September 16, 2009

Burning Man: an encounter with the self: The 4th dimension : Time + Energy= ART

Burning Man: an encounter with the self: The 4th dimension : Time + Energy= ART


It is all about the people. Burning Man Festival happens in the desert every year; within unbelievable time, a city raises. Each moon brings a new light and the Sun keeps energizing those inspired. Sustainable systems are integrated into the environment to accommodate our pleasures and love for life. Healing, bonding, music, dancing, partying, running, walking, bicycling, working, learning, bliss, peace, painting, children, love, knowledge…Art; all happens in the same City, 24 hours around the Sun.  Many ways to connect seem to give alternatives of communication and support for that which is giving and joyful. Burning Man is definitely an encounter with the self…through time; a conscious choice made to observe in perspective, under challenging conditions, what brings you back to the creative power of the OM.


OM* does not mean anything, this vibration powerful sound creates everything and all. Sages and yogis in time and in practice agree that the whole Universe sounds OM ~ AUM ~ OM ~ OM ~ OM ~ OM ~ OM ~ OM ~ OM ~ OM; in rhythm and frequency in tone, and it is a beautiful sound.


In Burning Man environment is the first awakening force. You might be lucky enough to catch a Sand Storm the first day you arrive and have the early opportunity to define who you are under such conditions and how you embrace nature. Liking the self, or feeling comfortable in your own skin, like the Native American Indians advice, becomes the center of your focus, that is if you are not completely distracted with the excess of human stimuli.


It is fair to say than when people deals with time, space becomes essential. An important part to understand the desert is feeling comfortable and relaxed at all moments, being present, each moment by moment, breath by breath, thought by thought, bite by bite, person by person. An essential quality to space in BM would be a vibration so high and light, it is easy to be around you. You want to feel happy, free and joyful and be good company to the people around you. It becomes as clear as truth that we are stronger when in love. It is the love you feel for your fellow burner what fills your heart with inspiration and compassion, one of the most complete vibrations at the atomic level of the body.


Light at night is the story of the people. Some look at a blink of neon to warm up in the cold nights and some enjoy the light of the moon, energizing us with cosmic light. The stars in the heaven are as vast and perfect that your reflection on them turns into a walk in silence that invites you to breath and to be thankful; To enjoy and bless the Earth, to hold your hands together and to vow to the life within, in a constant prayer for the divine.


People are mirrors to each other and if you are wise enough to travel there with good friends you will forever be grateful for it. Burning Man, it is about the people. Burning Man becomes a world in each person, and each person has the power of the OM….from there all is evolution.


This is what I learned: When it is about the people, we are the stronger when in love…oh, and as I look in the mirrors all around me, it was wonderful to discover I love who I AM.


Burning Man as everything else means different things to different people. Next you can read what others experience was besides mine, which İ invite you to do.


“Burning Man helped me realize and experience an unprecedented level of freedom.  When nearly 50,000 people come together and let down their guards, tear down mental barriers, refrain from judgments, drop their insecurities, while at the same time giving love and support to one another; everything seems possible.  As long as I paid attention to my body’s needs, magnified by the extreme conditions of the Nevada desert, I was able to maintain an open state of mind like I’ve never known.  It was clear to me that Burning Man is a window to a better human experience.  Love and genuine support flowed from one person to the next.  I sure felt the love, and am happier for it. Thanks for an opportunity to reflect some more.  Seems like that’s all I’ve been doing since we returned.  I’m so grateful for the experience.  And…………..I am so grateful for you!!!!  Much, much love,






“Fellow travelers,


This place is everything they say about it; as good and as bad as it can be. The community starts with the artists and the builders and the managers who have all been here for months. What they have prepared is a physical blueprint of the shape of the city in the dust of the flat dry lakebed. Everything is then completed by the increasing numbers of citizens who pour in over the months proceeding the official eight days of the actual festival and perform every required task as a volunteer labor force.


