Tag Archives: burning man

A Synchronized Sequence of Events

My tenth year at Burning man was a wild success.  I felt happier, healthier, more sober, fed and well-rested than I have in my 9 preceding burns.  I felt more able to connect with my friends, campmates and community than ever before as well.  Something is shifting in me that I am so happy about.  I am finally taking a decided interest in my health and wellbeing, both physically and mentally and it is being reflected back to me in the deepening connection I feel with others. I wandered aimlessly from lake to ocean post-burn until the 11th, when I took myself to a business and personal development event in San Jose, California called The Client Attraction Summit, put on by Thrive Academy.  

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Photo credit: Gurps Chawla

I don’t believe in accidents.  It was succinctly timed that I was as exhausted and emotionally vulnerable as one is after Burning Man, while also being faced with intense inquiry and intimate experiences at this event.  I pushed myself hard to exit my comfort zone and pinpoint exactly what about the workshop was uncomfortable to me.  I think by allowing myself to express emotions and to follow winding thoughts like: Why am I here?  Do I deserve this?  Am I capable of making a difference?  Do I have anything worth sharing with the world?  I was led more toward things like: Who am I to not share my light?  What better way could I spend my time than by trying to make an impact?  Isn’t it more important to ask for help than to stand here, an island, unable to progress?  Isn’t it scarier not to try at all, than to end up failing? 

I went to gain clarity, and each day I uncovered more and more details about the message that I want to share with the world, and who specifically I want to work with.  I decided that I most like to help women heal their current relationships with family, lovers and community by magnifying their own inner power and releasing past suffering.  Sound familiar?  It is often those most like us that we are meant to serve.  Realizing this gave me the strength to clean things up with some people in my life, as a way of truly walking my talk.

I learned a lot last weekend, not the least of which was to believe in myself and to open the fuck up.  We are here on earth to relate to one another, to figure out how to do this ‘human’ thing and to do whatever we can to pull ourselves and others out of suffering.  I’m so delighted to be on this journey with you, and I am so inspired about the changes I’m making in my life right now, thanks to Thrive Academy and their dream team of Coaches and Holistic Practitioners.  If anyone wants to hear more about it, feel free to contact me Zenlunatix at g mail dot com

And so it goes… Stay tuned for more magic as this next year catches fire. 

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Burning it all down

Dear Everyone,

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38 hours till lift off.  Black Rock City bound!  It’s so close I can taste it.  Actually I can literally taste it as the clouds of dust shake out of my unwashed rainbow gear.  The preparation is well under way but a D&M (deep and meaningful conversation) recently got me thinking ahead.  To when the man lies in ashes and the wagons turn around.

When leaving Burning Man each year most of us, while sleep deprived and emotionally exhausted, are also supercharged with a deep connection.  A connection to our community, and what it is to be a part of one, and also connected with a deeper part of ourselves.  A part that unfortunately we often struggle to keep around.  That for me is a huge reason why I keep going back.  I desire that yearly reminder of what it feels like to be unconditionally loved and unconditionally loving towards each person you come across.  The temple burn gets far less press than the man.  Rightly so, this party in the desert was first created and is first recognized as just that: A party.  The temple, however, is an opportunity to evolve.  We spend the week placing mementos, writing notes, and dropping baggage in the temple.  Sunday night we then burn the thing to the ground.  A friend of mine a few years back hated this idea.  “It’s so beautiful.  How could we possibly build something so wonderful just to set it on fire?”  True.  It’s fucking crazy when you think about it physically.  But as temples generally are built for spiritual purposes we’ll delve further.  The temple has to be just exactly as big and grand and intricate as it is because it has to hold all of our shit and suffering and personal hells in it.  A place so full of pain and old stories and incredible loved ones that we’ve lost has to be magnificent and important.  And then we have to burn that shit to the ground.  It is our cleansing.  It is our forgiving of the world for its moments of cruelty.  It is our release from all things that keep us from being our highest selves.  So what do you burn?
As always I hold space for my two closest grandparents, legendary counselors and my supreme examples of pure love.  I burn my grief for them and raise to a level where I can still feel them with me, a place where I know they are not gone, and never will be.  This year my step-mothers Mom has also passed.  So I burn the sadness that has followed and I imagine her with her husband, playing cards, happy and young again, jumping into the lake behind their heavenly cabin in Wisconsin.
I burn heartache.  The months in my past spent aching over my first love.  I let him go completely.  In the ashes I find an opening for new love and a readiness to be a part of an elevated and healthy relationship.  One where we are both pushed beyond what we once thought possible in support, inspiration and unconditional love.
I burn unworthiness.  I am worthy.  I deserve and accept the very best in life.
I burn poverty and any thought related to being in want.  As that goes up in flames, I welcome infinite abundance and know that it is my birth right.  WE are energy, all things are energy, we create flow by bringing our thoughts to the gratitude of having flow.  I burn stagnation.  I create evolution.
These are things I am burning down for myself.  But more importantly I am burning them down for each of you.  By removing my own blockages, letting go of my suffering and baggage, and connecting to my highest self whenever possible I am creating a better world for us all to live in.  A world more in tune with love and community.
I am burning it all down for you, and I’m hoping you burn it all down for me too.
Light, love, fire and ashes and dust,
Quinn

