We are Symbiotic // Symbiosis Gathering '16

I've been thinkin about the way our community is evolving, Symbiosis's theme of "Family Tree," and you know... they say we're all products of our environment...and well, the apple doesn't fall far from the *Family Tree*.

With so many of us immersed in this west coast festival circuit, developing a lifestyle that supports spending a significant portion of time in a surreal world with a social structure alternative to the masses, we've come to tear down so many of the walls that keep strangers from becoming friends. With the opportunity to immerse in these potent environments on a regular basis, learning together, living together, celebrating together, and building new ways of life together...we not only inevitably grow in strength and love, supporting each other through adaptation and acquisiton of new skills and facets of being, but become real f a m i l y.

There was a moment at Dirtwire sunset where it all hit me ~ the groove had infected us all into ecstatic movement and amidst the whirlwind I took a moment to breathe and look around and take it all in. As my eyes panned across the crowd around me, I saw an innumerable amount of friends I'd made at different times, in different cities all across the country dancing and laughing together... everywhere I looked. My mind tried to piece it all together amongst repetitive thoughts of "what, you guys know each other?!" a seemingly constant exclamation amongst those in this community...and I realized that damn, we are allll merging. No need to introduce, no need to tie strings, we're all passionately intertwining... inevitably as one. A big web of beings in a truly symbiotic relationship. None of us would be who we are today without each other. What an honor to have found this family (again). A friend wanders over and throws an arm around me. "What's in your heart?" he asks. I take a deep breath of the truth that's arising in my consciousness. A tear falls down my face as I stammer in deep gratitude "This tribe runs SO deep."

Meditation Mountain @ LiB

Meditation Mountain Nest is the nook at Lightning in a Bottle where you can venture to take a deep inhale and a slow exhale.  S l o w w w down the pace and connect, meditate, heal. Nature nests are built out of branches, wheat grass and pieces of the earth, making for safe and sacred spaces that enchant and put the spirit at ease.

This year, the Nest invited artists from around the world to share their gifts. I was lucky enough to accept the role of Stage Manager, through which I had the pleasure of receiving and taking care of these creative beings. Throughout the weekend, the trees swayed through sounds of singing bowls, guided meditations, massage instruction, animal sounds, and voices murmuring inspired reflections. 

At sunset, hundreds of glowing souls flock for the epic view, by which you can see across the whole festival. They let their voices call out like wolves as the sun tick-tocks behind the mountains in the distance, handing it over to the moon.  

One Lucid Family

Full Lucidity Recap with Photos on the Sights and Sounds 

Since its birth five years ago, Lucidity Festival has recognized and embraced the power of community, creating a remarkable container for its attendees to explore the meaning of self amongst a wider human (and non-human) family on this planet. Lucidity festivals follow a six year story of awakening, each year’s theme taking shape around a chapter of the story designed to symbolize the mythic journey we are on. This container encourages oneness with all beings, while nurturing the discovery of the unique soul purpose each individual was sent to Earth to live.

This year’s festival explored our place at “the Crossroads,” the place we currently stand as a planet and species, in between two worlds—on the cusp of change. Lucidity presented us with an invitation—an invitation to gaze upon where we are in all our beauty and bliss, chaos and destruction, and either accept our present fate, or generate the ideas, systems, and momentum to catalyze the shift we need to see in order to thrive on our rapidly declining planet.  

The community that showed up at the Crossroads from around the world showed up in their fullest, eager to learn, eager to teach, eager to play, express, love, grow, and paint a dream into lucid reality. The birth of Lucid University, a 3 day intensive workshop the weekdays before the festival, opened the floodgates for diverse ancient and modern wisdom to flow through, laying a foundation of strong and sacred intention for those joining over the weekend to walk upon. With a safe container of 20-30 engaged individuals per workshop, the Lucid University students opened up their minds and hearts to intimate learning and healing experiences. Individuals less likely to connect on the dance floor found themselves engaged with full presence and compassion in support of the shedding of each other’s inhibitions and the birth of each other’s dreams.

This entanglement of diverse yet deeply unified beings reveals the compelling distinction between the audience at transformational gatherings and other local music festivals. In a space like Lucidity, circles have the tendency to form more around soul expression than physical expression.

This essence is palpable the moment one steps foot on the grounds of their first transformational festival, as these smaller, more conscious, diverse and rounded gatherings generate a sense of harmony foreign to most other music festivals or events. At Lucidity, intention serves as the glue holding all the diverse elements of the gathering together. Under the collective intention of Unity, dancers, yogis, musicians, poets, entrepreneurs, builders, chefs, travelers—all beings alike—may find resonance. Amidst friends and strangers alike, small talk is often transcended, penetrated by a collective foundational understanding established amongst those who enter the realm. Individuals activate a sense of heightened awareness, and information finds ways to transfer through additional mediums other than words. The mind seemingly has no choice but to open and expand as a plethora of new ideas from all cultures and backgrounds pour in. Students become teachers and teachers students, as they engage in a cycle of ingesting, adopting and transferring ideas.

Though the festival flows around a schedule of selected artists and speakers, each being in attendance carries the respons-Ability to co-create the experience by bringing their unique gifts, expression, and teachings of their own. The festival both invites and encourages this, and the Lucid dreamers responded to that call. Upward came an emergence of the self reborn, blossoming into unique individual essence amongst a network of passionately supportive and connected beings. The Lucidity festival staff wove right into the collective, and artists danced on level ground with fans. The structure dissolved and abundance emerged, as each individual sought out alignment with their utmost contribution to the collective. Work became play as we all rose in our intention. The question was no longer “What can I do for me?” but “What can I do for us?” Boundaries evaporated as the frame of mind shifted from the unit to the whole.

In this emergence, a Lucid family was born. As we closed in ceremony on Sunday, we realized suddenly, that we were standing on the other side of the Crossroads. There we were in the New World, with our arms around each others’ backs, swaying in perfect harmony.