Changes

temple zone copy2For a lot of people, Burning Man is a transformational experience.

Your outlook changes. Your experience of the world changes. The way you relate to other people, and the place they hold in your life, changes.

Stories of transformations are everywhere.

There is the business executive who, after attending his first Burn, decided that the life he was leading really wasn’t the right one for him, so he chucked his job and his status and went on the road for a year and a half, trying to decide what to do next with his life. (This story is not apocryphal; ; I am not making it up. True, I can’t use the names, but you can probably understand the reasons why.)

There is the young woman who went to Burning Man after graduating from college and decided, “Oh yes, this is for me, this is how I want to develop my life, these are the areas where I want to grow.” So she moved to San Francisco, to be in  position to volunteer for the organization. She’s still here.

And then there are the smaller, maybe less dramatic things that happen to you during the event, the ones that you try to take back from the playa with you. The experiences you didn’t know you needed to have until you actually had them. Somehow, you met and had a truly significant and helpful conversation with a person who was going through something a lot like what you’re going through. You found new words to describe your situation, and in the process, discovered more clearly how you were feeling about it. And how exactly did it happen that this was the person you were stranded with in a sandstorm? How exactly did that awesome conversation start?

It’s lost in the haze, but the aftereffects have lingered.

Tell us about how you’ve changed since the time in the desert, and how you got to where you are now.

temple write copy

About the author: John Curley

John Curley has been Burning since the relatively late date of 2004, and in 2008 he spent the better part of a month on the playa, documenting the building and burning of Black Rock City in words and pictures. John is a longtime newspaper person and spent many years at the San Francisco Chronicle, where he was a deputy managing editor in charge of Page One and the news sections of the paper. Since leaving the Chronicle in 2007, he was a contributing editor on Blue Planet Run, a book about the world's water crisis, and for the past two years has been a lecturer at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism. He has also started an event and editorial photography business, and is also working on a book about the "Ten Dollar Doc" from Arco, Idaho, which will make a lovely film someday.

87 thoughts on “Changes

  • I look back at who I was the day I entered the gates for the first time and in many ways that man has become a stranger to me. I cannot say that every change has been outwardly positive, for as we evolve over time sometimes the resolve we come away with creates ripples; decisions we make in that crucible affect others and in turn causes an ever-expanding circle of change.

    I have let go of much of the burden I allowed myself to carry throughout my life. I have given myself the freedom to walk down a path I had not believed I could, and in turn given others freedom to walk down their own path. They may not have felt ready to walk it themselves… ripples of change.

    How have I changed since the time in the desert? Completely.

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  • This was my 4th burn. I’m a burner4life for sure, but every year has brought new perspectives and deeper transformations.

    This year I talked with a guy from Amsterdam. He was learning Tarot and read my chart or whatever from memory. Now mind you, in the default world I’m one of those super logical geeks, but on the Playa, I accept what happens for what it is. He said that, basically, I have much power, but I prevent myself from using it, and I need to give myself permission. Well, it’s true, and I’m starting to learn how to make use of my power, for the good of others and myself.

    The only one stopping me from experiencing happiness is myself. Give yourself permission to feel joy and you will start to feel it.

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  • How has Burning Man changed me? It’s shown me that my contributions are important. I’m not disposable, I can make a difference. The actions I take have a direct influence on those around me, even those that I think are inconsequential.

