I went to two extremely different gatherings on the weekend. One was Mojo – The Dance of Connection and the other the Christmas gathering for Sunday Assembly, Melbourne.
I became seriously involved with Mojo when Jules, who facilitates asked me if I knew how to make chai for 50 people about three years ago and have been the crew chaistro ever since. I didn’t I had made two cups in my life, all hail Google. At Mojo we investigate connection through touch and connection. We have an intro session for about 30 minutes to introduce the concept of consensual touch, then move onto the forest, an experience where you close your eyes and allow this to occur for about 15 minutes. We then move into the Jam where we request you dance with a different human being each track. As Jules says, you may find that you get the most out of dancing with someone you least expect to.
I became entwined with Sunday Assembly when they did a conga line to I come from the Land Down Under and it was so much fun singing songs from my childhood, listening to a TED talk and contemplating life, that I have attended regularly since. Actually, I am on the organizing committee, surprise, surprise. We have had talked covering subjects from arranged marriages to transgender coming out.
So, how do you gather? Go to the Footy, hang out with your parents and siblings, attend your local church, gyrate at conscious dances: I have done all of these things over my lifetime so lets have a look what society says about the power of gathering with others:
1. What would it be like if all humanity realised that life was just one big love gathering?
2. Three primal things we gather for, music, food and sex: Havana.
3. Can’t understand why there is an image of Jesus in the top left-hand corner, but he could have said it, I suppose.
4. Gatherings are an excellent space to express your gratitude for others: Thank You.
5. Jona Lewie made the kitchen famous with his hit song from the 1980s.
6. And here it is: In the Kitchen at Parties.
7. Would make a very acceptable invite to a party.
8. Proposing that “real social change comes from the ageless process of people thinking together in conversation,” she describes her work as opposing “highly controlled mechanistic systems that only create robotic behaviours.”: Equal Rights.
9. Gathering your precious each day also helps.
10. I just really like this quote, for no other reason: Ocean of Sounds.
11. This is extremely powerful.
12. I assume Rumi is talking about the human race in this stanza: Gamble Everything For Love.
13. From junk food to high tea, on all levels possible.
14. Just so I could choose this song from my teenage years: The Devil Went Down to Georgia.
15. For the final lesson, Jane comments on a form of gathering that exists in every culture on earth.
If you can’t always gather, here are 21 Quick Tricks to Feel Better Instantly from my friends Marc and Angel Chernoff:
1. Wash your hands and face, and brush your teeth.
2. Change your socks for refreshment.
3. Call a close friend.
5. Go outdoors.
6. Take a light exercise break.
7. Dress to Feel Your Best.
8. Listen to your favourite music.
9. Watch and read something that inspires you.
10. Have a good laugh.
11. Take a few really deep, controlled breaths.
12. Clear your stuffed nose.
13. Cook a tasty meal.
14. Walk away from energy vampires.
15. Complete an important piece of unfinished business.
16. Work on something that’s meaningful to you.
17. Assist someone in need.
18. Think about your latest (or greatest) success.
19. Act like today is already an awesome day.
20. Notice what’s right.
21. Take a moment to acknowledge how far you’ve come.
From gatherings to a quick conversation with someone you care about is just what you need to boost your mood.
Today’s playlist begins with some Latin beats from Camilo Cabella. A beautiful song of gratitude from Dido follows then the anthem to kitchens from Jona Lewie. We visit Jamacia next with Peter Tosh, then possibly the most eclectic track I have ever chosen from John Cage. A fine boppy number from Ben Lee sees us complete with a number from my teenage years from The Charlie Daniels Band: How About a Coffee, Drinks, Dinner and a Movie?
So this is why I feel the art of gathering is so important for my why: my ethos in Life, Love and Respect for All, Everybody Included to spread across the planet. Until we meet again, my dear friends.