you're not familiar with T-Council, read more here.

Scout Council(s) or Scout Rendezvous

T-Council usually picks dates for one or two Scout Councils. Scout Councils/Rendezvous is a time for people out scouting to connect up, share information, talk about scouting efforts. As with all things Rainbow, no experience is necessary, just a desire to walk, learn, teach and share. If you come, please be self sufficient - have green energy for gas, food, etc. You don't need your own vehicle if you can be a positive traveling companion, but $$$ are always in short supply for scouting, so please bring enough for yourself and some to share with the person whose vehicle breaks down.  This year Thanksgiving Council picked the date of May 10 for a scout rendezvous.

Spring Council

Spring Council is when all potential sites for the gathering are brought to any people who want to be involved in selecting a site. The council usually takes one to seven days and normally ends with either a consensus by silence among people at the council or an exodus of the majority of people heading to the preferred site.  T-Council picks a date for Spring Council but the exact location for this council generally isn't determined until one to two weeks before Spring Council starts. In 2014 Spring Council starts June 14. Click here for more information.

For those of you who think the site is picked in advance and want to get the 411 now so you can book plane tickets.  I'm sorry, but there is no site picked at this time.

Keep in mind that weather conditions (which are unpredictable) play a part in all of this. So let's say someone found a great site in August 2013 (and I have no knowledge that anyone did), for all we know come the first week of June that site is still under snow, then what? Keep in mind that 4 feet of snow at a gathering is rough.

Drought and high fire danger can have the same effect. A great site that was nice and wet in August 2013 can be dry as a tinder box in June 2014. If the Forest Service has a no open fire ban on that site that looked so great last year, guess it's not looking that great this year. Available water can change year to year as well depending on snow melt.   Conditions change all the time.  The family needs to find the best possible site for the health and safety of gathering participants and the land on which we gather.

Seed Camp

Once Spring Council reaches a decision, people move onto the site and start Seed Camp. Seed Camp is about creating trails, building kitchens, digging shitters, taping springs and dealing with the United States Forest Service. Historically, law enforcement harassment is highest during Seed Camp so if you are planning on being there, take the necessary precautions to keep your self out of the system if you so choose.

The Gathering

The main day of the gathering is July 4 when we observe silence from dawn until high noon and put our energy into manifesting world peace, the positive evolution of the planet and other good things.  Many people observe this with a prayer or mediation for world peace. Others do Yoga for world peace, blow bubbles for world peace, etc. Basically, if it's a silent, gentle energy then it fits in very well.  As to when the gathering starts, that's dynamic.  It's usually one day during the last week of June when some friends and I look at each other and say "today it's a gathering."  (of course you may pick a different date than I do when it feels like a gathering and not like seed camp)  The earlier you come the more self sufficient you need to be and relationships with the Forest Service can be rougher. On the other hand, showing up for seed camp allows you to influence the way the gathering goes. If you show up later, say after June 27, then most (but not all) of the drama has subsided.  Traditionally the dates are listed as July 1 to 7, but most years people start leaving in droves on July 5th.

Click here for directions to the gathering.

Ignore all rumors of cancellation or organization!
Live lightly with the Land and People!
Please Copy and Distribute This Information Widely

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Vision Council Consensus

On July 11, 2013 vision council on the land in Montana reached a consensus that the 2014 annual gathering of the tribes will take place in Nevada or Utah if no site is found in Nevada. Consensus reached on July 11 by a passing of the feather in silent consensus between 2-2:30 PM by a group of over 30 individuals.

Wording of consensus:

The 2014 rainbow family of living light world peace and healing gathering will take place July 1-7, 2014, in Nevada or Utah. The gathering will not take place at the 2003 Utah site.