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  • Burningman saved my life, literally and figuratively. I could write volumes but to cut to the chase, sort of, here goes. A ten year Burner, it took 7 Burns to get to the point of recognizing the absolute need to change my life. Those first years were absolutley amazing, showing me a path I had always known was there, but didn’t know how to access. I was a liberal hippie at heart, living a traditional American life with two amazing kids and a wife who couldn’t move from her view of the “safe and secure” narrow world of her upbringing. Being successful in many aspects of my life couldn’t make up for living someone elses life. When you mate expressess contempt for everything you hold dear what do you do. You embrace the tenets of radical self-expression and reliance. You bring as much of the Burning Man ethics as you can into your life so you can survive the hells of a dysfunctional relationship and life. When thoughts of suicide started to creep in, Burning Man showed me the path to changing my life. 2006 was the year. A year of utter hell and utter cathasis. Divorce happened, a new job happened, a new place to live evolved. My mother died.
    I was finally able to spend time in the Temple. I’ve always loved the structures, the art, the concept of love that goes into the design and building. But I always found myself unable to tolerate the amazing love and grief that filled me every time I ventured there. I could never stay too long before tears started. I always left.
    In 2006, I made a memorial for my mother and placed it on Tuesday. By Thursday, part had blown away with the winds. How appropriate. As I sat there listening to a trio playing sacred music I was finally able to cry. A stranger placed a hand on my shoulder as I sobbed and it was good.
    I met an amazing woman, who has embraced the concepts and life of a Burner with all her heart. Karma has brought my life full circle with an amazing relationship and a passion for life filled with open and honest communication and love.
    We joined a new camp this year, the Vomiting Sparrows. Spending time with this amazing group has shown me I’ve come full circle. I had become jaded.
    This group of creative, enthusiastic Burners has shown me that I had forgotten to embrace the wonders of many aspects of Black Rock Citty. I had become more of a camp rat. Part of it was lethargy. Part too much smoke, part just age. NO MORE!! I continue to focus on building community and family in all I do when in the default world. This coming Burn, my focus will switch to focusing on my new camp mates. I can’t wait!!
    Burning Man changed my life. I truly believe Burning Man saved my life. Grateful doesn’t even begin to touch my emotions.

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  • This burn brought me full circle. It’s hard to describe the closing of that loop but I felt it and knew it was good. It was my sixth year so apparently with number seven I will begin again, in a new way. I could never imagine being in Black Rock City without the support and infrastructure of the big camp I’ve been in so far. Next year I go solo and see what a less cushy burn is like. I’m ready, it’s what I need, and I’m excited to see what I can create for myself.

    The biggest change for me this year though was finally realizing I can integrate what I love about BRC into my default life in ways I had never imagined possible. The default has been modified. I know I will be happy to go next year but it won’t be because I can finally after a year get what I am missing, it will be to share what I bring. I don’t have to move to the food, I am the food! Ok, see, I told you it was hard to describe. :) I’ll leave you with a quote from a wise woman I once knew. It’s not the straw you miss, it’s the food. You’re aching for the container, you have the contents already in you.

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  • this was my second burn. I learned so much, the most important thing i learned is that the human race might have a chance as long as we try to be civil to one another, and are open to change in ourselves and others. love you guys see you in 2010

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  • I saw it on Saturday morning. Can’t really explain or tell, but it was there.
    Just when the first rays of an amazing sunrise fell on the mountains on my left, just after the green laser beam disappeared with the curve of earth, with the music at the back of my brain, with all those beautiful people around me, and with the big smile from across the playa – it was there.
    I never felt the way I did that morning. Shall I call it euphoria? This guy came up to me, gave me a big hug and whispered “Good to be home again, eh?”, and I couldn’t agree more.

    I’m not that kind of spiritual guy, I’m defiantly not religious, but the energy in the air on that morning – it was like seeing god. I don’t know which god was it, and it doesn’t matter really, but it seems like everybody around me felt it. There was no need to talk, people just smiled to each other in disbelief, nodding as if they all agree how magical it was.
    That guy with a can of beer in his hand just mumbled `it is just ridiculous how good it feels`, and it was indeed.

    The desert can be very mystical sometimes, spiritual for sure. I was standing there with tears in my eyes, grabbing my head and just looking around me. Facing all these unexplained natural forces – The wind, the sun, the fire, the heat. And all this time the big smile from across the playa was there too. Like a guardian angel smiling at me. I didn’t know his name, there was no need to talk to him really, but I felt pure love like I never felt before.

    I will never forget that morning. I will never forget those 3 minutes when the sky turned from black into purple, red, orange, yellow and finally into blue. I will never forget the mountains, oh the mountains, and the shadows playing games all over them. I will never forget the playa dust all around me, getting into my eyes and nostrils.

    I saw it on Saturday morning. I don’t know to tell what was it, but it was there.

