Monday, September 13, 2010

Playa Manna

One week back from Burning Man, the great annual fire arts pilgrimage into the desert of Pyramid Lake. SO many dimensions to describe: Black Rock City, the people, the art, the culture, the setting, the scope, the panorama... The power of this event-full event emerges from nothing but creative inspiration and becomes a synergistic, extra-ordinary and magical journey for tens of thousands of Burners:

How does Black Rick City and the Playa inspire, encourage and elicit so much radical amazement in its citizens?

On the Playa, magic really happens: synchronicities, synergies, co-incidences abound (in fact, as i wrote this, the word co-incidence was just spoken in the movie "it might get loud" )!! The setting, the context, the scope, the survival requirements, the generosity spirit, the beauty,... No cell phones, no money exchanged, no car keys, no computers... these are some of the elements that bring out the best in us Burners! My experience for long stretches of time was the sense that ... "it just keeps getting better" and... this is manna from heaven, it tastes like however we might imagine! One experience or encounter completes, and another amazing connection or scene spawns and evolves. One awesome moment morphs into the next, and its just as good. The morphogenetic fields that are generated by radical openness and co-creative engagement generate increasing generosity. That's how it works, as far as i can tell! As we are fed the manna of the Playa, we nourish and are nourished by each others acts of beauty, generosity, openness and love. Instead of closing off to the other, we open and are fed; we feed and feel, in simple acts of giving, an expansive generosity of spirit.

I offered workshops for men and women on the sacred masculine, the mature masculine and intimacy. The conversations and experiences were rich. For myself, the opportunity to step up into leadership of the sacred spaces village "third chakra solar masculine temple" became a brilliant moment in my life. The receptivity and responsiveness was deeply gratifying. There was one moment where a group of 35+ men in our temple dome were in 100% consensus that we each felt valued/valuable on the Playa. Not a dissenting voice! And we felt valued because we were all giving what we had to offer and being received. Its simple: see what needs to be done and do it, offer what you can when the time is right, and receive what is being offered to you without an exchange obligation, i.e. the need to reciprocate. My quivers are full of medicine arrows and i am not alone in that!

The beauty of burning man is astounding: radiant faces, dusty hair, open eyes allowing depth of contact, costume/adornment creativity, inventive structures/ domes/ sculptures/ bicycles/ art cars... bicycle paradise... events like monkey chanting, massage, workshops, healings... all night dancing and some of the the best sound systems in the world... sunrises and sunsets with the desert mountains as backdrop, double rainbows... a metropolis lit up at night in all kinds of crazy-inventive ways,... fire arts performances and sculptures that inspire and ignite the soul... all of this and more makes for an unparalleled variety of experiences, encounters and heart/mind/body/soul openings.

Just wanted to give a taster of a description of why i make the annual pilgrimage. Every journey is unique: each year the adventure burns into my soul, deepens my happiness, peace and overall life satisfaction. It is Manna from heaven, this thing called Burning man. I feel completely filled and am grateful beyond belief.

2 comments:

Alan Salmi said...

It sounds like heaven (and quite a bit like a Pagan festival). I've talked to a lot of burners and, while the dust, etc can be inconvienient, everyone loves the energy of the place. I'll have to put it on the calendar for next year! Maybe I'll see you there!
-Alan

Mike said...

Michael,
What a wonderful journey you have described here. Thank you for sharing this with all of us.
The theme for next year is "Rights of Passage". The connotations of this theme sounds beautiful and frightening. There is this notion of expulsion, alienation, self realization and (hopefully) acceptance.
My mind races to think of the what art and experiences might be created to present this theme (or emulate or capture or resonate). It promises to be spectacular.
I have been fantasizing about going next year.
Thanks again for telling us your story.
Mike Barnett