September 14, 2014

Burning Man, Behind the Mask. ~ Sanan


In a society gone mad, where artificial, superficial and phony rule, no wonder everyone must wear a social mask to get through life.

Unfortunately over time, that mask becomes a skin, and that skin becomes our personality, which we conform to, and then everyone thinks that’s us!

But inside, the real us waits, sometimes for hours, days, years and lifetimes, for a chance to come out and dance, laugh, play, create, be humbled with the beauty we see in others and feel mystery and awe at the amazing-ness that is life.

In comes Burning Man. The Party of All Parties, smack in the middle of the matrix, with such an expansiveness and creativeness and magic, that one can’t help but to be transformed.

Like a shy seed, seeing the light for the first time, Burners put on masks and costumes, to de-identify with their matrix masks and costumes. To try something new, to reinvent themselves, or to try on another version maybe. The costumes allow a safety, you can be whoever you are, however that is, and it’s OK at Burning Man.

This is a healing womb only, a mid point, a place to let it all go, all the stress and stuff, and feel alive and free again. This is the kind of “container” that allows 60,000 free spirits to find and celebrate themselves in the context of a temporary village in the desert where almost anything goes.

There is simply nothing quite like it on planet Earth. For all of us, it’s a real good thing that Burning Man exists, because this kind of power which ignites this many people in some way, unique to each, can not but positively impact society.

Ultimately however, we take off the costume, and the bubble of Burning Man is over in a quick week, like an orgasm of fun and color and dusty wildness that brings out the best in everyone, and makes you want to smile and dance and see the beauty all around.

There is no more important event in the U.S. than Burning Man, in many ways, on many levels. For all the rich people coming in, for all the totally unsustainable aspects, for all its shadows and problems and economic questions and issues, still the good that spreads out from Burning Man is way to good to ignore. There is nothing quite like it in terms of its impact.

But it’s all about what we’re gonna do with it. Talking about it, photos, videos, endless conversations and memories, and planning for next years week of bliss is great, but there’s more.

What if folks just rode that energy, and took the realizations and inspirations gleaned, and grew the seed of that into something new, that sustains onward.

Don’t let it just be a party.

This is a spiritual journey. What is really going on here? Where is this really leading to? What do we really really want?

Whatever that is for you, do it now.

Burning Man is a taste of reality in a totally free and fun and color filled way, that we could not possibly have known before. It’s the festival part of the potential world, but what is the actual living part, what does that look like?

There is no one ultimate lifestyle that everyone shares, and most people wouldn’t want to live in Burning Man forever, if you really think about it. But there are people of like heart and mind, with shared visions, and dreams and fears and longings, that you know already, and you can manifest those dreams now, together.

Because once you have freedom, my sisters and brothers, you can not go back. And we find that freedom blossoms best in community, not alone in a lonely society.

This, I truly feel, is one of the reasons that even with all that waste and money and un-sustainability and glitter and whatever, it’s very worth while.

Sometimes we need a needle to take out the splinter.

The party to liberate within the matrix.

But then, do something with it.

Peace from Peru,




Love elephant and want to go steady?

Sign up for our (curated) daily and weekly newsletters!



Editor: Travis May

Photos: Courtesy of the author

Reply to Amistad Sagrada cancel

You must be logged in to post a comment. Create an account.

Amistad Sagrada Sep 22, 2014 1:02am

Hey Everyone,
You can check out my first ever Elephant Journal Published Post Here! http://www.elephantjournal.com/2014/09/from-burni

Thanks for visiting, much appreciated! 🙂

Sam Geppi Sep 15, 2014 5:06pm

nice job, Sanan!

Amistad Sagrada Sep 14, 2014 4:04pm

Thanks to each of you who will read this, my 2nd post published by Elephant Journal. And a Big Thank You-Gracias to Elephant Journal for being such an awesome window for us to the world! (Our first time venturing outside of f.b.,lol 🙂 ) We are honored and excited to connect with like minded friends world wide who are interested in our work here in the Andes. Please visit, like, friend and share us on f.b., and let's stay in touch! With Much Love to All, from the Indigenous Mountain Communities of the the Sacred Valley of Peru, Sanan 🙂

Read Elephant’s Best Articles of the Week here.
Readers voted with your hearts, comments, views, and shares:
Click here to see which Writers & Issues Won.


Sanan moved to the Andes Mountains of Peru 5 years ago and what he has found has completely transformed his life and perceptions. He founded the non-profit organization Amistad Sagrada, working in the indigenous mountain communities of the Sacred Valley, with a focus of creating “beyond sustainable” co-collaborative service projects. Connect with Sanan and Amistad Sagrada on Facebook.