Albuquerque Journal
Published: 07-05-95
Edition: Final
Page: A1

Rainbow Family Circles In Silent Peace Meditation

Byline: Andrew Stiny For the Journal

TRES PIEDRAS -- The Rainbow Family gathering reached its peak Tuesday when many of the almost 17,000 people present participated in a silent meditation for world peace from sunup until noon, the Forest Service reported.

"A large circle had formed, people hand to hand to hand, up the hills and down in the valley around the teepee circle," Forest Service spokeswoman Mary Zabinski said Tuesday by phone from the area.

Steady drumming could be heard Tuesday, starting about 1 p.m., with "people dancing and drumming in the teepee circle big-time," Zabinski said.

The gathering has been taking place since Saturday along the San Antonio River basin in the Carson National Forest, northwest of Tres Piedras. The event, described by Family members as a communion with nature, meditation and celebration, ends Friday.

No serious incidents have been reported at the gathering, though Zabinski said one arrest was made at the camp Tuesday afternoon. She said she didn't know the reason for the arrest.

Some local residents have opposed the event, saying it will cause environmental damage. But Family members say they will rehabilitate the area when the event ends. The Forest Service has said federal court rulings allow such gatherings on public lands without a permit.

The Rainbow Family has held annual gatherings such as this one on various national forests since 1972. The gathering always takes place July 1-7.

The Rainbows say they don't restrict participation in the event, and although most appear to be under 30, there are a number of baby boomers plus some in their 60s and 70s.

Rainbows like to say that all you need to join a gathering is a belly button. There was no shortage of those in evidence during a recent visit to the site.

One man, without clothes, casually greeted a Forest Service employee as they encountered one another on a trail. Nearby, young men and topless women relaxed in a meadow as the beat of drums could be heard through the woods.

Rains and winds on the Fourth of July kept nudity to a minimum, Zabinski said.

People carrying conga-style drums, guitars and even violins hiked into the area, but music wasn't the only activity. Adults and children played games. There was "The Bubbleman," who billed himself as the "world's only one-man bubble festival."

Garry Golightly of San Diego, who handed out buttons that say "See You Lighter," sat on a hillside and waved a giant wand drenched with suds, creating streams of giant bubbles and attracting lots of children.

Golightly said he has been blowing bubbles for 10 years and just returned from a five-year tour of Russia, central Europe and Australia. He proudly displayed a photo album showing himself blowing bubbles at Red Square in Moscow and in London.

One of his stops was Chernobyl, site of a nuclear accident several years ago. "My goal was get to the children of Chernobyl, do bubbles for them, go wherever there is misery and bring joy," Golightly said. "More bubbles are very necessary."

Golightly has a "bubblosophy" about love that he said is part of a "course in miracles" he teaches through the bubbles.

"It's about changing belief systems and making this world a better, if not cleaner, place. I'm glad to be able to use the bubbles as a device to show people how not to fall in love but to rise in love," Golightly said.


PHOTO: Color

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