Just some quotes that I heard and read about Burning Man that resonated:

Burning man collapses the borders that keep us apart

Reach out to each other and speak from the heart

Connection to others

Burning man

Are you familiar with Burning Man? And its principles?

Burning Man co-founder Larry Harvey wrote 10 principles in 2004 for the newly formed community. And they are the basis for the ethos and culture of this movement.

The real Burning Man takes place in Nevada, USA, with nearly 100.000 people gathering. In addition, there are many smaller burn events across the world.

Burning man
Burning man experience

My burning man experience

Last weekend I visited 50/50 fest, a very small event in Germany based on the principles of burning man. It was my first event like this ever.

The story

I got a ticket from a friend, who could not make it himself. One day he texted me, saying that he felt he had to give this ticket to me. And decided that he would not give me any more information than that was presented on the website of the event: 50/50 fest.

I never visit larger gatherings like festivals or concerts, so I was not sure what I was up to.

But as I am willing to take steps out of my comfort zone to see where it brings me, I decided to accept the kind offer. And I trusted him in knowing what he gave me.

The experience

Arriving on Friday afternoon after working for a week at Viller Mühle. Now An old mill and industrial place now set up a museum.

I put up the tent. And walked around. Again. And again. Thinking of what I was doing there. Why I was there. Thinking, thinking, thinking. Not feeling at ease. At all.

sunset
sunset

After a few hours, two people stepped up to me. They had been at the same table a while ago. They opened the conversation. And helped me opening up.

They actually build kind of a sanctuary, where they invited people to share their stories, stories of loss. It felt right to join them and share my life story. And they shared theirs. After an hour or so, they invited me for dinner, and we talked till the sunset.

Gradually, it became easier.

Talking with people while waiting in line for a drink. Sharing stories and being vulnerable started to feel like the first essential step to dive in and make connections. Connections from the heart. And now I was gradually realizing that everyone has a story to tell.

The next two days this feeling expanded. In particular, the feeling of sharing, giving, listening, no judgment, connection at the heart level. I started to feel at ease. And after two days I felt really at peace, relaxed, opened up.

There was someone telling me he saw me the first evening and the last morning and noticed how different I looked and felt. The first night he noticed a kind of brick wall around me, not being able to connect. While the last day, I had this smile on my face and completely different energy.

So I noticed, and others noticed.

I got out of my comfort zone, and got into my comfort zone

I texted the friend who gave me the ticket: “ I jumped into the deep, and now I surfaced at a very beautiful place”. He loved the description.

sharing and connecting
sharing and connecting

For me, the experience was about finding a new kind of community, a tribe, where there are heartfelt connections and no judgment. I am adding this tribe to my list!

The 10 principles of burning man

At home I started digging into the 10 principles

  1. Radical Inclusion: anyone may be a part of Burning Man. Anyone is welcome, and there are no prerequisites.
  2. Gifting: everyone is devoted to acts of gift giving. Gifting is unconditional, there is no return of value or exchange.
  3. Decommodification: no commercial transactions are allowed
  4. Radical Self-reliance: every individual has to discover and rely on his or her inner resources
  5. Radical Self-expression: this arises from the gifts of individuals and expression content is determined by the giver
  6. Communal Effort: there are cooperation and collaboration, and support of interaction
  7. Civic Responsibility: everyone has responsibility for public welfare and the laws
  8. Leaving No Trace: respecting the environment is key, clean up after yourself
  9. Participation: transformation occurs through personal participation, through doing, actions open the heart
  10. Immediacy: overcome the barriers between us, recognize your inner self, connect and be open in the now

My intention is to follow up on this blog with how one or more of these principles can be applied in ‘real’ life. But I first will experience how it is to be back!

Anyone visited a Burning Man event? I would love to hear your story in the comments!