Where will the gathering be?

We will gather peacefully for silent meditation the morning of July 4th, 2017 from dawn until noon; and a peaceful assembly of free speech and expression from July 1st through the end of Vision Counsel; in the state of Oregon. For directions, click here.

To find out how to get into the gathering without getting a mandatory court appearance ticket, click here and check out the right side-bar. To reach a human being, email Karin.

Monday, August 29, 2016

It's an Experiment Folks

The social media world is full of criticisms of the gathering, arguments over who shoulda, woulda, coulda. There are people who think the gathering is full of criminals because they hear a rumor about something that happened, there are people who don't understand why we don't always walk our talk. Did I mention internet rumors? 

I hear rumors about all sorts of things that never happened - and sometimes about things that maybe happened but have been blown out of proportion on-line. Have you ever heard of the Telephone Game? If you are not familiar with living in a non-hierarchical, direct-democracy community with no one in charge, the entire situation can be very scary.

You may be wondering what is this experiment and who is involved.

The way I see it, the gathering is an experiment in creating temporary community. The values we talk center on creating a peace focused egalitarian community that intends to create a safe and peaceful gathering and a safe and peaceful world. The values we talk include deep care and respect for mother earth and the land upon which we gather.  This means that everyone contributes according to their ability and their desire. We provide free food, free medical care, and if you came without a tent or sleeping bag, sometimes folks have extra to share.

Does everyone come with this intention?  Of course not.  This is not a perfect world in which we live, nor is everyone who attends the gathering perfect. Although even the roughest, meanest folks who come home, are probably searching for something better then the culture in which they normally live. Does that mean that when we come home we are instantly transformed into kind loving people?  Of course not.

So what's the truth?  I can't speak for the truth as there is no "one" truth. Different people come home with different baggage and needs. We try to address issues like poor behavior,  unequal access, differential abilities, and capacity to contribute from a place of love and compassion. Does that mean that every problem is met with love and compassion?  Of course not. Does that mean that every situation is met with actions that you personally feel are appropriate?  Of course not.

What it means is that the majority of individuals at the gathering are trying to help others from a perspective they feel is loving and caring.  It might not be your perspective of love and care, but it is someone's perspective.

Can we do better?  Of course we can.  The more we teach and learn from each other, the better we get at this experiment.  The more we remember to engage from a place of compassion, the more loving our actions become.  Sometimes we focus on harm reduction -- preventing an individual from hurting her/himself or others. Sometimes we focus on triage. Sometimes we spend hours or days trying to diffuse a situation and nothing seems to change. Sometimes the relationship between cause and effect is not clear. The person you spent days trying to help may not change their behavior today or tomorrow. Maybe the change happens in six days or six months.  I've seen plenty of situations with  lots of kind loving energy put into them fall apart without any obvious effect. Then days later, the behavior problem suddenly resolves itself and the problem behavior has been transformed into wood chopping.

This is a love based endeavor. Sometimes love is keeping a two year old from putting a dangerous object in her/his mouth. Sometimes love is being strict with acceptable behavior. Sometimes love is taking care of someone when they are down.  Sometimes love is food.

If you don't like to learn and grow as a human being, then this probably isn't the place for you. Every gathering I go to I learn more about how to be a loving and compassionate person while still creating peace and having boundaries. I am student of the gathering and the gathering is a tough teacher -- sometimes the lessons you learn are ones you have been trying to avoid. If you are looking for something that is already perfect, then this probably isn't the place for you.  However, just cause this isn't the place for you, doesn't mean it's a bad place.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Focusing Intentions - Potluck Circle September 3 in Eugene

A circle will take place on September 3, 5-9 PM in Eugene for focusing our intents on the 2017 Rainbow Family of Living Life Annual Gathering in Oregon. Please bring your visions, a dish to share, and your blissware. Further details and location will be decided upon, and announced, on a North West Rainbow Light Line August 30. 503-727-2498

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Scouting 101

As with all things Rainbow, no experience is necessary to participate and new blood is always needed.

Fall is the perfect time to go check out those spots in the consented to areas and see what they look like on the ground. It's hard to find sites for the Annual Gathering and it's important we use our collective wisdom in site selection.  If you Facebook and want to get plugged into technical discussions on using on-line mapping tools or ask other people who have scouted if a particular site has been looked at, email me and I'll get you plugged into the FB page for scouting discussions.

If you've never been scouting, here's my short list of how to scout (based on the collective wisdom that has been shared with me and my own hands on experience).  We generally gather on lands managed by the United States Forest Service (USFS) but some areas of the country do have good land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

We don't gather in federally designated wilderness areas, national park, or national monuments as these areas are not compatible with our needs due to one of the following reasons:  no cars, focus on protecting wild life and land, need to preserve sensitive ecosystems, and entrance fees to name but a few. If you are looking at state or county owned land, then you will also have to research regulations,  laws, and permit requirements regarding gatherings on these lands.

Here's are the basic steps:

Step 1) Pick a gathering or gatherings that you personally attended.

Step 2) Find those gathering sites on a topo map. I was taught to use 7 minute maps. Many university libraries have good collections of topo maps. Or visit topo zone maps online. There are many on-line mapping tools these days so feel free to use what works best for you.

Step 3) Once you find the topo map, correlate the parking lots, kitchens, main circle, and various camps you remember with spots on the topo map so that in your head you can see a gathering on a map.

Step 4) Pick a national forest or area under BLM management that you feel would be appropriate for a gathering - if you're planning on scouting for the annual gathering in 2017, we're looking in the

public lands of the in the state of Oregon.

Step 5) Look at the topo maps for that area. Try to find a site that has the qualities you liked about the previous gatherings you've attended. Some of my personal favorite features are a good hike in at least 1 mile, closer to 2 if it's an easy hike because I feel that the harder it is to get into a site, the more committed people are to staying and creating gathering reality. For a large gathering, having a main meadow and a couple of separate smaller meadows is a good thing, water is of course necessary. Places to hike away from the main part of the gathering for people wanting to get away. Two roads in and out to the gathering site (Front Gate/Back Gate). No roads into the gathering site proper or the cops will drive into the heart of our gathering. Places to park cars where the plants can handle it. A spot of Handicamp.

Step 6) Make sure the site is far away from civilization to minimize gatherer/non-gatherer conflicts and frequent runs into town.

Step 7) Go out and walk the site and see if it has what the maps showed and the above mentioned features, if it's workable and if it has the magic. In my experience, if you have done you're homework on five sites, maybe one is workable as there are always issues that don't reveal themselves until you are on the land.

Step 8) If you found a site in Step 7, research environmentally sensitive habitat in the area, endangered species, private property and water rights. Check for ranchers who may have permits for grazing during the gathering. If nothing turns up, we may have a winner. You'll want to share all your info to discuss further with more experienced scouts. If you don't know how to plug into that effort, reach out to me and I'll plug you in.

Thanks to all my family who are spending time and money scouting for this gathering! We Love You!
I Love Us!

Planning for Fall/T-Council/Counsel/Circle

Hi all,

If you want to help focalize the planning council/counsel/circle that happens over the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend, there will be a call on Sunday at 6 PM Oregon time.

There will be a conference call this sunday (8/7) to discuss planning for the fall counsel. Call begins 6PM pacific time 9PM Eastern
The phone # is 641-715-0700
Access code 185117