THE TOPANGA BLUE FLAG DARÉ
First Sunday after the New Moon or New Moon
HEALING, COUNCIL, AND COMMUNITY
HOW DO WE SUSTAIN EACH OTHER?
HOW DO WE HEAL EACH OTHER?
WHAT ARE WE BEING CALLED TO GIVE?
WHAT ARE WE BEING CALLED TO DO?
HOW DO WE SERVE SPIRIT?
HOW DO WE LIVE THE DHARMA?
12 noon until 9 pm
hosted by Deena Metzger and Michael Ortiz Hill
and the Topanga Dare' Community
For Directions call Danelia Wild: 310-815-1060
Open to the Community
Please bring food and drink
PRINCIPLES OF DARÉ
Daré needs to be experienced and lived in order to be known. Still,
there are certain principles that are fundamental to it.
The strength and essence of Daré is in the circle and its intelligence.
Council is its heart. And in Council one always speaks from the heart
and allows the spirits and ancestors to speak through one. Wisdom comes
from the combined voices and presence of everyone who is participating.
The purpose of council is to seek answers from the community that we cant
find ourselves. Asking and addressing a single question coheres the community.
Daré begins by calling in the spirits. Everything depends on this.
The invocation allows spirit to inform the participants. It creates a
field of knowing and remembering. Daré also centers on telling
dreams and receiving dreams as gifts from the ancestors to the circle.
Council and dreams are channels between the world of the living and the
world of the invisibles.
Music is another essential element. For thousands of years it has been
the way that people have called spirit and that spirit has made itself
manifest. So, in the Daré in Los Angles as well as in Bulawayo,
the voice and the drum as well as other instruments are essential components
for invocation as well as healing.
Daré is for the sake of healing, but we dont presume to say
we know what healing is, how it occurs, or even how, always, to recognize
it. Sometimes one is the healer and sometimes one is desperate for healing.
Sometimes the two activities are one in the moment. Healing is, thus,
an interchange, the dynamic of giving and receiving.
This year, after September 11th, we began to devote the concern of the
Topanga Daré to peace-making. Again, we dont know how peace-making
proceeds, but we have determined to make it the center of Council. Sometimes
the questions are direct: "Describe moments in your life when you
have participated in or received the benefits of peace-making. What are
the principles that were at the core of this experience?" And sometimes
we address other questions in Daré, but always knowing that healing
and peace-making are the ground of everything we do.
Everyone is welcome and welcomed in Daré. Everyone is listened
to and heard without judgment. This generous mind is not easy to attain,
it takes time, practice and dedication. Welcoming, praising and blessing
are the core of it. Daré is the place where each persons
individual genius, intelligence and particularity is sought out, acknowledged
and called forth.
And finally, Daré is truly composed of all the members of the community,
living and non-living, visible and invisibles, the humans and the non-humans,
the people, trees, birds, animals, stones and elementals. When all the
beings gather, Daré comes to be.
These are some of the basic principles, but it isnt a checklist.
Daré emerges when people gather, some familiar, some strangers,
with the intention of manifesting in the moment a community in which such
principles are vibrant and alive. Each gathering, then, is different as
it responds to those who have come together, their joy and suffering,
and as it responds, of course, to the circumstances of the times. When
we leave each other, we are different because we have allowed ourselves
to be altered and because we are carrying Daré mind into all our
other relationships. But, all of this comes about because everyone who
comes is deeply committed to and engaged in the on-going process of exploring
how such a way of being might come to be.
THE INSPIRATION FOR THE BLUE FLAG DARÉ
Augustine Kandemwa, an indigenous Shona healer from Zimbabwe,
introduced Michael and Deena to the idea of the Daré or Council.
In Bulawayo, Zimbabwes second largest city, Augustine has re-imagined
a tribal form in an urban setting. Daré is a healing community
composed of all the members of the natural world where exchange is constant
and dynamic. Augustine believes that many diseases are caused by the
heaviness of the gods upon us. the healer acts on behalf of spirit,
calling people forth, opening the path between the individual and spirit,
removing the obstacles to the spiritual life. the ways of coming to spirit
are many and can be both arduous and beautiful. Song, prayer and ritual
are as essential to the healing process as are medicine, treatment, dream
interpretation, divination and service.
In the Shona and Ndebele traditions, the gods heal through
us. "I am Gods feet, I am Gods hands," Augustine
likes to say. The healers task is to create himself or herself into
the vessel that can carry the healing spirit. In any given moment, the
healing spirit passes through a room and anyone who has the capacity receives
it on behalf of the community. The extraordinary healer is the one who
is so devoted to the gods that he or she carries the gods all the time
for the sake of the community. But, ultimately, there is no great distinction
between the healer and the one who needs healing, Just as the beggar can
be the angel who calls forth our gifts and generosity, The one who is
ill calls forth the healing spirits in the healer as the healer invokes
them in the one who is ill. Through initiation one is both healed and
empowered to bring healing to the community. The members of the community
learn to heal each other; the one who receives is called forth to develop
the capacity to return the gift. As the healer must be sustained in order
to heal, the question the community poses to itself is: how can we sustain
Healing is not a profession; it is a way of life. Exchange
is not limited by money or ones ability and so the sacred and beautiful
are not commodified or commercialized. Such a Daré is based on
the idea of the gift as a sacred responsibility. We are given gifts. These
gifts are for the sake of the community. We add what we can to them. We
pass them on. Such is the way of the authentic and meaningful life.
