Lessons Learned 2012

For the “Question of the Week” for my podcast, I asked people to share lessons they learned while at Burning Man.  The responses were amazing.

FYI, the Hug Nation hug starts at 10:22 if you want to pull out before it gets too pink & fluffy.



About the author: John "Halcyon" Styn


Halcyon is a 21-year Burning Man participant and co-founder of Pink Heart camp. He is author of "Love more. Fear less." and producer of the Burning Man short film, "The Pink Path." He's won Webby awards for his over-the-top personal site & his "Love On Demand" video podcast HugNation.com. Halcyon co-founded the San Diego based "1st Saturdays" homeless outreach program based on Burning Man Principles and coaches people how to be radically self expressed in the default world. You can find his full Playa Tips & Tricks series at www.PlayaPrinciples.com

5 Comments on “Lessons Learned 2012

  • Sunny says:

    It has taken me almost 2 weeks to figure this question out, but, it has finally set in and feels good. This was my fifth year at the burn and every year has been completely different, due to going with friends, taking my now husband out there on a second date, honeymooning and this year taking some virgin friends. As we exited the gates this year, I felt a sense of bitterness and sadness that I did not do all of the things that I set out to do and see at the burn this year. I realize that it is actually impossible to do everything that I want to do out there, but, I felt like I did not even come close. My husband and I spent time worrying about our friends who were waiting for their friends that were bringing an R.V. and all of their food and drinks. These friends did not show up until Thursday morning, so, in the meantime, we absolutely wanted to take care of our friends. A bit stressful and straining on our rations of food and water. Another friend had a bit of a meltdown from a mix of heat exhaustion, dehydration and staying up for too many days. All of a sudden we were talking him down from riding his bike right out of Black Rock City, which was a good 36 hour chat. At the end of the week, everyone made a full recovery and they all plan on coming back out to BRC next year. So, for me, I felt very bitter that I spent half of my week taking care ,(babysitting) the new kids. The more and more I think about it since I have been back in Colorado, I realize that this is just part of it. We all come back to the real world and talk about this magical place, that we can’t seem to explain and get so many fired up about joining us. Each of us have completely different adventures and experiences out there. The best part about being out there is how much people are willing to give of themselves, their music, their knowledge, their everything and anything. So, looking back, in my friends times of need, we can feel good that we were there to give them support, shelter, food, water, knowledge of how to stay healthy in that environment and some much needed moral support. I may have missed out on lots of things, but, it will be there for me next year to indulge in.
    Last week when people asked how my burn was, I was not very enthusiastic about it. Now that I have had a little self realization and time to think about it, I say that it was “just as amazing, eye-opening, up-lifting and inspiring as ever, can’t wait to go back.”
    Thank you Burning Man for each and every life lesson you have taught me over the last 6 years. May your spirit go on forever!

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  • Dustin says:

    Lesson learned: stop staying at the Grand Sierra. What a shit-show this year. I was almost embarrassed to be a burner. Next year: invade the Tahoe Hyatt instead?

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  • Brother Love says:

    Most of my lessons learned were actually lessons remembered – for everything I learned in BRC, I clearly knew as child. As we grow into adulthood, we become encased in the struggles and stories of responsibility and all that assaults the freedom we experience on the Playa – and like a child, the greatest gift is being able to embrace life and our experience of it, just how it presents itself, rather than trying to bend it to conform to how we think it should be. It is when we can live in this place of acceptance and harmony with what is, that life takes on the depth, power and magnitude that greets us on the Playa. Blessings….

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  • Chrispy says:

    Dustin: YES!

    I arrived there Tuesday and wanted nothing more than to go back to the (now sleepy) desert and escape the drugged out, stupid hippies. *ugh*

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  • ChrissyP says:

    For my burgin year, I had some of what Sunny had, in that I felt very bogged down with waiting on others to arrive, helping to pack when they left early, cleaning up after, feeding, fixing drinks for, to the point that my energy felt used, rather than gifted. I’ve learned that I am unwilling to spend my time on the playa taking care of folks who are taking advantage of me. I know that sounds yucky, but as a giver and a planner for life, what I learned is that that 8 days in the desert is too precious for me to not take full advantage of it, and that I cannot allow myself to be bogged down by folks who are able to do for themselves. I am attempting to bring a little grasshopper-ish-ness into my Ant soul. I love, but will be more careful with whom I share my home at HOME.

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