Ayo’s Burning Man 2011 Impressions

8 09 2011

We just returned from an awesome week in Black Rock City and – as might be expected – my experience at Burning Man was markedly different than Yair’s.

Going into the week, I was concerned that I might have overhyped Burning Man. I spent the better part of 2010 and 2011 describing BRC as a sort of utopian society that everyone had to experience, and I probably did overhype it a bit.  I realized that – just like Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur need some preparation and introspection in order to be meaningful and in order to make the most of them  – I hadn’t given myself any opportunities to introspect, or any real transition time between Faces of Israel and Burning Man.

Rather than focusing on what Burning Man is not, I chose to embrace the wonder that Burning Man is: a hub of large-scale art and creativity, a meeting point for good and beautiful people, a practice run at being more giving and of course a welcoming place of self-discovery and boundary-pushing.

Like last year, I chose to be in the experience instead of documenting my days by photo (sorry!), but here are some highlights:

1.  Laughter yoga and a camp full of people “raaaring” like lions while sticking their tongues out as far as they go (hilarious)

2.  Discovering a full-out movie theater in the deep playa with sink-in reclining seats and a (free) concession stand

3.  Lucid dreaming workshops, impromptu massages, introduction to Ashtanga yoga and learning about monkey chanting

4.  Circus boot camp and my pitiful juggling

5.  Suspended Animation and inspiring 30+ people (including one couple on their wedding night!) through an hour plus of inversions

6.  Improv-Everywhere like shenanigans, where 30 people surround a porta-potty, roll out a red carpet and cheer when the door opens.  The lucky bathroom-user is then serenaded with “We Are The Champions”, awarded a “You Win Burning Man” trophy and exhorted to make a speech.

7.  A replica of the French quarter in New Orleans mid-desert, complete with fresh beignets each morning and jazz music each night

8.  Conversations like:  Goddess!  Yes?  Might you know where Playa Info is?  Yes, right over there.  Gratitude!  (I could get used to being addressed as “goddess”…)

9.  Workshops on living compassionately at Red Lighting, and the blind feast and Kabbalat Shabbat at Sukkat Shalom

10.  Hanging with Nomadia, meeting one of my new favorite nomads Captain and connecting with kind and fun people EVERYWHERE

I was blown away by Burning Man in 2010 and still came away from 2011 inspired, but unlike Yair, I don’t feel compelled to return to Burning Man next year because I feel like I found the experiences that I was looking for and took from Burning Man what I needed (while giving in my own way).  But for those of you who have yet to encounter the wonders of Black Rock City and are marginally curious about what the City holds in store for you, put it on your to-do list because Burning Man can be a seriously magical place.

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posted by ayo

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8 responses

8 09 2011
libertatemamo

Very cool roundup of the event! Nina

19 09 2011
ayo

Danke shein! Any interest in checking it out yourself next year?

9 09 2011
Jonathan Windle

Hey just wanted to say it was great seeing you guys at Burning Man. The “Living Nomadic: Why and How” event that Camp Nomadia put on was definitely a highlight of my first year Burning Man experience. Thank you for being apart of that.

If you guys are ever in the Seattle area and want to hang out drop me a line.

Jonathan
“The Nomad Child”

19 09 2011
ayo

Hey Jonathan! Thanks for the awesome feedback and for coming to the workshop. You could teach the rest of us a lot about travel, especially for kids! Anyway, Portland is as far north as we plan to go on this leg of the trip, but we’ll definitely keep you posted if we make it to Seattle!

11 09 2011
*camp1899*

so glad to read about your experiences at burning man this year.. one thing you mentioned that i hope to find in denver is laughter yoga, i think that would be amazing and is something i’ve been wanting to try.. great photos and really enjoyed your thoughtful post on bdsm (and your funny note to the parents at the end) (O: *tiffany*

19 09 2011
ayo

hi dear, thanks for the feedback and the love. we’re channeling you with the vegan thing right now. let me know what you think if you end up checking out the laughter yoga! xo

14 10 2012
Release

glad you enjoyed our movie theater! 🙂

16 10 2012
ayo

Cool! You found me! That theater was the best thing ever.

Thanks for sharing your creation with us. 🙂

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