We will gather peacefully for silent meditation the morning of July 4th, 2018 from dawn until noon; and a peaceful assembly of free speech and expression from July 1st through the end of Vision Counsel; in the southern Appalachian Mountains. DIRECTIONS TO THE GATHERING ARE HERE (and contain road closure info, and other critical information. This post is updated frequently so check back for the latest.To learn how to get into the gathering without getting a mandatory court appearance ticket, click here.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Sustenance and Safety (Part 3 of 5 of "Creating Peace")

One of the foundations of creating peace is making sure people are prepared, in the right mindset, and able to do the hard work that creating peace entails. Sustenance and Safety are the building blocks of peace.


Sustenance takes care of our bodily needs. We can't think well when our blood sugar is crashing or when we are dehydrated. Adequate food and water is a must for all in order to be able to even discuss peace (stay tuned for part 4 of Creating Peace).

One of the most important actions a person can take at a gathering is making sure everyone is eating and drinking plenty of water. This year we will be in the east and that generally means moister gatherings and lot's of sweating. One gallon a day of water that has been boiled for 20 minutes or filtered with a 0.2 micron or smaller filter is a must.

When people haven't eaten or are dehydrated they act out. When they are in these conditions for too long, they get sick.  When you combine these issues with over-indulgences, we have a recipe for problems that can impact the entire gathering.

Prevent the problems by making sure you and the people in your vicinity are eating and staying hydrated. Be on the look out for people who look like they aren't getting food and/or water and help them before they start breaking the peace. 

Now for the tough topic: safety.

Safety is a bit harder to come by because what constitutes a feeling of safety is a very subjective and emotional feeling.  To explain what I mean, we'll talk about the estuary by my house.  The salt marsh and estuary have been channelized to prevent flooding and on either bank is a trail. The east side is a paved path that hooks up with bike paths to the north and south. The west side is a dirt road with trees providing shade on a warm day as shown in the image.
The Estuary

People in my neighborhood have very different perspectives on the estuary. Some people view it as a haven for criminals and are afraid to go down there especially after dark. Other people loving taking their kids down to watch the Great Blue Herons and Osprey trying to rustle up a meal.

Now you would think there is some logic as to who feels safe at our estuary and who is scared, but so far I haven't observed any patterns.  I see people with small kids down there watching the sunset and in the early morning many seniors walk their dogs. Then I meet other people in their thirties and forties who are scared to go down without a large group of people because once upon a time someone had a bike stolen (maybe 10 or 15 years ago).

In addition to the herons and hawks at the estuary, one finds the differentially housed: people who live in tents or throw down a sleeping bag under a bush for the night.  Some people are scared of people with different lifestyles then their own, others exchange pleasantries with everyone. Some people who live in non-portable houses are scared of the differentially housed. Others make friends.

Every time I speak at a community meeting, some people go off the deep end on how dangerous the estuary is and others talk about how it's an asset to the community.  I know that I can't change people's opinions about which is which. Plus trying to address how people feel is tough. Your feelings are neither right nor wrong, they just are.

Low crime rates do not make people feel safe. Community makes us feel safe.

So having said all this, how do we help everyone feel safe at the gathering?

One way we can do this is to treat others the way they would like to be treated -- not the way you would like to be treated.  Try finding gentler voices. Look out for each other in peaceful ways and make sure the people in your vicinity seem comfortable. We all have different levels of tolerance, sensitivity, and fear. Honor that.

If someone looks uncomfortable, they probably are. Introduce yourself. Smile at someone you do not know.  We all feel more comfortable when we are around friends. Share your gathering wisdom. Pay more attention to body language. Learn to pick up vibes from the people around you. If you sense that someone is afraid of a situation, help them to feel comfortable by either staying with them, removing both yourselves from the situation, or trying talking to the other person about their fears in a supportive way.  Just because the situation is comfortable for you, doesn't mean it's comfortable for everyone.

Honor our differences and our need to be treated accordingly. Help each other on this journey.

Please pay special attention to law enforcement officers. A scared cop is a dangerous cop (remember Wyoming 2008?). Turn down the volume on negative energy by oming instead of cussing when you do not like a situation.

Think about how you would like others to act around your three year-old child and your ninety year-old grandmother and act accordingly.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Harvest (Fall/Thanksgiving) Counsel (Council/Circle)

Updated 11/16/17 @ 11:30  a.m. PST

For information on what and why, read my post here.  The counsel/council/circle takes place over the four day Thanksgiving Weekend, which this year is November 23 - 26.

