Life Lessons From Burning Man

Maya Zuckerman, “cultural hacker”, has shared 13 Life Lessons from 13 Years at Burning Man.

From Huffington Post:

The dust has finally settled after my thirteenth year at TTITD, “That Thing In the Desert”, the ephemeral psychedelic experience that is often referred to as Burning Man.

Burning Man celebrates the simple notion that “people have permission to be whoever they want to be. It is such a powerful ideal that people will go to the most inhospitable places in the world in order to get a little taste of it.” To explain what the event is or isn’t would take a few blog posts, so I will not attempt that here. More reading about the event can be done here!

Every year, participants drive hundreds of miles in the scorching heat in search of Black Rock City, Nevada; a barren desert in the middle of nowhere which we call the playa. They come for different reasons. One perhaps is to find nirvana in a sea of mesmerizing music and sense-blinding electronica. It is a place where people can learn through participation, revelry, and inquiry, how to truly connect and experience what it means to be human.

Here are 13 life lessons from my 13 year journey:


1. Do-ocracy – a thought construct that celebrates the empowering notion of taking individual responsibility. In a harsh desert environment, resources are limited. As a result, most everyone choose to work together to achieve community goals (there are those to choose to pay for a “vacation”, a controversy being debated in the community at present). This proactive mentality imbues a sense of personal responsibility where actions are motivated not only by self-preservation, but by a desire to make a difference and affect change through actions.

2. Cultivation of Awe – If you can imagine standing in a crowd of hundreds and peering up at art installations/sculptures up to 100 feet high as they burst into flames in symbolic offerings, you would come away with feelings of awe, veneration, wonder and even dread. That feeling of ‘awe’ challenges our sense of mortality and teaches us to cultivate tolerance, patience and humility. It gives us new perspectives.


The beautiful art installation Hybycozo

3, Respect and Accountability – Survival instincts kick in when you are in the desert surrounded by over 65,000 other attendees. One realizes that in order for the festival to work, one cannot coexist peacefully without mutual respect from each member of the ‘tribe’. Respect is an essential theme that forces one to look at the whole ecosystem of one’s life: respect for self, body, health, nature and others. Accountability enshrines one’s individual right to exist, to make decisions, to practice responsibility and to realize that one is held accountable to both self and others.

4. Service to Others – “Burning Man is devoted to acts of gift giving that celebrates the philosophy of unconditional servitude. “Gifting” does not contemplate a return or an exchange for something of equal value.” Essentially, being of service teaches and encourages us to be of service to community, friends, city and ultimately planet.

5. Listen to Your Body – In an overstimulated environment with temperatures rising above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, blocking everything out and listening to one’s own instincts can be a challenge. Many times I would find myself especially in the earlier years ignoring my inner voice and over-exerting myself – pushing harder, partying harder. What I learned later on is that your body has its own intelligence and the ability to listen and honor its messages helps you to achieve mental and physical peace.

6. The Playa Gives You What You Need, Not What You Want – What we want is not always what we get and oftentimes we react by attempting to control everything and everyone. Burning Man is like a ‘wise mentor’ expressing the notion that all things happen according to a universal plan. It is that sort of understanding that has given me grace and tolerance in the face of difficulties.

Read the rest here.


Distrikt Camp day party


The temple of Grace – By David Best




Ice To A/C: Solar Power Air Conditioner


Homemade AC Air Cooling unit produces very cold air. 42F air (in an 80F room). items needed: ice chest (hard-sided or styrofoam), pvc pipe, small fan and ice. (small solar panel is optional). great for space cooling. 3 ways to power it: a solar panel, a battery or an automobile (using 12v socket “cig. plug”). According to a top-rated AC company, this air cooler combines the durability of the “5 Gallon bucket air cooler” with the extra cooling power of the “styrofoam ice chest air cooler”. specs: fan: 12VDC 10w 0.8A. solar panel: 15 watt (1 amp). works best in semi-dry or dry climates. (drier air cools down easier/faster than humid). air temperature during testing 80F (4% relative humidity). block of ice lasted 5 hours (larger blocks can last up to 10). to run the cooler 100% off-grid check out my solar ice making/freezer vids.

Busted? Lawyers For Burners Can Help You Beat The Rap

Lawyers For Burners gave an interview on BMIR today, with some useful information.

lawyers for burnersIf you get a citation at Burning Man, please contact Lawyers for Burners. More than 2/3rds of citations at Burning Man are for drugs. If you just pay the fine, you will have a drug offense permanently on your record. If you show up in court, or send a lawyer on your behalf, you are almost certain to be able to plea-bargain the offense down so the drug aspect is removed.

Court appearances are November, December, January in Reno.

Every person in the past has been offered the opportunity to plea bargain it down from a drug offense, usually to a traffic offense. The fine may be reduced also.

Drug offenses are handled by the BLM. Pershing County Sheriff’s department may be involved for other offenses.

Lawyers for Burners can recommend a lawyer who will appear for you for $200. Their recommendations are lawyers who are part of our community. They are very experienced with Pershing County, which is a small jurisdiction, with only a few lawyers who regularly appear.