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, June 29, 2014

Lost and Found (people, pets and things)

Lost People

Every year people go to the gathering and their loved ones worry.  Just a reminder, there is no cell phone or Internet reception at this year's gathering.

If you haven't heard from your friends and/or family since they went into the gathering, odds are they are still down in the meadow and can't call you.  Either way, it's generally safer for people to stay inside the gathering, then to run the cop gauntlet to make a phone call.  Even if your loved one promised to call every day, that's a promise they will be unable to keep as that would require them to spend their entire gathering going out to some place with reception and then coming back in again.

Even if there is a place on the top of a nearby mountain where you can get cell reception if you stand on your right foot only with your left arm outstretched and the cell phone positioned exactly on your naval - one 5 minute call will eat up all your charge.  Unless your loved one can hike from 9,000 feet to 11,000 feet and brought a solar panel to recharge their phone, the calls aren't going to happen for a bit. NOTE:  You may think this situation is made up but I've been to places in the Rocky Mountains where cell reception was this wacky.

 Again, on the road where the cars and cops are is the area where problems occur. We strongly recommend that people stay inside the gathering. Going in and out increases a persons risk of a negative experience with law enforcement. Again, people on the land will strongly suggest to your loved one that they stay inside the gathering until it's over.

That being said, if you're going to the gathering, call your Mama or someone else, let them know you are going in and will be out of cell reception until after you leave the gathering.

If something serious happened to your loved one, then they are no longer at the gathering and would be found in a local hospital, jail, or mental health facility. If you check those places and your loved one is not there, then they are probably inside the gathering.

Most people usually surface by July 15th as the clean up crew starts shrinking by then, but some people will be on the land until at least the end of July (and on the land means no or haphazard access to telephones).  If after July 10, you still haven't heard, email me a recent photo and include this information:
  • How old is he/she? 
  • Was this her/his first gathering?  
  • Was he/she planning to camp with any camp in particular?
  • Did she/he travel to the gathering with friends who have since left the gathering?
  • Did she/he have any mental and/or physical health issues?  
  • What kind of drugs (if any) does he/she typically use?
  • Was there a specific previously agreed on plan for he/she to return home at a certain time or at least check in?
If you haven't called the Heber City Sheriff's Department yet, call  435.657.1619 to see if your loved one is or was in jail for a period of time.

Lost Things

For those people who go to the gathering and lose something, found items are taken to Info or sometimes to the nearest kitchen so don't give up yet.  If you didn't check the lost and found items at INFO, your stuff may be there. Even if you did, many items are discovered during cleanup. At the end of cleanup, all the valuable lost and found items will be taken out of the gathering site. To try to get reconnected with your stuff, at the end of July call  the Northwest Tribes Lightline @ (503) 727-2498. Leave your name, phone # and a brief description of what you lost. Someone will call you back if your or similar items are there. Keep in mind, lost and found at this level is for things like wallets, cameras, expensive gear.  We don't try to reunite people with lost t-shirts, bliss wear, etc.

Lost Animals

For those people who left without all the animals they brought, please go back to the site and retrieve your pets. I do not care if you have to be back to work or whatever. If you brought an animal, you need to go home with that animal. If you don't, folks on the land will find a home for your pet and it won't be your home. We never leave any pets behind.  Every pet will leave the gathering with a human companion ~ hopefully the one they came with. If you can't go back yourself, try to connect up with a friend in the area to retrieve your pet. Just a reminder, pets on leashes don't get lost as often as those not on a leash. The gathering is a scary experience for animals who aren't used to it. Read the Pup Rap for more info.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

No Cell Reception at the Gathering

Just an FYI folks.  Please call people who will worry about you before you leave town and let them know that you are going into the gathering, there is no cell reception, and give them an approximate date when you will call them again. 

Call your mama folks and let her know what you're doing!

People who don't stay in touch, stress their loved ones out and stress me out. Usually when I come out of the gathering, I have an overwhelming number of email messages from people who are concerned about someone they love. I don't want to have to respond to a hundred emails that go something like this:

My son/daughter/husband/wife/grandmother/grandfather went to the gathering and promised to call me every day. I'm afraid something happened to them.