This evening, "11/05/2017" there was a conference call to discuss a location to have Harvest Counsel for the 2018 annual, & after a short discussion there was a consensus to have this year's Harvest Counsel near Clayton Georgia.

For all folks looking to fly in for counsel, Clayton Georgia, is a 2 1/2 drive from Atlanta, & a 3 hour drive from Asheville North Carolina.

Directions to Harvest Counsel site will be posted on the Atlanta light line 770~662~6112 a few days prior to counsel.

Counsel time will be... November 23rd ~26th.
Lovin y'all ­čî×

P.S. As you drive to counsel, please drive legal..

More information will be posted here as it becomes available. Or you can call the Atlantic Lightline 770-662-6112 - please no collect calls.

Harvest Council Flyer

Thursday, October 19, 2017

October 28 - Georgia Family Potluck and Counsel

For folks in and around Atlanta, there will be a get together for folks working towards creating positive energy in Georgia. Call the Atlanta Lightline for info 770-662-6112.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Love (Part 2 of 5 of "Creating Peace")

The rainbow family is full of love. We shout "we love you" to the sky, to other gathers, to the earth upon which we gently walk.  I have many friends whose children were conceived at the gathering.  We shower love as best we can on people who are unhappy about our presence in their neighborhood. We love all our siblings (brothers, sisters and transgenders), even the ones we do not like all that much.  We love the person who didn't pick up their dog shit, but we want to talk to them about it as well.

We even have a somewhat sarcastic phrase "loven you" to indicate our concern without being too mushy. With all these types of love floating around, how does love contribute to creating peace? Does the manner in which we love matter or does it matter more how we express our love?

In English we are limited as we have one word for love. The ancient Greeks had four separate words for love:
  • storge - kinship or familiarity
  • philia - friendship
  • eros - romantic and or sexual feelings
  • agape - self-emptying or divine love

Spanish has many words for love:
  • encantar - indicating strong like
  • gustar mucho - indicating strong like
  • querer - to love romantically, to want
  • afici├│n - enthusiasm
  • amado - sweetheart 
  • amor - pure love, romantic love
  • caridad - charity
Love is also an emotion. A very strong and powerful emotion.  How many of you have made decisions based on amar, agape, caridad, eros, and storage? I'm guessing everyone.

For the romantics among us, love is what creates beautiful art, amazing music, and sleepless nights.

For the biologists among us, love is a biological function like hunger or thirst that creates attachments between people, thereby insuring their survival in a dangerous and hostile world.

For the psychologists among us, love is not only a feeling, but a series of actions. 

Unconditional love is a common theme of most of the major belief systems and is one of the often unspoken foundations of participating in the phenomenon commonly called the Rainbow Gathering.

So what does all this have to do with creating a culture of peace?

Well besides being a slogan from the 1960s, using love as a way to create connections strengthens our interpersonal relationships. If we love someone with whom we disagree, we are highly motivated to find a solution that meets the needs of everyone.  If we have no personal attachment to other living beings, then we can more easily ignore their perspective and we often do not care about their  happiness.

Yet loving each of our siblings all the time is challenging. Some of our siblings act out, behave poorly, don't clean up after themselves, steal, fight, or are just downright mean. What then?

Then we muster our agape and our caridad and try to make that connection. We try to befriend our siblings. By finding a connection, we are creating a relationship. It may be storage it may be afici├│n, but if we can love another person in the worst situation, then maybe we can use that relationship to work towards peace.


But to be clear, loving someone does not mean you accept all their actions.


True love is being able to love your siblings while calling them on their bullshit (in a loving manner). 

True love is being able to communicate in a loving way why specific actions are hurting you, the planet, or other living creature.

True love is a meditative practice we undertake as we deal with the frustrations, interruptions, disappointments and annoyances that fill our lives.

 Let your mantra for this year's gathering be I love all my siblings and this beautiful planet we call home.

Love is the path towards peace.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

ALERT: Fees for group use on Forest Service Lands

Hi Family, 

Paying to gather on our public lands is rearing it's head again.

HR289 has passed the house on October 8, 2017 and is headed to the Senate.

Please contact your senators and ask them to oppose HR 289 that would charge a fee for "specialized individual and group use of Federal facilities and Federal recreational lands and waters, such as, but not limited to, use of special areas or areas where use is allocated, motorized recreational vehicle use, and group activities or events." 


No doubt, this would apply to Rainbow Gatherings. 

For more info, click here.

Thanks to our friends at the Western Slope No Fee Coalition for the alert.

Please contact your senators today and tell them no way!