Dare to be Your Art
The depth of experience and emotion that happens on the playa is truly beyond description. An intricate balance between the profane and the profound. The depth and the surface. The heat to the bone chilling cold. The forces of light and powers of darkness. The invitation to remember and the calling to forget.
As you walk the barren land, you get to feel the multitude of broken hearts, mended spirits and soulful lovers. You experience the embrace of a stranger and the tears of a lover riding away into the darkness of night.
You get to experience the incredible variety of artistic expression. From art cars bearing the shape of sharks, flamingos, hearts, pirate ships, rhinos, illuminated skulls, infinite lights and ear deafening music to the randomness of art installations in the middle of the desert. Whether it is a mailbox from the past to the future, a talking closet reading poetry, a giant wooden wave with a surfboard to a sound creating sperm like orbs and even a phone booth to god.
But the real art of Burning Man is its participants, or – burners. Costumes, naked bodies, colored hair, bright shiny socks, fur clad bodies and how can I forget to mention; unicorns, gorillas, pandas and everything in between.
Burners are a rare breed. They breathe freedom. They proclaim unity through immense diversity. They unite in their utter full expression of unique individual artistic form. From colors to shape, from silence to endless rhythmic beat. They dance to the tune of radical acceptance of self and other. They marvel at the depth of connection a fleeting moment invites with turning a complete stranger to the closest of friends.
The magic for me was at camp. Diving deep with new close friends, with offering my heart and sharing my gifts. Feeling into the collective challenge we all faced. Dealing with our own limitations and beliefs around freedom, expression, love and connection. Facing the harsh conditions of the desert and the closeness it brings to overcome these obstacles together. Cooking, showering, costuming, teaching and learning together. Walking this sacred path of inner and outer recognition of each other. When holding this space for one another, you truly get to know your friends. You truly get to experience what’s possible when given each other permission to just be, to offer and gift with no conditions. I’ve found around me a collective of incredible souls, explorers, adventurers, true artists of spirit.
I got to share and teach on the playa. I was biking almost every day between a few different camps, sharing classes and teachings. I felt so seen, so received, so accepted – truly, as you are told when you arrive to Burning Man, I was welcomed home.
For the first time I got to offer a Tantra Puja in a desert setting. In a beautifully decorated dome, with participants of every color, shape, gender and race. All so magnificently different, yet united in the offering of heart. Worshiping and honoring each other so fully; giving permission to see and be seen. To hold and be held. Seeing the stream of tears as hearts were being filled, as souls were being shaped, as wounds were being healed my heart knew no limit. I felt my life has lead me to this incredible moment, to the understanding of the power of offering your all fully in utter devotion to the growth and magic of another. I am forever changed. I am forever grateful.
The other piece of absolute amazement for me was the temple. The depth of sharing, of emotion, of realness, of deep collective spiritual awakening. Rivers of emotion and tears. Infinite gestures of kindness and care. The incredible balance of gratitude and despair. Of celebration and heartbreak. From the depth of mourning to the elevation of soaring spirits. Any moment I got to spend at the temple will forever be held within the core of my being.
For me, Burning Man is a declaration. A declaration of purposeless freedom. A declaration, daring you to be your own art. To live so boldly, without fear. Being the first to serve others, the first to express your boundless art. To create, dance, and sing your song. To imagine bigger than you ever imagined before.
For me, Burning Man is a platform for growth and evolution. A place where humanity can marvel at its diversity and bring about true change from purpose to meaning. Burning Man is an invitation to live fully, to live in harmony, and more than anything else, an invitation, daring you to be your own art.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]
In deep gratitude to David Braun for inviting me to join Naked Heart, the most incredible camp of all. For being a fierce loving role model and creating such a safe haven on the playa, truly you’ve made it feel like home.
To my co-teachers on the playa, Monique Darling, Eugene Hedlund, Lawrence Lanoff, Viraja Prema, Destin Gerek, Gina Marie and Layla Martin.
To all of my incredible camp mates – you know who you are; you have all truly turned this experience to absolute magic and incredible delight. I can barely wait to meet you all again, on and off the playa. Sharing these days with you have changed me so deeply. Seeing your delight, pleasure and depth of spirit will always be in my heart.
In deep gratitude to John Halcyon and Mankx Snuggleraptor for being my Burning Man ambassadors and inspiring me to take this journey in the first place.
In deep gratitude to Eugene Hedlund. What can I say? Having your friendship and newly found brotherhood has touched me more than any other experience this week. I’ve felt seen, held and guided by you my dearest friend, can’t wait to keep our adventure alive and see what craziness we can conjure together.
In deep gratitude to Monique Darling for always seeing me so fully, inspiring me to share more and more of my greatness. For being such an incredible friend, always lending an ear and an open heart. Sharing this week with you and going on all those missions together was beyond amazing. Our shared moments in the temple, will never be forgotten.
In deep gratitude to Viraja Prema, for being such a teacher to me, showing me more and more who I truly am, and how deeply I can shine and offer to the world. For helping me reach many others and teach in other camps. Thank you for beautiful shared experiences. Getting caught in that whiteout together allowed my heart to heal.
In deep gratitude to Maura Malini Hoffman for inviting me to Red Lightening, my sound healing class in that camp touched so many others, and opened me to incredibly beautiful new friendships. Thank you for always seeing me and helping me grow.
In deep gratitude to Larisa Stow for an absolutely delightful surprise. Thank you for shining so bright, for seeing me so fully, for inspiring me to fly to greater heights. For holding space for all of us as we were flying into the depth of the final burn.
And last, but not least, my deepest gratitude to all of my burner brothers and sisters. The artists, the musicians, the dancers and the creators of dreams. We are home!