    I would like to thank the Spirit Wind cafe – the best coffee on the playa.
    I would like to thank the guy with the wet towel who refreshed my days.
    I would like to thank the pancake place around the corner.
    I would like to thank AEZ camp for the sun-cooked hot dogs.
    I would like to thank the Deep End and Opulent Temple for endless moments of dancing.
    I would like to thank Pavel for the smile.
    I would like to thank that girl who turned up with Ben&Jerry`s Vanilla tubes on that morning.

    I would like to thank all of you for being there, old and new friends – you all made it such a brilliant experience. Again.

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  • I turned 30 on the playa the night the man burned. I was able to work out some demons that night, burning down the past in my mind, everything I ever was, all the anger I harbored, all the personalities I’d outgrown, the changes of my physical body, hopes, fears. Then, looking out around me at the blank canvas of the desert, I was acutely aware and thankful of the fact that we can burn ourselves down, and from those ashes, return to our core selves, love and be loved, and create our lives in the present moment.

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  • I had no idea that Burning Man would change me so much-honestly my twenties would have been so much happier if I had discovered the playa. Because of Burning Man I’ve met my wife, made life long friends and shed a looming unhappiness.
    It makes me laugh when I hear old timers complain that the burn isn’t as good as it used to be when I just had my best year yet and that was #7. The magic that is created there has permeated my every day life and I’m a better person for it. Burning Man gives me hope for humanity.

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  • My first burn has made me even more open minded and I have come to love myself more. I have also come to greatly appreciate the female form and human nature (my! How you learn to believe in patience and the craziness of mother nature during the dust storms and the sudden temperature changes.)

    I met some of the kindest and most amazing people this year, at my first burn. Anytime I asked someone a question, I was taken aback by how nice they were to me and in turn, I would pass this same kindness on to the next person.

    I have also come to realize that you do not need to rely on other people and that you should do more things for yourself for the things you do will affect your life the greatest. I did not see nearly enough sunrises as I would have liked but I will change that next year for sure!

    I also learned that I really need to go to burning man at the beginning of the week, not Thursday evening. I was working at a temp job when Wednesday night, I decided an hour and a half before I left, to go to Burning Man with a friend of mine. I got replaced at my temp gig but I would never trade my time at Burning Man for anything in this world.

    I feel I am also calmer and have a better perspective of the world in doing so. I am looking to continue this inner peace feeling and hope to make it last until I can replenish at next year’s Burning Man.

    May life bring you love and peace to you all. Much love.

    Cristina

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  • “Look kindly in the mirror,”
    An old friend said to me,
    “For the eyes that you bring there with you
    Color everything you see.”

    I’ve thought about it often since,
    And still it makes me cry.
    But since that Black Rock Night,
    I’ve found a softer eye.

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  • The adventures and experiences that occurred at BURNING MAN were a strong catalyst, and an inspiration to OUR ENTIRE CAMP. They were SO POWERFUL, and SO TRULY AWE-INSPIRING, and OUR SOULS WERE TOUCHED SO DEEPLY, and SO COMPLETELY – that when it was over – WE KNEW for a fact – WE WOULD NEVER BE QUITE THE SAME AGAIN – EVER!

    And that’s how “The Playa” works it magic, IT CHANGES PEOPLE, but sometimes only in subtle ways – and IT CAN CHANGE YOU TOO, if you let it.

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  • I’d been fascinated by The Burning Man Festival since I discovered it about 5 years ago, and had been actively planning to go there for the past 3 years. I finally made it – and upon arrival, what I discovered was far more intense, meaningful, transforming and exciting than what I had imagined it would be. It’s a dream within a dream, but so real that it’s clearly not an illusion.

    Burning Man is a one week experience… and this experience of new-found freedom includes radical self expression and radical self-reliance. But the beauty is that I was sharing the experience with over 40,000 others. It takes most people a few minutes (I’m slow – it took me a few hours) to realize that everyone there is equal – there is unconditional acceptance and respect for each person no matter what age or appearance. We all know how much effort it took, how hard it was to make it to this event.

    This is a culture of sharing and gifting… and there’s an unbelievable feeling of community as a result. Burning Man is an ideal place for self-reflection and self-transformation, and the experience expanded my horizons, revealed new possibilities, and made me question the assumptions that most of us make about how we’re supposed to live our lives.

