Whole Being Weekend Celebrates 35th Year
Gathering in the Mountains Celebrates Community
By Mel Lions



A small group of committed people will come together for the 35th year at the Whole Being Weekend, being held September 9-11 at Buckhorn Camp in scenic Idyllwild. The Weekend, which began in Julian in 1971, is a grass-roots gathering that celebrates our community and endeavors to touch the divine spark in everyone attending.

“What makes The Whole Being Weekend unique,” says Robert DeSaulniers, “steward” of the event for the past six years, “is the active participation of the 500 to 700 people who attend. With everybody chipping in — some a little, some a lot — we are able to create an atmosphere of community, connection and participation, truly making this event belong to everyone in attendance.”

Organized under the auspices of The San Diego Center for the Moving arts, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, the Weekend’s purpose is not to generate revenue, but rather to create an affordable chance for people to get away for a time of unity, celebration and connection. The strong community spirit is what keeps the cost so low for a full weekend of events, music, healthy vegetarian food, healing, workshops, and connection with nature and each other.

As it should be for any celebration, music and dancing are a key part of the transformational weekend. Entertainers this year include Karl and Jeanne Anthony, Crystal Vibrations and Tribal Percussion. Internationally-acclaimed African drummer, Paulo Mattiolo, will be leading the traditional drum circle on Saturday afternoon, with Karl and Jeanne Anthony performing at 8pm that evening.
One of the things making The Whole Being Weekend unique is the abundance of workshops offered by members of the community free of charge. Sessions offered in past years include Feng Shui, Compassionate Communication, A Course in Miracles, Past-Life Regression, Tantra, Sufi Dance, Rebirthing, Drumming, Contact Dance Improvisation, Tai Chi, Yoga, Meditations, Channeling, Herb Walk, Psychic Healing, Discovering Your Life Purpose, Transpersonal Hypnotherapy and Massage.

If you want to volunteer to teach a class, give a workshop or have something to share with your community, all you need to do is register and attend the Weekend. If you pre-register by August 25, just include your one- line description along with contact information. For maximum exposure please submit this information as soon as possible to ensure that your name and information are printed in our materials.

For Whole Being Weekend, says Robert, it is the people who participate, and who volunteer year after year, that make the difference. Several, like Sparrow, who creates Native beadwork, and Randall Marks, San Diego County Quality Assurance Specialist with the Department of Drug and Alcohol Services, have played key roles for years.

“A big part of what makes the weekend so meaningful,” says Sparrow, who handles pre-registration, “is we’re all on an even keel here. It doesn’t matter what our gender is, or our age or education — we’re all standing on the same Earth. There’s such a feeling of connection and reunion that just lasts even when the weekend is over.”

Sparrow’s daughters, 14 and 16, have become enthusiastic participants at Whole Being Weekend. “They both feel the open-heartedness the minute they get there,” says Sparrow. “They’re not afraid to show their emotions, even to each other, which is a BIG thing in my home! They see that when you lose the judgment, you don’t have to be afraid to express yourself. People just aren’t judging — and it makes such a difference.”

Randall Marks, who coordinates the on-site registration for all arriving participants, agrees. Randall first attended Whole Being Weekend in 1995. He volunteered to help out in the kitchen, and ended up meeting people who are still close friends today.

“A huge part of the experience is volunteering and being part of the team. There you are, surrounded by people of like spirit, and it becomes a life-changing event,” Randall says. “There’s a lot of eye contact, which you don’t usually experience in everyday life, and that eye contact leads to a heart connection.”

“Every time you go, that wonderful Whole Being feeling — walking three feet off the ground — seems to last longer and longer even after you’re back in the real world,” says Randall. “After attending for several years, that feeling of being so spiritually connected just becomes who you are.”

Between July 1 and August 25, 2005, early rates are $89 (same as the last two years). Walk-up registration at the event will now be $109. To pre-register, please visit  www.thewholebeingweekend.com. There you’ll find all the information that you need and a registration form to submit. If you register online, you can pay with a credit card using PayPal.

Your registration fee includes five vegetarian meals, camping or cabin space, workshops and admission to all events. This year we’ll be getting together for a mid-summer teaser party, Saturday, July 23, starting at 4pm and lasting until Sunday morning. This will be held at Bealer Creek, in Poway (see our website for directions).

The teaser is free, if you’ve pre-registered or you register at the party. If you haven’t already registered for the weekend, this will be your last chance to do so at our best rate: $79 for the weekend. Of course, love donations are always accepted to help defray costs. We’ll have a yummy vegetarian feast (5-7pm), a heartwarming puja, live music and a DanceJam. And if you’ve partied too hard, there’s limited room for overnight camping. As with all Whole Being events, please leave pets and alcohol at home.

Robert urges people who desire to experience the magic of Whole Being to register as soon as possible. This helps them organize the ordering of food and supplies, an important aspect of keeping the price down, reducing waste and making sure that there is plenty of food to go around. As always, people are needed to assist with parking, registration, meal preparation and clean-up.

For additional information, restrictions and scholarship opportunities, please log onto www.thewholebeingweekend.com, call (619) 297-3846, or e-mail wbwsparrow@yahoo.com

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