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.