Posts by John "Halcyon" Styn

June 8th, 2011  |  Filed under The Ten Principles

Pondering “Leave No Trace”

“Leave No Trace” is one of the 10 Principles of Burning Man. It seems pretty simple. But the LNT mentality can be a significant jump in consciousness for people ingrained with a consumer mindset.

During this week’s HugNation broadcast, I discussed “Leave No Trace” in the wake of my wonderful experience at Lightning In a Bottle.

Let me clarify that I am not intending to be critical of the DoLab or festival attendees. I mean to point out that as our community grows quickly, we need to remember a few things:
1) Have compassion for people in all stages of their conscious evolution.
2) Role model good behavior.
3) Help people understand that a Principle is much more than something we “should* do…. it is something that can elevate your joy and change your life.

(This is more of a “Philosophical” tip. For more on the “How” of Leaving No Trace, consult BurningMan.com & The Survival Guide.)

**NOTE: I AM NOT AN OFFICIAL REPRESENTATIVE OF BURNING MAN. I am merely a 13-year Participant with a passion for the event, people, and principles of Burning Man. Views expressed aren’t necessarily those of the Burning Man organization.” **

May 17th, 2011  |  Filed under The Ten Principles

Colab Leadership

One of the themes of this year’s Regional Summit was “Collaborative Leadership.” A number of Burners submitted videos about the subject and a compilation video was shown at the live event. Here’s my complete (90 second) video reflecting on Collaborative Leadership and how it creates magic at Burning Man.

April 26th, 2011  |  Filed under Playa Tips

Halcyon’s Unofficial Tips & Tricks #1

So you’ve devoured BurningMan.com and memorized the Survival Guide?

Now that you know how to avoid death, dehydration and dismemberment, are there any other tips for making Burning Man even more amazing?

Youbetcha! Several years ago I started recording collections of things I’ve learned over many years of participation. (This will be my 14th Burn.)

Part 1 includes: BASICS, GLUE GUN, GLOVES, WET NAPS, WATER TRUCK, PISS BUCKET, SOCKS, & SHOES.

(NOTE: I’m told that water trucks contain non-potable water and should not be used in the way described in the video. And ALL of these tips are solely the views of Halcyon and do not represent the The Burning Man Organization or Major League Baseball. Also, “Gifting It” is no longer available at that URL, but can be found in the Burning Man marketplace.)

Stay tuned for more tips! Have some tips? Share in the comments!

March 31st, 2011  |  Filed under Events/Happenings, Participate!

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.)

February 25th, 2011  |  Filed under Culture (Art & Music), Participate!, Spirituality

Life As Theme Camp

Amsterdam

Traveling through Amsterdam in fur pants - as a Theme Camp ambassador.

Burning Man is overflowing with lessons. One that I’m becoming increasingly aware of is that life is more awesome when you live as an ambassador from a Theme Camp.

Last week, during my Hug Nation broadcast, I discussed what Theme Camps are and how they have profoundly affected the way that I interact with the world.

Love,

Halcyon )’(

February 21st, 2011  |  Filed under Events/Happenings

Playa de Venice

Fuzzy bikes on the boardwalk.

A few weeks ago some folks cruising the Venice boardwalk on fuzzy bikes encountered a group of people spinning flow toys on the Venice grassy knoll. Talk about two great tastes that taste great together!

The following discussions lead to a gathering last weekend of “Hug Nation & Flow Temple” in Venice Beach.

The day was AMAZING and we hope to do them every 2nd Sunday from now until the Burn.

Huge thanks to Marvin, Tea Faerie, Dmitry, and all the Flow Temple folks. If you could use some Flow & Hugs, join us next 2nd Sunday! (March 13)

It may not have been THE Playa, but there was definitely a Playa vibe in the air. In fact, one of the themes of my Hug Nation talk was cultivating a Playa mindset, year round:

Craft nights? Burner brunches? Playa bike parades?  How do you cultivate a Playa mindset year-round?

February 2nd, 2011  |  Filed under Culture (Art & Music)

Free To Be You & Larry

Here’s a little fable about a favorite playa photo and thoughts about Kickstarter, a fundraising tool that is gaining popularity among Burners.

Love,

Halcyon )’(

**NOTE: I AM NOT AN OFFICIAL REPRESENTATIVE OF BURNING MAN. I am merely a 13-year Participant with a passion for the event, people, and principles of Burning Man. Half-baked ideas & views expressed aren’t necessarily those of the Burning Man organization.” **

January 26th, 2011  |  Filed under Participate!, Playa Tips

Ticket Purchase Rite of Passage

**NOTE: I AM NOT AN OFFICIAL REPRESENTATIVE OF BURNING MAN. I am merely a Participant with a passion for the event, people, and principles of Burning Man. Half-baked ideas & views expressed aren’t necessarily those of the Burning Man organization.” **

photo by Halcyon

In some cultures, a rite-of-passage involves having your foreskin ritualistically removed with a dull stone.
Suddenly the rite-of passage required to get a Burning Man ticket doesn’t seem so harsh, does it?
Was it smooth & effortless? HECK NO.  (I’m referring to the online ticketing…not the ritualistic circumcision.)
Of course, getting to Burning Man isn’t smooth & effortless, either.  Almost nothing about surviving in the desert is smooth and effortless…UNLESS you can let go of your expectations and forget your plans.
The truth is that the best things about Burning Man usually happen when things don’t go according to plan.  So consider the ticket process as a many-hour (or all-day) crash course in “Non-Attachment.”
If you can master that skill *before* the Burn, you’ll be in great shape when your trailer breaks an axle, your tent collapses, the dust storm lasts a forth straight day, your camp mate drama melts down, or any of the zillion other “adventures” that are simply a part of the Burning Man experience.

During this chapter of ticket frustration, I was reminded of some of the powerful “Lessons of Surrender” that the Playa has given me. In this video I tell the story of “The Fall of Xara” from Burning Man 2000, speak to the ticket sales frustration, & share “Burning Man & The Art Of Non-Attachment.”


** Ticketing suggestions are merely brainstorming ideas, concocted without due diligence of the challenges at hand. **

-Halcyon )’(