SAMSUNG DIGIMAX D530

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Bowrain Reincarnated

My most recent rainbow project.  Here are some details of Bowrain’s new wings…Bowrain bef:after photo Bowrain maze photo

Bowrain text photo

Bowrain tail photoFor those of you who don’t know her, here is Bowrain’s epic tale.

And in the spirit of my favorite time of year here’s another article about BRC from a couple years ago.

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actual moment of reunification

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A Study on Chakras

Roughly 9.5″ in diameter, wire frames made by hand and then wrapped in yarn.   Made to hang in an installation yet to be built for Burning Man 2011: Rites of Passage.

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Rage-opolis

It’s our Woodstock.  It’s our Haight and Ashbury.  It’s the place the Merry Pranksters would have created had things not gotten quite so out of hand.  Or maybe that’s inaccurate.  Maybe it truly is something else entirely.

I know for sure it is a place of exploration.  It is a supreme return to the instinctual id while keeping some version of your ego and identity.  Where you do everything exactly right.  And when you do manage to fuck up, you couldn’t hope to find a more perfect time and place to do it.  We remember how to play, and laugh, and eat candy, and stay up late.  How to figure things out and entirely exit your comfort zone.  To get weird and talk nonsense and be completely understood.  To walk all night, inhaling dust and dancing holes into the ground.

When your body wears out and you weep from the extreme emotions of sleep deprivation you begin to feel the powerful weight of this place.  A steep and unwieldy emotional roller-coaster that assists you in shaking off the comfortable persona that you’ve spent years creating for yourself: I am this, I do this, I feel this, I react to this.  Once you realize this is a place you can be/do/feel anything, the possibilities you begin to create for yourself and your life are amazing.

We burn a man down on Saturday.  I see it as a last hurrah.  The entire week is building up to this moment.  The population is at its peak.  The art is all finally finished and functioning.  The parties are the loudest, longest and insanely unmatchable.  You get to a point where who you used to believe you were sort of vanishes in the madness and you’re left with whatever version of awesome you have the nerve to continue being.

Then Sunday we burn the temple.  All week long people write on the temple.  Messages to people they have lost or things that they want to let go of.  (I think sunrise after losing your mind all night is the best time to do this because you are most tuned in and in the most raw emotional form possible for honestly expressing yourself.)  When we burn the temple the party is over; it is a silent moment of introspection and enormous flames.  Somehow with the falling of those last logs you are released.  Cleansed of that year’s collection of baggage and bullshit and suffering.  Reborn, renewed, reawakened to the beauty of this life and the right way to treat each other and the endless possibility for love and harmony and being whoever the hell you want for the rest of your life.

If done just right, what I’m telling you is that Burning Man is an excellent opportunity for accelerated personal evolution… if you’re into that kind of thing.  As a wise friend of mine once said, “It’s only a bad trip if you come back the same person.”

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Off We Go Into the Wild Dust Yonder

So it seems that another year has passed and the time has come to repack our colorful garb for a fresh season of dust-caked greatness.  I can’t believe the lengthy roster of my nearest and dearest that are frolicking out onto open playa with me this year.