If you don't want to call, send a text, email, or letter. Or get a friend to send a text, email, or letter. Everytime a worried mama files a missing person's report, we get law enforcement wandering around the gathering trying to "find" you.  Don't be that person.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Town Hall Meeting Wednesday June 25 @ 7 p.m.

Inviting all people to come together at gathering participant organized town hall meeting to discuss issues of concern to the residents of Heber City and participants of the rainbow gathering. As with all things gathering related, no experience is necessary.

I would love to see more dirty kids and younger family participating in these types of town hall meetings. Some day you will be focalizing these meetings and the time to learn how they work is now.

I hope all local families with concerns, issues, questions, or problems come to this meeting as well so that everyone can discuss together, see each others eyes, and get to know one another.  For local folks, this is a chance to get to meet gatherers without having to drive out to the land so please take advantage of it.

The meeting takes place at on Wednesday, June 25 at 7:00 p.m. at the Wasatch County Library/Senior Center building, 465 E. 1200 South, in Heber City.

Please be respectful of other people's concerns, respect that people feel the way they feel and there are no right or wrong feels, try to state your opinion succinctly, and try to make friends with the people whose community we have entered.

Be the peace you wish to see in this world.

Rap 121

Rap 121  

Respect our sisters and help create a safe place for everyone.
Nudity is natural; not a sexual invitation.
Ask before hugging or touching women & remember: “No means No!”
Brother Circles offer support & encourage understanding.
Love happens – Carry condoms.

Respect yourselves & trust your instincts.
If you don’t feel comfortable being intimate or alone with a man it’s OK to say “No.”
Sister Circles share strength & support between women.
Love happens – Carry condoms.

This is a society based on love & respect.
We’re here for a spiritual purpose; Respect each other and do no harm.
Brother-Sister Circles create trust & understanding.

We are all Shanti Sena – “Peace Keepers”

For a PDF Version of this to print out and bring to the gathering, click here.

Monday, June 23, 2014

For Utah Residents - What to Expect From the Gathering?

What exactly IS the Rainbow Gathering?

The bottom video includes interviews with townsfolk and merchants of stores and lodges near past Rainbow Gatherings. They were asked for their honest opinion of how the event went, the effects it had on their business, and what advice they would give to people in towns near future Gatherings.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Best of the Rest

I started doing a yearly gathering-related blog in 2008 based on the recommendation of a woman who I deeply respected and admire.  Every year I try to cover new topics as well as topics that I feel will contribute to a safe, sane and positive gathering. Each year I cover a many new topics, but don't always cover all topics.

Here's some of what I consider the better posts from 2008 to 2013 that I haven't already reworked for this year's gathering.  Some of them were written by me, others by folks I know and admire.    Enjoy!

Counciling in 1972 by Garrick Beck

Gathering with Kids by Info Karen (The other Karen who hangs @ Info)

Rap on Access for family coming home with special needs

On Shanti Sena by Medicine Socks

Shanti Sena Musings

So You Want to Focalize a Kitchen?