Over used hyperbole drifts on the wind like the white clay dust that is ever present.  Amazing, unbelievable, awe inspiring, the overused and usually misused awesome, spectacular, brutal, desiccated, devastating, on and on. All of them apply to this temporary human occupation of a decidedly permanent inhuman landscape.  I needed a couple of days to recuperate from the 22 hour drive which we accomplished in caravan with rotating shifts of drivers in each of the three vehicles we brought along. I don’t sleep well, if at all, in a moving vehicle and so I spent most of that time at the  wheel. It was more than a little bit insane.


Luckily we had a couple of well prepared veterans of previous “burns” who directed the set up of our camp with the aplomb of Tibetan gurkhas who had taken care of many a first timer, known on the playa as “virgins”.  Protection from the wind and incessant blowing dust being the paramount concern we quickly developed a courtyard camp with a center common area that proved to be relatively protected.  There was, however, no escaping the white powder that soon covered every inch of anything exposed.  Human skin seemed to take the brunt of the onslaught since the lakebed has an extremely high alkaline composition that leaves you feeling like you just sandpapered  the most delicate parts of your anatomy.


Playa in Spanish means beach so assuming this used to be an inland sea I guess the name is appropriate and as you explore the playa you begin to notice the contribution to this teeming metropolis by the dedicated, or more accurately, obsessive artists, designers, builders etc. They have erected structures and sculptures and streets and common areas that any city would be proud to claim.  All built within a  clocklike layout that makes it practically impossible to get lost. Which given the altered states of consciousness that most of the denizens of Black Rock City spend their time in, the ability to read a clock means you can probably find your way home within a minimum of assistance regardless of which time zone or dimension you happen to find yourself.


Personally I spent as much of my time peering through the looking glass from the other side as I possibly could.  This gave the whole experience both a profound vision quest kind of feeling and a profoundly hilarious Mad Hatter tea party groove.  I was looking for both and I found them both with no difficulty whatsoever.  I spent the first couple of days close to camp so that I could become acclimated to the extreme lack of humidity, the heat, the dust and the wind.  All available in abundance.  This also gave me a chance to get to know my traveling companions a little better.  In some cases maybe a little too much as I spent my first afternoon tripping and nursing several who didn’t quite get their doses right and missed most of that day trying to recover.  I didn’t mind in the least since I needed to get my sea legs myself and over the years have learned how to keep my buzz while helping somebody whose buzz is not so pleasant.  Music, humor and water all have great healing powers and should always be applied liberally at times like these.


Telling someone to “have a great burn” has much more meaning on the playa then any of the usual cliches we dismiss people with during our normal workaday sleepwalking existences.  During those times we really don’t care “how someone is” or whether or not they “have a nice day”.  Just something to say to get them to continue on and leave us alone.  It usually works too.  Out here though it has a myriad of meanings but mostly it means “I see you, I feel you, I care for you, and I will help you if you need it”.  It’s like a mantra and it works. The majority of burners are truly there to experience the burn of everyone else here.  Truly a rewarding experience if you have never been part of  a family of 40 to 50 thousand people.


The art of Burning Man permeates the city. It is everywhere and you would have to be a member of the walking dead or just have a dead member not to be affected by it. From the simplest campsites that resemble bedouin merchants in some psychedelic Arabian Night to the magnificent structures of wood and metal that rise up out of the desert as if by magic.  Five and six story structures that anywhere else would require half of the bureaucrats of a good sized city to approve and even then they might never get built.  Clubs that go all day and night with the best sound systems on the planet playing at decibels that would cause earthquakes anywhere else.  Fantasy vehicles of every possible description from Mad Max Thunder Dome to Tinker bell’s worst nightmare drive around the city taking burners from one trip to another.


All of this is nothing without the participants who take the contributions of the builders and the artists and make it all their own with their transformations into fantasy beings and rename and recreate themselves for one week.  New personalities, new physical appearances, new manifestations of evolved human beings that come together for a celebration of our universe as it could be.  No money, no ego, no prejudices, no self, just family.  A family created not from the dust of the playa but from the stardust that connects us all whenever we just pay attention. I had a great burn, I hope you all did as well.



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