Finally, the dreams, and nightmares, have begun.  The fantastic imagery you are left with after Burning Man leaves a special mark on your subconscious.  A burner often dreams of flying over the desert grasping golden balloons, being chased by bjork, maybe walking through a room of day-glo oriental rugs while drinking sake, or worst of all arriving without any of your nifty stuff.  At this time of year I often wake up in cold sweats thankful: I didn’t get there without my bike, or my water, or my whistle, or my two rainbow tutus, because we haven’t even left yet. Whew! The last thing you want to do is show up unprepared.  That’s why I’ve spent the last few days sewing fur onto my moccasins, mod-podging random pictures onto forty bic lighters, threading little LEDs into fake flowers and ordering 50 pairs of rainbow firework glasses.  The water, tent stakes and lotion we can pick up on the way.

I’m so excited for temple at dawn, hula hooping on a trampoline to wait out a dust storm, chasing blinking lights miles into the horizon because we haven’t gone that way yet, and most of all to celebrate the new year with 60,000 + of my closest friends.

Shake the dust.  Burn the past.  Light the future.

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The Epic Adventure of Bowrain

Once upon a time I went to play putt-putt golf at three in the morning.  It was Monday morning at Burning Man 2008.  The gates had just opened three hours before so a good amount of dust was in the air.  Dust lit by the headlights of a thousand cars pulling out into the open desert of Black Rock City, Nevada.

I had spent that whole day decking out my bike, well, between riding it out to the man, building our camps first chrome-dome and killing a big ole bottle of Carlo Rossi with whomever was around.  She looked damn good.  A big wire basket on front, an American flag wrapped around her frame(Amer. Dream theme that year), and best of all a 6 ft. pvc pipe sticking out of the back like a tail, with fabric in all the colors of the rainbow tied to it.  That’s how she got her name,  rainbow -> Bowrain.  And look at her glow.  Twelve feet of yellow and blue E.L. wire lit her up on her maiden voyage that dusty morning.  In her basket was my bag, my camera, my new glow poi, and a variety of other toys and accoutrements.

I’ll just say this was my third year at the burn and I had never locked my bike or anything up before.  I was misguided due to all my previous experiences at the burn being so based in love and community.  I never expected one of my nearest and dearest in this world, a fellow burner, to be faced enough to run off with my bike.  Wrong.  After a gruesome 18 or so holes of putt-putt my friend Ocho and I return to our place of parkage to find my beautiful and newish baby Bowrain evaporated.

Gone, absent, missing, unavailable, and no more.  I was in shock, then I was a little angry, and then just hurt and sad.  I spent a hefty part of that week coming to terms with a few things: the literal loss of property (an estimated $650 worth of crap on two wheels); the meaning of releasing ones material possessions as a means of transformation and personal growth; and also for the first time traversing the BRC on foot and art car and borrowed bikes only. I went to the Black Rock Radio one day and asked the masses over radio waves to keep an eye out for her.  I had all seventy plus members of my theme camp looking for her as they explored the nooks and crannies of our great city.  To no avail.  The daily trips to circle around center camp were fruitless as well.

So then it was Friday night, the city was built, the man would be burned tomorrow.  The weekenders had arrived and if you haven’t been I’ll just say this: the shit is blown up.  The city is throbbing with an energy only describable as chromatic, psychedelic, cosmic, seamless, perfect… well timed.  There truly is no describing it.  It ropes you in, to say the least.  I find myself standing on the roof of a silver Sphynx, dancing…

Ethan Zirin-Brown photo cred

And someone calls my name.  Your bike LOOK!!  We run down the stairs and bust out of the double doors and a woman is standing right there, RIGHT THERE! with Bowrain!! I was too happy to even suspect she had stolen it.  I released all negativity and regret and attachment and she came back to me, that Bowrain.  We must be meant to be.  The woman said it was sitting in front of her camp all week and she thought if she brought it out someone would recognize it.  The light I had left on was dead, as if it had been abandoned.  Every damn thing in the basket was still in its perfect place.  And the girls camp was literally  around the block from putt-putt.   Someone obviously needed a little joyride and then ditched her in a moment of spunion glory on two wheels.  It was a beautiful moment.

actual moment of reunification

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