Workshops @ the Gathering

~~~  Please copy and distribute this information freely ~~~

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

How to Gather (AKA Gathering Basics)

Just an FYI, no one speaks for the gathering and there are as many different opinions as there are gatherers. For a hipstorical perspective, click here. For a more recent perspective, here's a great video for those new to the gathering that was done by some folks in Oregon in 2012.

Transportation To/From the Gathering

Many people are coming from all over the planet and are not sure how to get home.  Here are some suggestions, thoughts, ideas. I strongly recommend you call ahead to clarify all the information.

Greyhound - has a daily bus from Salt Lake City via Park City to Heber City (all in Utah).  It takes just over an hour from Salt Lake to Heber City (closest town to the gathering) and costs from $15 to $19 depending on how you pay. There is one run a day leaving SLC just after 7:00 a.m. local time.

You can also catch the Greyhound from Provo on the I-15 but I don't recommend it as according to Greyhound's website - it goes via Las Vegas,  Nevada and Denver, Co. and takes 2 days. :(

Both Salt Lake City and Provo have Amtrak service. Provo's station is a few blocks from far off Hwy South 189/University Avenue - which if you head north is the road to Heber City - but you're thumbing it. You can catch the Amtrak from Denver, Salt Lake City, or a 20 hour ride from Oakland, California.

From Heber City it shouldn't be too hard to catch a ride with someone heading towards the gathering.  If you are in Heber City, please do not pan handle, camp, be rude to the local towns folks, steal, or be mean to anyone no matter how mean they are to you.  Start creating the peace you wish to see in this world before you make it those last few miles home.

Another option is to check out the ride share links on the right hand side of this blog.

Finally, there's a kind Rainbow Brother who lives on Orem and is trying to help people get to the gathering from Orem or Provo. Email him  and ask for his phone number to talk to him and see what options are currently available. Please be kind and loving to him as helping family get home is a lot of work and he is being very generous with his time.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

On Creeks, Camping and Cutthroat Trout

People camped too close to the creek
Bad Tent Location - Too Close to Creek
(Photo from http://www.flickr.com/photos/meganpru/5914413517/)
Creeks provide water for animals in the area and spawning grounds for fish.  Creeks are the heart of the ecosystem. Some years we use creek water for drinking and cooking (after boiling or filtering of course).  When folks disrespect the creek, they disrespect the land on which we gather as well as the heart of the gathering itself.
In many places, when silt gets into the creek it covers trout eggs preventing the fish from hatching. Lots of people have been putting a lot of effort into saving the native cutthroat trouts.  We need to honor the trout and the people working year round on protecting trout habitat.
Cutthroat Trout
If we are not careful, we will silt up the creek.  THINGS NOT TO DO: Trample up the banks. Dogs wrestle in the creek and dug along the creek. After every rainfall with exposed dirt, more mud and silt flows into the creek further damaging those beautiful creeks. Plus what ever gets spilled on the ground can seep through the soil into the creek when we are too close. To learn more, read Going Native, Wikipedia,  or Utah's  State Fish page. The Going Native is a printable document suitable for making copies and bringing to the gathering to share with people. Hopefully every kitchen will have a copy posted.  Educate yourself and take your knowledge home and share with others.

~~~Nothing is biodegradable in water.~~~

People camped in the woods, away from the creek.
Good Tent Location - In Woods away from Creek

Soil filters and decomposes soapy water, food scraps and urine.  We always need to make sure we keep all our waste far enough back from the creek so that the wonderful micro-organisms in the soil have the chance to do their magic.

In my mind, our shining stars are folks who make signs asking people to not camp along the creek. Family who go around and talk to people about why we don’t camp adjacent to creeks are my heroes and I workshop at your feet.

When we gather, we are visitors to the land. The plants and animals that live there year round are depending on us to tread lightly and leave the ground upon which we drummed and danced, ate and loved, in better shape than when we arrived. This, my friends, is the Rainbow way. 

Of course every site is different. The soil drainage and the type of creek varies ecosystem to ecosystem and the down-stream features indicate how close is too close. Different areas have different animals who need access to the creek for drinking purposes. If you’re too close, you’ll scare them off. This year the USFS resource folks have requested that no one camps within 300 feet of any creek or other surface water at this gathering.  No kitchens or shitters within 300 feet or more. When you come home, check in with INFO to learn the site specific considerations for each the current gathering. Or find a friendly Forest Service Resource person and pick her/his brain.

Sharing Music Along the Creek
(Photo from http://ashlandplayreviews.com/

Plus if you think about it, having open space along the creek for naked massage circles and music making is better for the energy of the gathering as a whole than having one person’s personal camp. And while I’m an on rant, please don’t camp in the meadows either. We need meadow space for counciling, workshops, sunbathing, etc.

A gathering is not a festival. Please don’t camp on the grass.  Camp in the woods, under the trees, 50 feet back from a creek.

Be the consciousness you wish to see in this world!

Have no idea who took this, but it's awesome. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Howdy Folks

Welcome Home
43rd Annual Rainbow Family Gathering of the Tribes

Updated 6/26/14 9:00 a.m. California Time

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. & 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.

Feel free to arrive a few weeks early to create the gathering and/or stay a few weeks late to clean it all up.

NOTE: High elevation gathering - be alert for signs of altitude sickness in yourself and in others. . Drink one gallon of water per day. Bring Osha Root to help with altitude adjustment (check with a medical professional if you're pregnant or nursing). Take it easy your first few days and let your body adjust. (6:15 PM 6/16/14)

NO CELL RECEPTION ON SITE. NO WIFI ON SITE.  Before you leave the nearest town, please call whoever you need to and let them know you will be out of contact and give them an approximate date when they will hear from you again. This saves everyone a lot of work, reduces stress among the people who care for you and means I won't have five hundred emails from concerned family members when I make it home from the gathering. (6/26/14 6:40 a.m.)

