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.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

On Individuality and Community

The gathering functions as a temporary community where we practice creating the world the way we want it to exist. Not only are we creating a temporary community, but we are also creating hundreds of communities within a community.


The gathering itself is a temporary community with not exactly rules, but guidelines on how to gather and create the peace we want to see on this planet. In gathering speak--these guidelines are called the “Raps.” I strongly recommend you read the raps, which you can find here  as well as the Mini Manual of Gathering Consciousness. Or read Paul's a rainbow guide.

At the gathering, we have hundreds of individual camps (some small, some large) that might have their own special community standards. For example, Serenity Ridge is a camp for people in recovery so they request no smoking of any kind and no-mind altering substances of any kind (including caffeine). Tea Time is up and noisy all night long, while Kid Village tries to maintain quiet during the night, but come sunrise the kids are up and rambunctious. Some camps create drum free zones while other camps celebrate drumming and drum culture (sometimes 24/7). If you like quiet at 2 AM, camping at Dundun Village will lead to unhappiness and potential conflicts. Depending on the gathering, our sites can encompass two square miles so there’s plenty of room to spread out.

When we come to the gathering, each of us comes as an individual with our own personality, life style, hopes, and dreams. The beauty of the gathering is that you are free to be who you truly are and express your beautiful unique being in costume, face paint, sleeping habitats, musical tastes, etc. . We have individuals that come home and promote teeth brushing, veganism, free hugs, and naked peace signs --to name just a few of my beloved characters. The variations on this theme are endless and the amazing diversity of opinions and unique expressions of these opinions is what makes the gathering amazing, insane and creatively vibrant.

We are an opinionated family with many strong willed personalities. We welcome every peaceful person with a belly button to come home (and offer exemptions to those who are missing belly buttons due to freak accidents). We welcome republicans, occupiers, democrats, libertarians, greens, hippies, punks, beats, tea partiers, christians, jews, muslims, hindus, burners, pagans, voodoo priestesses, rednecks, cowgirls/boys, peace workers, middle-of-the-roaders, poor/rich/middle class, doctors, lawyer and indian chiefs. We even welcome wanna be-ers.

As you can imagine, a delicate balance exists between all these diverse individuals and creating temporary community. As a long time gatherer (or one of the earlies) once told me, we work on the basis of “peaceful respect.” Peaceful respect means that we offer respect to every belly at our gathering including cops, lawyers and dirty kids. We don’t always have to agree with each other, but when we disagree, using respectful modes of communication helps us work towards peace.

~ ~ Peace is the path on which we are traveling ~ ~

Some people at the gathering focus almost exclusively on their individual rights to do whatever the FX^& they want. Other people focus strictly on community. In my mind, the beauty of the gathering is the heartfelt attempt to find a modern way to live in community while still celebrating our individuality. Hundreds of years ago (and in some place on this planet today), the community mores ruled with an iron fist and if you didn’t fit it, you were kicked out, persecuted or worse.

In my lifetime, I have witnessed the pendulum swing to the side of individuality over community (at least in the USA). The gathering can be seen as an attempt to find a balance between the two all the while holding them both in tension with each other.


IMHO, the gathering works bests when we respect both the needs of the community and the needs of the individuals who make up this community (including every person in the area in which we gather). Gathering works best when we talk softly, sit in a circle, and speak from our hearts. Gathering works best when we all realize that creating community means something different to each individual. Gathering works best when we let our individual trip support the community and the community supports our individual trip. Gathering works best when we approach it with an open heart and each of us try to be the most peaceful, loving, helpful individuals we are capable. Gathering is a journey of the soul and a practice of the heart. I invite the world to join this journey.

2 comments:

  1. Tiger SwallowtailMarch 7, 2017 at 2:42 AM

    When and where will a post let people know the exact location of The Gathering. Is there a car-pooling site?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Used to be Stars Ride share was a thing, I haven't used it in years. As to the location, I would love to see a repeat of Montana and use the site we had in 1997, http://www.welcomehome.org/rainbow/sites/or97/or97.html

      Time will tell but unless you are scouting or doing Spring Circle (hint hint) you won't know until early June.

      Delete

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