My first burn was in 2017, I was a virgin & a tourist. At the end of it, I was like, meh, for this money I’d take a nice holiday. Then in my first plant medicine experience which was immediately after my first vipassana meditation retreat last year in 2019, I saw it, I saw the desert, I saw the dust, the playa calling me and boy did she have a plan for me.
Perhaps, I would have been back about a week ago from this year from what’s an ode to the indefatigable human spirit, a celebration of humanity and his ingenuity, its love and kindness. I did, however, want to share my gifts from my last burn. Warning: While some of the content is graphic, there is no mention of sex & drugs. Proceed –
My identity –
First day of the of the burn, about 9 AM, I went to camp Starfist for Vipassana meditation. It was led by this wizened old gentleman with long white hair. John’s been meditation since the 50s. We chatted a some after the meditation. He asked me my name, and I said ‘Raja’ and he asked, ‘is that your default?’. (Now those that are uninitiated, burners call this world – the one where we work etc, the default world.), I continued that I’m looking for a burner name to land in my lap. He said, “no, your burner name is Raja, the king, why would you want to be called anything else?”
There it was, my sense of self, dissolving and reforming into acceptance of my identity – whether in the playa or in the default. I’m Raja!
Talking about which, the dust is everywhere, yes, everywhere, your butt-crack, your nose, eyelids, you name it. If you have the luxury of a shower, you will be covered in dust in minutes. Don’t know any better teacher that can teach us acceptance
My bike lost air in a ceremony one of the night’s before at Anahasana village. I walked around in the deep playa, slept. Woke up early to walk to Naked heart, stopped to get the best bloody Mary and bacon. Walked into a tent for a ceremony I had ‘planned’ on. It was led by the tantric Eugene Hedlund. In 2 hours, I stood naked with others I had never met, all of us wailing & crying in the divine embrace of Ma Kali’s Love.
I spoke to Eugene after and asked him If it was the ‘ceremony’ I had planned on attending. He said, no, this one was for Kali. I said, oh, I came here by mistake. He smiled and replied, ‘no, you’re in the right place’
They you can’t seek Kali, she finds you, despite visiting numerous Kali temples in India, she came to me thousands of miles away, in the high deserts of Nevada, a land no less sacred!
Nudity, not lewdity-
No one gives a shit how you look like or what you are wearing. Be yourself, be nice, be kind & respectful. You will in the foam dome showering naked with 100s of people while Alex Grey paints in the background. You will be sitting in a Sauna from the Icelandic camp with all bodies & shapes. It is 350 degrees inside, and you come out and feel cold at 100 degrees temperature of the desert. Skinny, fit, fluffy, you’re fucking beautiful. Tell yourself next time that when you look at yourself in a full-length mirror, naked!
You’re the Art, you’re beauty –
There is no art like art in burning man. Immersive, every sense of yours – engaged! every cell in your body involved in creating an experience, that is uniquely yours to keep forever, irreplicable for anyone, but only for you, in your memory & senses forever.
While we hear about riding into the sunset, the playa asked me to ride up to the sunrise (I could write 2 more pages just about Playa Sunrise).
The 2019 BM theme was Metamorphoses, truly I went as a cocoon and came out as a butterfly.
Fuck yer burn!
12th September, 2020