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  • I spent my burn alone. At my first Burning Man. This is not a complaint, merely an observation, to perhaps give you an idea of why I have such mixed feelings about Burning Man. When I returned home after the Burn my friends and family immediately wanted to know how it was.

    “Well, I had fun, but I don’t think I’d go again.”

    “Oh so you hated it then?” (Smugly self-satisfied)

    “No! I just don’t know if I’d go again…I did have fun!”

    Though, truth be told, in a way I did hate Burning Man a little. I was horridly sick the entire time, yes, probably swine flu. And boy let me tell you, it’s pretty horrible. The Playa is not a forgiving place to come down with the flu.. Fever for days, painful hacking cough, and glass in my throat. Oh, and lonely. Surrounded by thousands of people, and yet achingly alone. It’s not that I camped by myself, we were a rather large camp, but I would retire to my shade structure, my mouse-hole, tired and ill. Don’t get me wrong though I’m not writing this to complain. In fact, in spite of myself, I loved it. I loved the authenticity of it, the energy and creativity and LIFE! That to me is what Burning Man was, life uninhibited. The more I write and think about Burning Man the more I want to go again, to go when I have the energy to throw myself out there and experience. Burning Man was a lucid dream, I stood apart, a quiet remote figure watching the bright play of humanity spill across the pale curtain of the playa. Even being unable to experience the multitude that Burning Man had to offer I learned that I am quite capable, even if I am lonely, of surviving by myself. And though it sounds like an oxymoron because he didn’t come to the playa with me, it also showed me how much I treasure, adore and care for my fiancée. I learned that I CAN be artistic, a handyman (yeah shade structure, I’m talking to you), and anything else I feel like being. I love the desert because I feel like it was such a pure landscape. I imagine the landscape of the moon is much like the playa: an eerie empty place full of lonely winds and distant peaks. Though perhaps Mars complete with Martians and a lovely exotic city is a more appropriate description than the empty moon. But in my faulty fever burned memory the images that catch in my mind are the lonesome ones. People, rocket ships, and giant fish flitting in and out of the hazy dust storms. Watching the temple burn, my twin and I stood, baptized by smoke tornados and ember fireflies. I loved the ride on the Space Wench into the deep desert where the infinite eternal stars twinkled and I could look back on a wildly-lit tent city that would blow away in a week’s time. There is something pure and unadulterated about Burning Man I feel like I need to go back and not just dip my toes in but dive into head first. Burning Man helped me realize I was watching my life go by instead of being in it, and because of this I have started to “do” instead of just “be”…

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  • I don’t think it’s so much what I took away from Burning Man as much as what I left behind at Burning Man.

    I left behind fear of being rejected. I left behind what other people think of me. I left their rules and their demands. I left their amoral treatment of my marriage. I broke free of the suffocation, the dictatorship and the lies and the duplicity. I left their secrets, their gossip and their own hatred of each other behind.

    I agree with my friend’s post…I am the food. And so I will close with this quote and hope that anyone out there that surrounds themselves with toxic people just so they won’t be alone out there will read this and *get* it…

    “A wise person makes their own decisions. An ignorant person just follows public opinion.”

    Burning Man is all about self expression and once a handful of people start to *control* your burn and dictate who can and who can *not* be a part of your experience…well, then it might be time for you to move on like I did :)

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  • This years burn really hit home for me. I cannot even EXPRESS how pivotal it was for me to go this year. Last year was my first year and you can bet that I was prancing along the playa like a prisoner finally escaping and seeing the sky for the first time in years.

    This year was a bit more spiritually deep for me.

    I explored the art, went out on my own, met some great people who helped make this whole experience possible and I found myself. It was a raw and awakening experience this year than it was my first.

    There were a lot of things I wanted to let go of this year at the temple. One was the emotional baggage of losing my mom, my best friend, 5 years ago. It still feels like yesterday and yes I blamed myself for losing her but not after the burn. I let it go. I told her that I loved her at the temple and not to worry and then I walked away. I watched it burn. It was so invigorating.

    For about six months, my brother had been taking care of my grandmother, who had raised him growing up. She was deathly ill and a month before BM she finally passed by his side. He didn’t think he would be able to make BM this year because he wanted to take care of her. He was alittle bit in a funk the first couple days but finally spread his wings when he decided to mentally let her go.