This site is not super wagon friendly, nor is it super wagon unfriendly. Wheel barrows or single wheeled carts are probably better than 4 wheel wagons - although the path can be done with a four wheel wagon (but not without some rough patches) I've been told. You're going to be hiking a mile or more from your car to your camping spot so be prepared. While that may not seem like much, if you normally live at sea level and are now at 9,000 feet, there is a high likelyhood you will feel the difference when you arrive and the hike in will seem much further. Plan accordingly.  (6/26/14 6:40 a.m.)

For a topo map of the gathering with kitchens, parking, trails, etc. click here.  (6/26/14 7:00 a.m.)

RAP 107 ~ Gathering Consciousness

Please protect this Beautiful Land.

Walk softly. Harm no living thing. Harmonize - Blend in. Use only down, dead wood. Cut no living trees. Preserve the Meadows...camp in the Woods. We are caretakers of this land.
Everyone sharing makes a strong Human Tribe!

Please Protect the Water Sources by staying out of DELICATE spring areas. Avoid camping, peeing, washing above spring areas. Keep ALL soap (including biodegrable, Dr. Bronners, etc) out of streams, springs or the creek! Use a bucket to take your bath 60 feet away from the water source.
To be certain of drinking water: boil it for 20 minutes!  Use the slit trenches or covered latrines - cover your paper & waste with ashes or lime, wash hands. Break the fly/illness connection: shit-fly-food-you! Dig no shitters near water areas or kitchens.

Protect our Health! Use your own cup, bowl & spoon! Wash them after eating and rinse in disinfectant-water.
Visit C.A.L.M./M.A.S.H. if you feel ill - especially if you have a contagious disease - or are injured.

Camp Together - Establish neighborhoods. Community Fires only! ~ Each with 5 gallon water bucket and shovel for Fire Protection. If you are the last to leave a fire PUT IT OUT!

Watch your gear: Be Responsible ~ "Tempt Not Lest Ye Be Lifted From."

 Pets are discouraged but if you must bring them keep them fed, on a leash and out of the kitchens, springs & fights. Clean up their poop. Love them.


Cleanup begins when you arrive. Bring in only what is necessary. There is no janitor here...you are the cleanup crew. Separate Garbage for recycling. Don't litter - Find collection point. Compost in pits only.

You are the Gathering! Participate in Shanti Sena, the peace keepers council, and all activities, councils, work crews, workshops. Volunteer wherever needed: kitchens, welcome home, firewatch, parking lot, shitter digging, supply, front gate, etc. R-E-S-P-E-C-T your Sisters & Brothers energies. Keep the Balance: Earth, Sky, Trees, Water & People!

Alcohol is Discouraged, Guns are Inappropriate, Violence is contrary to the Spirit. Please take no photographs or videos of people without permission. Discourage Drug Abuse.

Buying and selling endangers our legal right to be here. The Magic Hat is our Bank, donate early to fund our Needs. The Magic Hat goes around at mealtime circles and with the Magic Hat Band.

Our power together is many times our power separated.

Enjoy the Rainbow with an open heart and you Will see the Vision.

Join us for July 4th Silent Contemplation & Prayer for Peace, respect those maintaining silence from dawn. Hold the silence until the arrival of the Children's Parade.


Be prepared for cold nights (into the 30s) and sunny days. Critical things to bring:

Extra tents, sleeping bags, sweaters, water proof shoes, tarps, jackets, wool stuff (lot's of wool).  If you arrive for seed camp, be prepared for snow. We had three days and nights of snow starting on the Summer Solstice in 2003 when we were last in Utah. Bring stuff for yourself and lot's of extra gear to share with those who didn't bring enough to keep them warm and safe. Don't pitch tents under tree boughs if its snowing. Eventually the snow will pile up and come crashing down on your tent in one big pile. String a tarp using heavy rope and bungee cords at a diagonal to let the snow slide off easily and away from your tent. 

Click here for the packing recommendations.