Poetry and Art are not professions, they are sacred activities
and ways of life. The sacred and beautiful are not to be commodified or
commercialized. A creative community is based on the gift as a sacred
responsibility given to us for the sake of the community. We add what
we can to them. We pass them on. Such is the way of the authentic and
At this terrible beginning of the 21st century, it is
essential to re-imagine art, healing and community. These gatherings are
seeds for beginnings we cannot yet conceptualize. The task is to see how
we can each come forth To meet and ease each others suffering and
No rules, protocols, minutes, legislation, organization,
statements of purpose, tax deductions, agendas. But: meditation, Council,
medicine, hands on healing, conversation, shamanic work, curañderismo,
divination, ritual, cooking, reading, gardening, Prayer, poetry, dance,
song, art, listening, silence, healing ...
We will bring what we have to offer and we will form and
reform in the course of the day into what configurations develop. We will
call each other forth, receive from each other in the ways we can and
will offer to each other what we can. To receive what heals and to offer
what sustains, this is the goal.
" I owned a small shop on the main street. Baba,
the old healer, wanted to teach me secret songs and how to prepare medicines.
He said I was an ojha. I prayed to the goddess for direction. She
came upon me. "Close your shop and build a temple in this field.
Fly a red flag from the roof. You will become an ojha. Do not worry
about money or your familys needs. I closed my shop the next day
and everything has come to be. I could not sing before and now I have
a beautiful voice to heal with, a gift from the goddess!"
Pat Moffit Cook , Shaman, Jhankri and Nelė, Music
Healers of Indigenous Cultures.
The Beggars Prayer: The world I love
is in great need of healing and I am incapable of healing it. Please help
From Left to Right: Dzou, Augustine Kandemwa, Ambuya MaGumbo,
Michael Ortiz Hill, Deena Metzger
photo: Valerie Wolf
WHAT MAY OCCUR DURING Daré
very very tentative schedule
And what you should bring
12:00 to 1 pm
Gathering. Meditation. Individual work, particularly with
Deena and Michael including augury, divination, dream interpretation.
1 pm to 2:30 pm
Invocation of spirit music, drumming, chanting,
What is Daré review, if appropriate, of what occurred in the last
Daré and what we hope will occur this day. Teaching / Discussion
regarding principles of healing being explored and developed here. What
is created, transformed, when healing is returned to the community? What/who
requires healing? What are we being asked to carry today and what is being
offered? What grief, crisis, illness, conditions, situations are calling
to us to carry as a community.
3:30 pm to 5: 30 pm
Council. Council is a form of yielding to the plural perspectives
and wisdom of the circle. It is the basis from which Daré arises.
Addressing a question. Telling the stories that need to
5:30 pm to 6:00 pm
Healing Circles. Small circles for healing work, meditation,
understanding alternative ways to approach illness, grief circles, discussion
groups, special interest or professional circles, prayer and meditation
Small groups centering around an issue or a specific need led by members
of the Wed Healing Circle and Individual Work with Deena, Michael and
other healers present.
Walking in the hills, meditation, solitary prayer, communion, solitude
6: 00 pm to 8:00 pm/closing
Stories that Must be told.
Prayer and Healing circles
Discussion of Community Issues and Concerns
This is the time when we consider the issues that are arising for us individually
and as a community given the personal, national, environmental, political
and global crises arising from and in response to September 11th.
Dream Telling. Many of the dreams we have are also dreams for the community.
To contemplate them together can become one of the essential steps in
calling forth community.
As always considering time and appropriateness this may be the right time
to relate dream like events remarkable circumstances, visions, premonitions
or recognition of healing in ways to that pertain to the community, these
times and the transformation we are seeking together. It may also be the
time to raise questions regarding Daré, Healing, Creativity, Ritual,
Meditations. Prayers for healing. Closing.
After clean-up members of the community are invited to
stay for a brief discussion of what transpired during Daré. Our
intent is to de-mystify the process the process of healing and also to
provide some training or reflection upon the way of the healer.
What To Bring
Please bring or wear layered clothes. Temperatures can fluctuate during
the day and into the evening. If you plan to walk the land, please bring
appropriate closed-toed shoes. Daré meals are pot-luck. We need enough food
to get anywhere from 30 to 70 people through three meals. Please bring a
healthy dish to share, preferably with organic ingredients where possible.
We have re-usable china and flatware in the Daré kitchen. If you are
bringing take-out, please do NOT bring plastic spoons, forks, knives or
paper napkins frequently packaged/offered with the purchase.
Please do not
bring plastic water bottles.
Each month the plastic bottles exceed the recycling capability of the
household. Out of respect for the environment, please use a glass or cup
throughout the day and wash it when you are done. Or you can bring a
recycled bottle you can fill with filtered water in the house. Please take
such containers home with you at the end of the day.
Dare’ is a fragrance free zone, including perfumes,
fragranced personal care products and essential oils. Some of our Dare’
members suffer from chemical/fragrance sensitivities and/or respiratory
difficulties, including asthma. A little thoughtfulness on our part can help
insure they can participate fully in the day’s activities.
And PLEASE DRIVE SLOWLY up the roads, especially once you
turn off Topanga Canyon Boulevard. There are children and many animals along
the roadway. The slow speed also lessens the noise for the neighbors.
2013 DARE' DATES:
Jan. 13, 2013
July 14, 2013
Feb. 10, 2013
Aug. 11, 2013
March 17, 2013
Sept. 8, 2013
April 14, 2013
Oct. 6, 2013
May 12, 2013
Nov. 3, 2013
June 9, 2013
Dec. 8, 2013