    The biggest part that Burning Man played was when I got back. The very next day, I wake up for the first time in my own bed and hear that my grandfather shot himself. My mom was my grandfathers shining light, my grandmother was always his rock, and they had both passed. I was shocked, in tears, at first. We arranged the funeral at the Oregon coast, where we used to play as kids. It felt good. We were all laughing and jumping in the water. Since the experience was so fresh in my memory I was able to see the brighter side of things.

    I feel like if all these events had taken place without BM I wouldn’t have been so strong. I wouldn’t have any fond memories to cloud the bad ones. I would still have baggage.

    The spirit lives through you, I say. You see the light in things you never thought you would before. Burning Man was my savior.

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  • I attended BRC 5 years in a row and forced myself to skip one year and spend that time with loved ones and do things that I would normally do during that two week period on the Playa. I was afraid that the desert would become mundane. someday. Well attending this year I am here to say that it only gets better. Of course every year I say the same ole thing, “It was the best ever”, no year is the same. I have kept a diary and suggest to all the newbies, start writing for yourself as this is part of our lives that we will never want to forget. My beautiful adult daughter has always asked me “why would you want to live that life style”? Well, I am proud to say, I was a very nice person before my 1st time in 2003 and I truly learned to LIVE THE PLAYA ALL YEAR LONG. I seem to attract the best people now in my life and I do not fear the negative ones. I gift them myself as a fellow citizen and open and show them the best. Hopefully, they take what they like and mirror the best to others. Our spirits are more alive and full as I have read above in all the comments. After all these years my daughter now wants to go as I think she sees her mom for what I have always been, but Better and Consistant…

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  • Our two-week journey encompassed the gamut, from the 6 hour line early Monday morning, to a serious illness resulting in our campmate being taken to Reno in an ambulance, to the Burn, to the Temple, to the following Monday’s 2 hour Exodus. The thumping techno lulled me to sleep every night and accompanied my emboldened explorations around the city. I climbed on things, I fought with things, I sung with people, I laughed and cried more openly and honestly than I ever had. I ate better, drank less, and experienced the week sober. I danced often and freely. I jump-roped for the first time in 30 years. I danced to Depeche Mode with a hundred other devotees. I went to Costco and found Bob from Mootopia. Merlin and Eliah and Bruce and Burner Dave and Aldon and Lana and Gonzalo and Arran and Reddick and Jono. I kissed a girl under The Man while we cried about Pink and Purple Puddles. I cheered the Stormtroopers in Thunderdome.

    2009 was my first burn, coinciding with my 40th birthday, my son’s graduation from high school, and serious consideration to leave a much disliked decade-long stint with my employer. 2009 is a year that is unfolding around an innovative stab at a community farm market in my small Ohio village, witnessing my first attempts at sewing jazzy retro clothstuffs, and jumping full-on into arc- and MIG welding. It’s a year of making meaningful and healthy human connections, getting my body physically healthy — and hopefully my mind will follow.

    I learned how to change my lexicon from “I don’t know how” and “I can’t” to realizing that I know I can; there really are no limits to my world except my own self-imposed ones. I pledged to bring my self-revalations home, make them mine, and return to the playa again in 2010.

    I realized that no matter how many pictures I take, or how many times I remember or talk about my experience, my stories are one of a 43,000 strong community – that my story doesn’t exist without theirs, and theirs don’t exist without mine. We have made this community our own. And all of us are taking it back to our other lives… critical mass is at work here.

    Burning Man affirmed that I do indeed have a voice of my own, even though it has, through the years, been dust-covered by the oft-martyred acts of marriage and parenting. The playa winds have begun to blow that away, replacing it with a creative voice of self-empowerment.

    With peace, and true hope…

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  • I have just finished reading the page of comments and realise I need to spend an evening writing my on own blogsite about Burning Man. There have been a few tear-jerking moments as I’ve read of other people’s experiences and I realise that I have not yet taken the time to really reflect on how Burning Man has changed me. I think maybe this is because so many other things have been happening over the last few months and I can’t really pinpoint how I have changed letalone what things have changed what part of me.