Be prepared for a rough hike in.  Give yourself three hours unless you normally live at 9,000 foot elevation. Between the terrian and adjusting to the altitude plan on slow going. (6/26/14 7 am)

***** DIRECTIONS *****

Click here for PDF document that's easy to print out of the directions

Please check back before you hit the road or leave internet access as updates will be provided as I get them.  I will put a note with date/time updated.

Coordinates: N 40.42588 W 111.16520
On the link - A indicates parking; B indicates Bus Village. View Topo Map

View Google Maps showing relationship to Heber City, Provo, Salt Lake City and Park City. (added links to maps 6:15 PM on 6/16/14)
Directions to the 2014 Rainbow Gathering in Utah in the Uinta National Forest
All roads are of good quality, wide and gravel but very busy - BE AWARE.  There are many other recreational users such as trucks pulling heavy trailer, many off road vehicles, and local traffic.  The gravel roads can be very, very DUSTY making visibility difficult.  Please be safe, take it slow, watch for traffic and wildlife.

From Points South of Salt Lake City: From Interstate 15 South of Salt Like City Exit Hwy 189 North at the south end of Provo, Utah. Drive approximately 27 miles north to Heber City. Or follow directions from Salt Lake City.

From Points East of Salt Lake City: From Interstate 80 east of Salt Lake City, take the Park City /US-40 East/US-189 South exit and drive south approximately 16 miles to Heber City. Or follow directions from Salt Lake City.

(Tip from a local gatherer -- It's 1.5 to 2.5 hours from Orem, UT to the gathering by car depending on the route you take. The bus route is more like 1.5 hours, the down the middle of Heber City route can be closer to 2.5 as the speed limit is lower.)

** THEN from Heber City **

Best Route for Buses from Heber City, Utah:  Off US Hwy 40 north of town take State Road 32 towards Jordenelle State Park.  Then pick up SR 35 in Francis, UT and go east about 15 miles on SR 35.  Right after milemarker 15, look for Forest Service Road 054 (FS 54) on the right towards Mill Hollow Reservoir. This gravel road around the reservoir and campground can be congested and can be dusty.  Drive about 13 miles and look for FS 901 (Google Maps shows it as 26) on the left.  Welcome HOME! If you come to the intersection of FS 83 and 54, you have gone too far – go back on FS 54 about ½ mile. (Probably the faster route).

From Heber City, Utah via US Hwy 40 and Center Street/Lake Creek Road (Free Range Sheep on this road as well as sheepdogs: (slower route but goes through the middle of town.) Head east at intersection of Main St. US Hwy 40) and Center Street/Lake Creek Road. Travel east for 15 miles on a paved road until you reach the Uinta Forest Service boundary.  At the FS boundary, the road turns to gravel and becomes Forest Service Road 083 (FS 83).  Follow FS 83 about 2.5 miles to an intersection (the T) where FS 83 and FS 54 meet. Bear left onto FS 54 travel less than 1/2 mile to FS 901 (Google maps shows it as 26) on the right (but don't drive up the wrong side of the FS 901 or you may get into trouble).  Welcome Home! 

*** OR ****

From Salt Lake City via Interstate 80 and State Road 32 (Kamas, UT) and State Road 35 (Hanna, UT) – less congestion: Route 35 (SR 35) comes in from the north and is good for drivers that don‘t need to shop and want to avoid traffic.  Total mileage is about 35 miles; it is about 15 miles once you are on SR 35.   From 80: Head towards Kamas on SR 32.  Pick up SR 35 in Francis, UT and go east about 14 miles on SR 35.  Look for Forest Service Road 054 (FS 54) on the right towards Mill Hollow Reservoir. This gravel road around the reservoir and campground can be congested and can be dusty.  Drive about 13 miles and look for FS 901 (Google Maps shows it as 26) on the left.  Welcome HOME! If you come to the intersection of FS 83 and 54, you have gone too far – go back on FS 54 about ½ mile.
*** OR ****

From Fruitland, UT (just west of Fruitland 4 miles or so) via US Hwy 40 –probably most congested route into gathering: At mile marker 58 on US 40, head north onto Currant Creek Road.  Be aware of this turn, it is a sharp turn and there is often heavy traffic and it is known for wrecks. Follow Currant Creek Road through state wildlife and private land to the Uinta National Forest boundary about 8 miles where it becomes Forest Service Road 471 (FS 471). BE AWARE can be very dusty. Stay on FS 471 about 14 miles around the Currant Creek Reservoir but not into the campground, pass by the campground fork and bear right onto FS 82.  Go up the hill to the intersection bear right at the “T” and take a right onto FS 83; go about 8 miles to the next intersection of FS 83 and FS 54. Take right onto FS 54; travel less than ½ mile to FS 901 (Google Maps shows it as 26) on the right. Welcome Home!

