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Love-In-Action Taos Talks About “The Issues”


A Love-In-Action Taos Note From Rivera Sun

A Love-In-Action Taos Note From Rivera Sun

At the last Love-In-Action Taos Gathering on April 14, 2014, we enjoyed vegan cookies and a long discussion about “The Issues”. Prior to this gathering, we had decided to hold an open conversation to explore the interwoven problems that we perceive in our world. This built common ground of understanding, and I believe I was not alone in discovering some new perspectives on our situation.

What follows is a very abbreviated list of the subjects/topics we discussed over the two and a half hours. You will notice that discussing the problems stimulated the creativity for finding solutions. I think most – if not all – of us left the meeting inspired, full of thought, and interested in diving in deeper.

I arrived at the meeting with the long flier of events for the upcoming Global Climate Convergence in Taos. Looking at the flier, one of our members, Kimo, (knowing full well how I had pulled these events out of thin air, listed them on the website, and suddenly found the cup over-floweth with rich discussions, talks, and actions) began to ponder the notion of Love-In-Action hosting a series of educational events: theme camps at festivals, workshops, teach-ins, film screenings. I mentioned that Brian Heater, our fellow Love-In-Action Network founder in Salem, OR, had also had this idea. He had considered hosting a Love-In-Action theme camp at an activist gathering coming up this summer.

A taste of Taos. This is a grazing fence on the mesa by Rivera's house.

A taste of Taos. This is a grazing fence on the mesa by Rivera’s house.

Another concept that emerged was the notion of teaching ourselves about nonviolent action, the issues, the solutions, etc. I found myself very intrigued by what would happen if our Love-In-Action group dedicated the time for a weekend immersion. Each of us could present something we found interesting, and also learn from our fellow members.

As we progress, we’ll find out how our Love-In-Action group (and all the groups across the country) expresses its heart in action. The possibilities are endless. Our first action in Taos is to host a Potluck Picnic during the main Convergence Day of our Global Climate Convergence: fending people, spreading picnic blankets, and building community.

We look forward to hearing updates from other Love-In-Action members and groups. It’s easy to post a short note to this website, by the way. Just leave a comment and I (Rivera) will pick it up in a day or so. Thank you! We’re sending you all blessings.

Rivera, Love-In-Action Taos

Notes from our discussion on “The Issues”

No time for television. We are the news.
Know your history.
Find the messengers

Issues to explore more deeply:
Fox News as a propaganda machine: why does it work? How does it work?
Income inequality
Wealth controlling politics
Climate Change
Healthcare and Oil & Gas Industries as pillars of support for the controlling elite
Military Industrial Complex
Banning war profiteering
What would an exit strategy for the 1% look like?
How do we take back our culture?
Changing the narrative: How to get away from the GAG Me discussion (Guns, Abortion, Gay Marriage) and into the real issues?
Participatory Democracy
Changing the narrative: Why are economics the central value in civic decision-making?
The role of discourse in democracy
How to grow a movement?
What can we learn from Australia/Bhutan/Norway/Nation X?

Local issues (very partial list):
Water extraction for fossil fuel industry
Climate change impacts
Economic justice

Love-In-Action Ideas:
Love-In-Action theme camps at festivals or activism gatherings.
Weekend workshops
Free Skools
Live stream talks
Film Screenings
Report backs from members’ readings, studies, workshops and webinars
TV show screenings of the climate change series “Years of Living Dangerously” (note: 350.org is organizing these, we could easily get involved.)

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Taos Gathering Sings!

Greetings from Love-In-Action Taos! photo by Patricia Morningstar

Greetings from Love-In-Action Taos! photo by Patricia Morningstar

Dear Love-In-Action Network,

The Love-In-Action Network is a very humble and simple thing. We come together, we talk, we deepen through our gathering, and then we act together to help our world. There has been interest in this network from around the globe (Morocco, British Columbia, Mexico) and also many communities here in the United States. I want to encourage everyone to just do it! Start a local group. Invite your friends. Bake cookies. Talk.

Every Love-In-Action group develops from simple beginnings. Over time, they will have amazingly unique flavors. I want to share some reflections on our Taos, NM (USA) group. Hopefully, they will inspire you.

For our second Love-In-Action gathering, a young(er) woman and I asked to learn the old protest songs and spirituals. Little did we know the magic contained in these songs! At the risk of waxing poetic or sounding sentimental, I watched the room come alive through the songs. Pete Seeger believed that when we sing together, we have joined in spirit to sing. I felt that. I watched the “older” members of our group shine with the joy of sharing these songs. For me, asking to learn these songs was a way of honoring the generation of the 1960’s, and of tapping into what George Lakey calls “the accumulated revolutionary wisdom of the people”.

At this gathering, we also had a Christian and Muslim sitting next to each other, along with some Buddhist-Taoists (like myself) and other faiths, too. In these times of hate and war, I feel small moments of peace like this are worth mentioning and celebrating.

We spoke about our interests in Love-In-Action, our feelings of needing to find action in this time of great change, and our yearning for positive, constructive, and tangible efforts. One idea that caught the group’s interest was to pick up the litter that plagues our community, holding signs that say, “Please don’t litter” and “Love-In-Action Taos”. Many felt that a visible, humble, and practical contribution to our community was the perfect way to begin our efforts. We briefly explored the idea of how to use the litter picking up day as a meditation or an intentional focus of being Love in Action – which reminded me of Thich Nhat Hanh’s writings. Can we practice compassion while engaging in practical action? I think we can.

At the next gathering in two weeks, we will use the World Cafe discussion model to dive deeper into our ideas for group efforts on the local and larger problems we want work together to address.

Please do not be shy. Leave a reply and I will email you back. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for … and the time is now. Join us.

With love,
Rivera Sun

P.S. Find us all on Facebook, too! https://www.facebook.com/groups/685127711519818/


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