Fuente, Regionals, and Getting The Gift.

Waterfall bliss at an event in Baja.

In 1998 I attended my first Burning Man.
For the next 5 years or so, I spent 11 months a year waiting, less-than-patiently, for the Burn.
Gradually I started to integrate Burning Man principles into my life and find pockets of Burning Man culture.

Now it feels like I am constantly preparing for (or cleaning up from) Burning Man-inspired brunches, festivals, or days at the beach.

In fact, last weekend I attended a festival deep in Baja Mexico called “Fuente Eterno.” (See video below) Now, it sells out in 5 minutes, so I am hesitant to hype it up. The odds are you will probably not be able to attend. But the point is there are LOTS of smaller events, regionals, and opportunities to gather with people who have been inspired by Radical Self Expression, Gifting, and the Burning Man Vibe.

Don’t know of one near you? Create it. Participants-only, baby.

I spoke with someone recently who said that after 3 years they, “had gotten all they could from Burning Man.” Sadly, they had failed to get the most important thing of all: It is about the GIVING not the GETTING. I return every year not to get my mind blown by the new Temple design (although that does happen each year), but because I want to enhance the experience for others. It is through Gifting to others’ lives, weeks, or moments that I receive more than I could ever “get” for myself.

Thanks to the growing number of large and small events worldwide, that process of gifting and receiving can go on year-round. There is a whole section of the Burning Man website for the Regional Network. Events large and small are growing (and being created) all over the world! Find one. Participate in one. Create one.

More and more people are seeing Burning Man – not as an event – but as a model for how to live: A model for how to interact with neighbors. A model for how to express yourself & encourage expression in others. And a model for how to Gift your talents to friends, your community, and the world.

Do you attend any large or small “Burner” gatherings? Please share your experiences in the comments!

Love,
Halcyon )'(


(Video reflection from last weekend’s Fuente Eterno in Baja Mexico.)

About the author: John "Halcyon" Styn

Halcyon is a 17-year Burning Man participant and founder of Pink Heart camp. He is author of "Love more. Fear less." and producer of the Burning Man short film, "The Pink Path." He's won Webby awards for his over-the-top personal site CockyBastard.com & his "Love On Demand" video podcast HugNation.com. He hosted the defunct NBC.com web series "Fears. Regrets. Desires." and frequently speaks about Gratitude & Gifting. In 2010, Halcyon co-founded the San Diego based "1st Saturdays" homeless outreach program based on Burning Man Principles and the idea of "Service Without Sacrifice." You can find his digital home at www.JohnStyn.com.

8 thoughts on “Fuente, Regionals, and Getting The Gift.

  • Thus far, the only burner gatherings I’ve attended have been the (relative to Burning Man) smaller, regional events. I was first introduced to the culture in 2009 through the Georgia regional burn, Alchemy, and I’ve attended all the south eastern regional burns since then. The regional events are what started my burner journey and since that first burn, I’ve slowly integrated the 10 Principles and burner culture into my life. I decided last summer that I was going to do whatever it took to attend Burning Man in 2011 and, almost a year later, that decision has taken me on a whirlwind of an adventure.

    I can say that, almost without a doubt, I never would have decided to go to Burning Man had it not been for Alchemy in 2009 and the flourishing burner culture in Atlanta. I’m really looking forward to going out to the Playa this year as well as attending more regional events over the years.

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  • Great post about a truly remarkable event. Fuente was, most certainly, a spectacular gathering in a gorgeous, darn near paradise-like spot. One of the highlights of our weekend was standing on top of the waterfall in the canyon with four brightly colored saris flying in the air above the desert. What a joy it was to see those colored ribbons captured in miniature in the shot above.

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  • “Sadly, they had failed to get the most important thing of all: It is about the GIVING not the GETTING. I return every year not to get my mind blown by the new Temple design (although that does happen each year), but because I want to enhance the experience for others. It is through Gifting to others’ lives, weeks, or moments that I receive more than I could ever “get” for myself.”

    Amen, brother. After receiving so much my first year, I was filled with the desire to do more than simply show up the following year, but to brainstorm how I could pay that forward by giving as much to other new Burners next year as I was given by veterans in the following year. If we all show up to take and stop coming once we’ve “gotten all we can”, the equation becomes unbalanced for lack of givers.

    Or, as they say in the world of torrents, “Plz seed.”

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  • After going to Burning Man for 9 years or so I attended my first Fourth of Juplaya in 2010. It was a whole new way to experience the Playa! I heard there were 5000 people there but it felt like we could drive forever and rarely see a camp.
    After the growing crowds at Burning Man the last few years this was a very refreshing trip home.
    At Juplaya I finally got to swim in the hot springs (ie Frog Pond ie EW). Lakebed floor=soft and sandy so of course we got slighty stuck on the way out. The directions are land based…The hot springs are like, in btwn some mountains or something… You have to ask someone :) It’s part of the fun!

    Juplaya was a great chance to get up close and personal with the people who make Burning Man more fun for all of us. The Worker Bees (Rangers, Lamplighters, Gatekeepers, Cafe Workers, etc).

    It’s much different then Burning Man, you MUST bring a bucket and I would personally recommend camping near a bush ;)

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