If you need a ride or have a ride to share, post on your local Craigs list, try the ride share links to the right, or hit you local potluck/drum circle to connect up with people.

Click here for a topo map of the site.  Click here for a topo map of the surrounding area. Warning these are larger PDF documents.
Please copy and distribute freely. Ignore all rumors of cancellation.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

RIP Suzy Sunshine

Word is that Suzy Sunshine passed away last night of what people think was a heart attack.
I will update with more information when I get it.

Suzy, safe journies and happy trails.  All our love to you and your family.

Thank you Bob for sharing this sad news.

Rap 151 and 515 - Alcohol

Rap 151

It is a tradition in our family to discourage alcohol use at the Gathering. We, especially our children, need a safe and sane environment to celebrate in. We respect the alcoholic’s right to drink, but the alcoholic must respect the rights of others to gather in an alcohol-free environment. The gathering is a prayer and peace sanctuary, not a booze party. Your brothers and sisters can help you through it if you wish to stop. Be whole, be healthy, be your true self at Rainbow.

Rap 515 

If you are hyper-sensitive to drinkers, don’t become a nuisance to them or to Shanti Sena. If a drinker is bothering you, bring others along with you and try to use reason; do not grow angry or reactionary. Many now respected brothers and sisters were once where this drinker is. Love them and they will come to the center. If you are panhandled or otherwise insulted by a drunken individual, say no or leave. If someone has a legitimate problem, help them if you want. If you don’t, tell them to look for someone else.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Gathering Is Free!

The rainbow gathering is a 100% free event. There is no charge to park (if someone offers to take you're money, please say no thank you)!  Admission is totally free. Food is lovingly prepared by all the kitchens and is severed free either at dinner circle in main meadow or "off the rails" at the kitchens.

All on-site medical care is free. Need to see a doctor or a nurse?  Totally free. Prefer holistic practitioners that may include acupuncture, massage, Reiki, etc. Again totally free!

Filtered drinking water is free, free, free (although be forewarned, sometimes lines form at the filtration stations).

Have a problem with anything at all, head over to INFO where you guessed it, the information is totally free (although sometimes we throw in jokes at no extra charge).

Basically, once you are home there is no need for credit cards, US dollars, checks, etc. except for two small basic exceptions:  Supplies you bring and The Magic Hat 

Are you wondering how we create a temporary city in the woods that is totally free to everyone on the planet?

Well, I'm here to explain it to you.

Everything we eat, bandage ourselves with, all our medications, printed handouts, etc. is paid for by anyone and everyone. There are two ways that you can be part of anyone and everyone.

Method 1 - You buy it and bring it. You go to a store on your way to the gathering and buy the necessary supplies. Then you bring them with you and distribute them appropriately.

Method 2 - You donate US dollars to a Magic Hat, all the dollars are combined, and then people focalizing that effort use all donations to buy in bulk.  

If you can buy in bulk or get discount rates, go for it and bring the supplies. If you have food stamps/food card, then you're only option is Method 1 as The Magic Hat does not accept food stamps.

Method 2 can include giving cash to the Magic Hat via the Magic Hat Parade as shown in the video below, it can include donating cash ahead of time for CALM (first aid) supplies or a food, or it can be given to a kitchen's Magic Hat at the gathering. (Note: kitchen's that feed off the rails may ask for donations but you are not required to donate to eat).

Now there are a lot of areas that need cash before the gathering.  Since this year, I'm doing one blog post on begging for dollars, I will be linking to prior year's posts for the donation information. Please note I already verified the information hasn't changed. And yes, for the ahead of time cash donations, one can do it on-line using a credit or debit card. Please note, every donate ahead of time PayPal link is managed by a friend of mine and I trust them 100%.