    But what I know for sure is that, this being my first burn, and a time to share with some of my dearest friends in the world that I had been apart from for about 10 months prior to the event, has made me realise I love and miss them a lot more than I knew. What had become the norm for me was about a quest of going it alone in a world-travelling expedition and Burning Man has thrown all that not just upside down but spiralling in all directions of confusion.

    Like I said, I need to sit down and write a proper blog about this.

    I am now in New Zealand, a country full of people creating independent communities and loving each other, it’s where I spent most of the last 10 months before Burning Man. So the idea and feeling of community was already a big part of my life.

    But as to which community to be a part of? Well the whole human race is a community and yet sometimes can feel so lonely to be a part of. I was so overwhelmed by the size of Burning Man and it wasn’t until I realised to focus on the smallest community and build outwards – ie. the close friends and people I was camped with and next to – that things started to feel settled for me. So perhaps this is the focus for me to look for now and to spread to others – or perhaps looking to the community within my own heart.

    This isn’t proving to be very concise, I apologise. Burning Man was EPIC – that was my word of the week. I had several moments of the most beautiful ecstatic crying episodes of my life. I think I need to revisit those parts of me and reflect some more…..

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  • Getting ready for my fourth burn, there was a prospective first timer camp mate who was having a rough time and couldn’t quite decide whether she would come or not. We’d not even managed to meet or even speak. She was just a name on an email list.

    With the world seeming to be falling down around her shoulders, she emailed, “Should I even try to go this year? Maybe it’s too much.”

    I thought about how I could explain to her what she would be missing, what this experience could be, and I couldn’t. The details are almost too much, because for everyone it’s different and often unexpected. My second burn led me to my lifetime love, a new country and language, nothing that I went there hoping to find. Instead of writing her my story, my reasons, my experience, I sent just one short reply.

    “Don’t think, just come. It will change your life.”

    Years later, as we were following a bus across the dark playa, dancing over the patterns the disco ball reflection made in the dust, she came up and whispered those two sentences in my ear. Words I had completely forgotten I’d written. She thanked me and added,

    “That was made me come, and it did.”

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  • …… I know i’m sentimental, but the burn family are some of the best people on earth….

    this is about the most apt thing i could find for Burning Man… (substitute God for love, peace, sunshine, what ever your personal hit… for me it’s Love.)

    “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?

    Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

    We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

    As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

    till 2010.. shine on kids!!

    xx

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  • ,,,,to leave the Real World behind,,,for going back to the artificial,,,was everything but easy. It was not so much of a CHANGE inside me ,,,,as it was a GROWTH.
    I will do my best to bring my sister,Eva, my Mother,Annette and my father Jozsef with me next year,
    as I would like to introduce them to an experience I wish every soul would have the chance to feel,,,live,,,To show your deepest nakedness,,,,strip the layers of pollution that we tend to dress us with as we go through Life,,,,
    Definitely a ticket for my wonderful boyfriend ,Stefano,so he can get the same chance as I`ve got to get in touch with our inner most journey,,,
    Thank You All !!! I Love you !!!!!!!

    MAKE LOVE TO LIFE

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  • Burning Man changed my life in a very practical way. Of course, like most people writing here, I experienced the benevolence, camaraderie, and generous community spirit found on the playa, and I was profoundly affected by that. But I also enjoyed a much more concrete benefit: Burning Man gave me a second career.

    Before arriving the playa, I never had much interest in photography. But the mind-boggling and eye-pleasing treats of the playa re-awakened an old love of the visual arts in me, and I started shooting photos with my little point-and shoot digital camera. When one of my early shots, got favorable attention online, it inspired me to try a little harder. So each year, I came with better equipment, and got a little more serious about taking photos.

    As my reputation for playa photography grew, I started getting asked to shoot events and portraits in my home town, and occasionally even getting paid for it. That led to buying better camera gear, which led to better playa photography.

    Now, after eight years of trying just a little harder each year, my Burning Man photos have appeared in art galleries and magazines, and I have a second business as a photographer.

    I want to thank all of you who have posed for my lens, or created stunning art, or provided the smiles and laughter that keep me coming back year after year.

