In June 2009, a group of people came together for a Gathering, an experience which was so profound that we are continuing to organize them across the country. We're excited to announce the next Gathering in Mentone, Alabama, the weekend of October 16-18.
The focus of the October Gathering will be on conversation...conscious conversation...as we engage in sharing our life philosophies, asking questions of and learning from others, and collectively discussing our visions--all with the frame of mind imbued by the Community Agreement we make as a group in our Opening Circle. We'll discuss, both in smaller groups and as a whole, how to best express our vision and truth, and return to our outer world with new skills and tools with which to make an effective difference.
"I LOVE all of you! What a wonderful weekend filled with love, joy, and a true desire to communicate with each other in a peaceful way! I knew that the weekend would be transformational, but I didn't realize how much until I was there! That weekend, and the kindred spirits I met there, changed my life ! I will never forget it..." -Natalie, Lousiana
The Gathering is an opportunity for people to connect on a genuine, loving, conscious, spirit-filled level, as we spend the weekend in nature, free from distractions, and surrounded by loving souls. It provides an opportunity for experience on a level of consciousness some have never experienced in a group, as well as the space for people to express themselves freely from that level of awareness. Participants carry home with them a new perspective, borne from actual experience, into their lives. They've experienced what it is to live with conscious awareness being their main priority in life.
"The Gathering became so much more than I ever dreamed it could be. Each and every one of you brought something so unique to the weekend and we all went away with something very special. I love you all and hope we get to meet face to face, heart to heart again someday." -Sue, Tennessee
The Gathering will be held at Heartwood Sanctuary in the small town of Mentone in northeast Alabama, atop Lookout Mountain. Participants will tent camp in groups of ten, with each group having its own space amongst the trees of Heartwood's 32 acres of private wooded land. We'll gather for group conversations and meals in the open field, where we'll also enjoy bonfires and drumming circles each evening. Everyone will have free access to Heartwood's forest trails and labyrinth.
Delicious and nutritious vegetarian meals and snacks will be prepared by local chef Magnolia Rose (Friday's evening's dinner will be prepared on the fire by the groups at each campsite.)
Speaker, writer, and personal coach Steve Maraboli will join us and will share his unique brand of wisdom and insight, through his own engaging style of delivery. Steve is the host of the Empowered Living radio show, the most listened-to internet radio station in the U.S. He is also founder of the A Better Today Community, a world-wide community of individuals dedicated to making a change...one day at a time.
The all-inclusive cost for the weekend is $150.
Participants agree to hold the intention of the weekend being one of peace, communication, bonding, sharing, visioning and community building.
There was this moment on the Sunday morning of our first Gathering in June. I was walking in between our camp site and the field. I heard a friend playing his flute somewhere out in the woods. I could hear my fellow campers in the site next to mine. I could hear soft laughter coming from the field area. It was so quiet, and at the same time so full of life. It was a moment of possibility and at the same time one of the most peaceful moments I can remember.
I have thought of it several times since then, that moment. It is for me, another one of those paradoxical things in this life. I feel compelled to remember it. I feel it is important to not forget. I also know I can not attach to it, be busy with trying to re-create it.
The more complete understanding and integration of that moment, like all others, is to recognize the creative possibilities in it.
And so, with an ironic smile in our hearts, we are doing just that, by announcing The Gathering of October 16-18.
It is our hope that we all can step in to a new moment with one another. The desire Kelly, Joshua, Magnolia and I have is that we can move forward together with this still fresh awareness of one another, into the next season of autumn. We feel we can build upon that experience in June, take those creative possibilities from those shared moments and, with you all, extend the edges of what we have all thought was possible.
One goes where one is led. Each of us is here to do what we are here to do. As we were led to be together in the summer, we know others will be led to enjoy this time in October with us. It is a process, constantly redefining itself. It should be one we all honor in one another, because in this process we serve one another in infinite ways.
Does that make sense? I mean, can you feel what that may imply about how we might be able to live? If we are open and without fear about anything people hold fears about, can you imagine what a liberating experience that would be? Can you imagine what that would be like, to live in a community where you would know, with certainty, that all of the people around you were coming from their hearts and understandings, as you are?
These are the questions we would like to explore with you.
On a glorious Fall weekend in northeast Alabama, a unique group of people will gather together...
We will see you then.
To be gentle with the land, we suggest that two people sleep in one tent. You may select your tentmate prior to the event. If you have no preference or are coming to Heartwood on your own, we will trust synchroncity in pairing people together, knowing that some blend of magic will come from the pairing. If you prefer to not have a tent-mate, we welcome that preference. Each campsite has easy access to an outdoor covered outhouse with a composting toilet. Hot showers are available (they are outdoors, but private).
What you should bring...
Tent and sleeping bag
Clothing for living outdoors
Comfortable shoes for walking in the woods
Sunscreen / Insect repellent
Drums/ Musical instruments
Journal / Sketch pad
Raincoat / Poncho
Sunhat / Sunglasses
If you don't have a tent, let us know and we'll pair you with someone who does. We will provide you with a plate, cup, cloth napkin and utensils that you may use throughout the weekend, as well as cooking utensils for meals.
Questions? Email us @ firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be in touch!