CALM / MASH / FIRST AID - These are the folks who help us heal when we are not feeling well. Click here to see the needed supplies to bring or to make a cash donation on-line. If you want to bring supplies, it's best to email now for the up to date list of what is needed.

Food - Cooking is hard work at the gathering. Click here to see the process by which your cash or food donations become dinner. Remember to donate $$ early as it takes 1/2 week or longer for dollars to become a meal.

Organic Valley Food.  Organic Valley is a brand you may recognize from your local co-op or health food store. What you may not know is that Organic Valley usually sends us multiple pallets of food - free of charge and delivered to the gathering.  Organic Valley rocks! This year, some folks are trying to provide some funding for Organic Valley to help them in recovering from last year's fire. Unfortunately, we didn't get organized last year, but if you want to help us provide matching funds for our food order this year, a friend of mine with Rough and Ready Kitchen has a PayPal site set up for the matching funds. Click here to donate. Just an FYI, the food is distributed throughout the gathering.

Drinking Water.  Team Hydration creates hydration stations that provide safe, filtered drinking water to keep you hydrated and healthy. They are looking for a few hundred dollars to round out their equipment purchase. To donate via Go Fund Me, click here. If you would like to donate via PayPal, click here. If you want to bring equipment,check out the  FaceBook Page where folks are discussing sanitation options including drinking water. Make sure to check out the files for a DIY drip filtration system. Remember only .2 micron and below is what we are after.  

Just a quick reminder, anyone who asks your for money on the way into the gathering is doing so to line his or her own pocket.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

What is Peace? (Part 4 of Creating Peace)

A common point of discussion when working towards peace is defining what peace is and isn't, what it looks like, which activities are considered "peaceful" and which are not.

I think at the extreme ends of the spectrum, most people can agree on what peace is and isn't. For example, most people would consider dropping bombs on other people to be the opposite of peace. Most people would consider the silent prayer/meditation for world peace and the om to be examples of peace.

That's the easy stuff. In fact trying to define peace can cause even the most peaceful among us to be less than peaceful.  So what do we do if we say we want peace, but we can't even agree on what peace looks like, feels like, acts like or talks like?

I'll throw out a couple of high level ideas, but even these are subject to much discussion. I hope you continue these discussions in the circles in which you find yourself. If all goes as planned, I will be doing a few workshops at the gathering on "What is Peace and How do We Create Peace?" -- hopefully I won't be the only one.

In Creating Peace, Parts 1 to 3, we looked at some of the foundational aspects of peace (click on the topic "Creating Peace" under Gathering Topics on the right hand side of this blog).
What is Peace?
First graders have a very good concept of peace (image from Miss Krug's Our Grade One blog):

 Some people view peace as the absence of war or violence. Perhaps this view comes to us from  Ancient Greece in the goddess Eirene the goddess of peace, who also celebrates decisive battles that end wars. If we subscribe to this paradigm, we probably are following the axiom "the ends justify the means."

Another high level view of peace is one that focuses on harmony and tranquility that can take the form of an inner state or a state between people. We can say she is always tranquil and peaceful or they have a harmonious marriage.

Peace can be considered as cooperation between people in a social group or culture to maintain a certain level of social order. Keep in mind that slavery existed in the USA during times of peace and for me, slavery does not equal peace.
Liberian Women for Peace

The Global Peace Index (GPI) attempts to identify countries by their level of peacefulness focusing on various formal military measures, prisoners per capita, refugees, wars, etc. 

In the last hundred years, peace has been tightly coupled with the idea of non-violence. So now we have to define what non-violence is and how non-violence methods contribute towards creating peace. Now I'm sure most of you are familiar with the teaching of the Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr. -- all of which emphasis non-violence --another problematic concepts. Defining non-violence is just as hard as defining peace (but I think by now you know how to approach this issue.)

The Dalai Lama offers these words, "Peace can only last where human rights are respected, where the people are fed, and where individuals and nations are free." Of course now we have to figure out what "free" really means. For example, do we include the freedom to harm others in free? Or are your freedoms curtailed when they impact my freedoms? How does your pollution impact my freedom?

Peace is often negotiated between groups of people. For example, a family, school, city or state negotiate what they see as peace.

International Alerts writes, "