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.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Teaching Our Strengths

In my humble opinion, the gathering is good at many things, but what we are best at is creating communities made up of diverse people.  One of my fondest memories is of the Utah gathering in 2003. Just across the dirt road from INFO and CALM was a small meadow that held three small camps sharing one bliss pit:  Krishna Camp, Jesus Camp, and a punk/anarchist camp.

Evenings when I stopped by the bliss pit, people were discussing and sharing ideas, perspectives, and yes sometimes arguing a bit.  Communication and community were being created. When we gather in rural towns, many gatherers connect with many of the locals in sometimes strange but usually positive ways. Many locals plug into the gathering and give deeply despite disagreeing with some of our behaviors.


On the surface, I feel this is what our entire country needs to do. Have those conversations around a bliss pit or coffee table, online, or via the phone. Talk about what we can agree on. Encourage those who do not want a dictator-in-chief to unite and stand up for quality education for our children, health care for those in need, social justice for all, aggressively address climate change, care for our seniors and special needs family, love and protect our water, air, trees, small creatures, owls, bears, wolves, moose, bees, etc. etc.  We can do this if we realize that "we" are the change that is needed.


Take the time to listen to people, especially people who perhaps are socially more conservative than you are and see where you might make a personal connection.

Some people want a return to a more faith based world, but many of us have beliefs that are less than traditional and equally important but are coming from a faith in something, be it Gaia, Buddha, Krishna, or Ifa. So let's share our beliefs.

Many of us are full of love for the world.  Let us take this blissed out, hippy love into the small towns and cities, and infect everyone.  Let's build relationships with those we do not know and find areas of commonality. Let's hug and love everyone. We do it at the gathering and it works magic. Let's take this to every street in the USA and show the world how we create peace through love, compassion, and amazing food.

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