    You can see my Burning Man Photos at my website:
    http://www.burnmonkey.com/

    Phil Steele

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  • Imagine yourself at a funeral with someone that gives a REALLY moving eulogy. You look down at your watch and realize the date is Dec 12 2045. And it was you they were eulogizing. You approach the speaker and whisper into his mind all that you learned, did, and experienced at Burningman. Your words flow though his tongue and to all your loved ones.

    Guess what. Its not 2045

    So stop what you are doing, and start making the list of the things you are going to whisper into his mind.

    Well what maybe better is take the list with you for the next 35 Burningman’s to keep adding to it.

    Or better still live the burningman experience everyday and let everyone you know about it and noone will need to say much when you pass because they will know how you lived each moment.

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  • I learned to more then then I already do …In a way I ‘m not sure how to explain but to trust the universe more then ever………And It is working.

    I suggest you do the same……..Trust me.
    Big Love
    Naniagan

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  • It took me a long time to figure out what to write. I could list a thousand little changes or things I do differently, but those would all be on the surface. When I think of the deepest, most fundamental change I’ve experienced since first being at Burning Man, it is the inner knowledge that I am creating my own experience of life.
    Nowhere else am I so aware of infinite possibility. Knowing you can do anything there gives one the idea that you can do anything anywhere, It’s one thing to know intellectually that you can do anything, but another to feel it, and to experience it. Our lives are literally created by our thoughts, desires, fears, perception. It takes patience and practice to change one’s reality but it is a skill we all possess. The more you do it the easier and more natural it becomes. The fear associated with taking on so much power slowly starts to dissolve…

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  • Like many, many before me, and many, many after me, I will now break down one redhead’s adventure of camping alone, in the desert. If you are not interested/may be offended/don’t have the time, skip now, and come back later. If you have a passing interest, nay, a pea pod, stick around, and I’ll make it worth your while.

    Warning off*~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I wrote quite a bit about the whole pre/during/post playa experience, but the two things that stand out most was volunteering, and camping among strangers, hence, my neighbors. Here is a snippet-

    Volunteering

    I wanted to really be a citizen of the city this year, and see more of the back scenes of how the city worked. Wasn’t exactly ready to commit a full week, but still, help out in an area I wouldn’t normally think of. I managed to get in a Playa Info shift, an Airport shift, and attempted Greeters (went out there and everything), but it was Annual Naked Day, and this fair skinned bloom can’t go naked on the playa. I’ll faint. I had also volunteered to bring fresh veggies for a potluck later in the week, as well as work an Information Booth on the Playa (see previous blog re. Info Booth) but the Info booth never happened due to a spontaneous wedding.

    The potluck saw the arrival of my veggies, but not me for another hour, as I was delayed across town.

    So what of the successful ventures? Playa Info and the Airport?

    FANTABULO-WONDERAWE-TASTIC-NESS.

    Neighbors

    Where I ended up camping was between 3 large camps,.One was the Flying Spaghetti Monster Temple (Ren Faire folks from all over CA), what I’ve been calling the Urban Planners(based in SF), even though they are not, and the Veteran Burners (not sure where they are from). I was welcomed, embraced, fed, loved, hugged, adored, and trusted by so many of them with their thoughts and hopes. I CHERISH my experience with them. I tried to give as good as I got, in hopes that it would continue an infinity loop of Love in the universe. Diva the hookah and I ended up with the Veteran Burners one afernoon, and they made me a TIARA. Good Lord in Heaven!

    Here’s the links, if you want to read the full story!

    Learning you about it–
    http://mylittlepail.com/weekly-specialburning-man-art-festival/

    Getting ready to go–

    http://mylittlepail.com/weekly-special-burning-man-freakout/

    The Full Post Review–
    http://mylittlepail.com/post-burning-man-report-the-redhead-review/

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  • I went to burning man last year for the first time to go to the temple because there was someone in my life that i couldnt let go of, someone that i needed to let go of but didnt know how. When i came back i had achieved what i set out to do, but i gained so much more. I realized who i was, i realized that i was strong, that my life was not so insignificant and that i am one amazing person. I went to burning man to forgive myself and the person i lost and in the midsts of it all i found out who i really was. Burning man changed my life, there is magic on the playa. Burning man is not some drug filled party out in the desert, its a place that reveals who you really are.

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