All posts by Nancy Earl Harrison

Metaphysical Call Debrief #1 POSTPONED


UPDATE: This call has been POSTPONED to a later date to be announced. Thank you!

An initial debriefing call is scheduled for Saturday, September 6 at 7pm PST to share inspiration, prayers and challenges that came up throughout the Healing Foot Wash Camp’s recent journey to Burning Man.

We will be having another call again in the near future; this short notice call is to share some initial thoughts and gratitude while there is still so much momentum around the event.

Call in: 619-326-2772
Code: 1246521

The on-playa team cannot begin to say how much all of the prayers of the prayer-watch team sustained us throughout our time at Burning Man and how incredibly grateful we are for this support.

Radical Self-expression and the 5th Commandment

Photo credit:

As Burning Man approaches I’ve been fielding questions perhaps not unlike those you’ve been asked – or are asking.

“Why would you want to hang out with a bunch of naked hippies?” (If you saw my flower-power RV you might believe I’m halfway to being a naked hippie myself.)

And, “You can tell me…it’s your husband who’s more interested in Burning Man, isn’t it?” as the questioner attempts to reconcile what they know of me with what they’ve heard of Burning Man. The nudity! The promiscuity! The drug use!

As Christian Scientists, we understand that regardless of where we are – at the grocery store, our favorite lunch spot, a nightclub, church or an art festival in the middle of nowhere – our environment is as pure – or as impure – as our consciousness.

Burning Man is many things to many people. From my experience it is a very holy environment, one in which the surface judgments of society are abandoned and people feel free to be their most true self. Is it any wonder that this often finds expression in a literal shedding of that which defines our socioeconomic and professional status? I remember a couple days into my first experience at Burning Man, or “on the playa,” when I saw a man whom I immediately recognized as not fitting in somehow. It took me a few moments to realize what was different about him – it wasn’t that he was dressed, it was that he was wearing khakis and a polo shirt! This contrasted starkly with the flamboyantly costumed people surrounding both of us (and yes, some nudity). Based on my conversations, the motive of the folks who choose to be nude or partially clothed stems not from any type of sensuous thinking or blatant sexuality but is an expression of personal freedom.

We participants of the Christian Science Camp are making a conscious choice to be clothed, not only in our right minds, but in modest clothing or costumes, although there will surely be concessions to the weather that may perhaps flaunt societal norms; some men enjoy the comfort of a sarong or kilt, for example.

The metaphysical committee has been at work spiritualizing its understanding of the Burning Man Principle of Radical Self-expression and the Commandment to Honour thy father and thy mother. While nakedness, with its focus on the material body, qualifies as a lower form of self-expression, does it not point to a precious yearning for freedom from matter? True freedom and the most radical of all “self-expression” is found in honoring our Father-Mother God as our Creator and our alone Life, the very Source of our pure expression of Love. With the consciousness of Christ, the purity of our environment is constant, assured and unassailable.

Please join us in spiritualizing the Commandment “Thou shalt not kill,” and the Burning Man Principle of Communal Effort, defined as follows: “Our community values creative cooperation and collaboration. We strive to produce, promote and protect social networks, public spaces, works of art, and methods of communication that support such interaction.”

Christian Science Camp at Burning Man 2014 Lecture & Service Schedule

Brad Horn/Nevada Appeal, via Associated Press
Brad Horn/Nevada Appeal, via Associated Press

Here’s a quick breakdown of our schedule, to help out all of you who are volunteering for a prayer watch. Thank you!!

Fri Aug 22 – lead team heads to playa
Sun Aug 24 late – rest of team arrives
Mon Aug 25 – festival begins – foot washing Mon-Sat 9a-7p at Healing Foot Wash: Life, Truth, Love camp
Wed Aug 27 11:15 AM – “Discover your spiritual identity” — talk by John Tyler, CSB, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at Sacred Spaces Village (4&Gold)
Wed Aug 27 7:00 PM – gratitude sharing service at Healing Foot Wash: Life, Truth, Love camp (I&9:15)
Thu Aug 28 10:15 AM – “Beyond the sixth sense” — talk by John Tyler at Sacred Spaces Village (4&Gold)
Fri Aug 29 9:00 AM – “Conflict Resolution: a spiritual approach” — talk by John T at Center Camp
Sun Aug 31 sunrise – church service in the Temple of Grace
Mon Sept 1 – exodus back to Reno and beyond

All times are Pacific Standard Time. Thank you for your support.

Burning Man by the Numbers
Photo credit:

We invite you to join us on the playa in spirit through your prayerful and financial help. Here’s a quick breakdown of Burning Man 2014 by the (approximate) numbers:

  • 8 days  – August 25 to September 1
  • 68,000 people
  • 120 miles north of Reno, Nevada, USA
  • 7 square miles of playa (fine-powdered alkaline desert; about equivalent in size to downtown San Francisco; BLM land that transforms from barren desert to “Black Rock City” and back once a year)
  • 1,000+ Porta-Potties
  • 1 Center Camp where you can purchase ice, coffee and hot cocoa; ice is also available at two other locations; no other commerce is allowed, period.
  • 1,000s of theme camps – from Aloha Camp (island vibes, Aloha spirit and Hawaiian culture) to ZAP! (a giant lightning bolt striking the playa).
  • 1 foot washing camp* – ours! “HEALING FOOT WASH: Life, Truth, Love”Healing Foot Wash banner
    • 15+ on-playa participants
      • 15+ pairs of goggles and dust masks
      • 15+ bicycles
      • 1 gallon of water per person per day for drinking + food
    • 1 playa kitchen organized by our fabulous kitchen team and staffed by each participant in turn
    • 1 evapotron shower system
      • 497 baby wipes 😉
    • 10+ foot washing stations
      • 2000 feet washed (goal, up from 400 feet last year)
      • 1/2 C water + vinegar per foot wash
    • 3 lectures by John Tyler, CSB, a member of the Christian Science Board of Lectureship
    • as-yet uncounted number of used Bibles, Science and Healths, MyBibleLessons, Quarterlies, Sentinels, etc., for gifting
    • ++ Prayer Watch volunteers – PLEASE PRAY WITH US! <–sign up for a watch
    • 1/2 of needed funds have been raised – every donation counts! Our participants have purchased their own $380 tickets, and paid for travel and food. However,  we have lecture**, truck rental and a some miscellaneous expense to cover.

Thank you for joining us in spirit through your prayers and donations. It is never too late, nor too little. This camp belongs to everyone who wants to share their love of Christian Science with the world. We appreciate your support and promise to share our experiences with you when we return!

*according to a search for the terms “foot” and “feet” in the theme camp list
**lecture expenses include tickets, travel and food for our lecturer and spouse

John Tyler speaks to Burning Man participation


On today’s Christian Science Sentinel audio chat, John Tyler, CSB, answered a question about Burning Man as submitted by one of our camp members. John (also a member of the Christian Science Board of Lectureship) is giving three lectures at Burning Man this year, sponsored by friends of the Spiritual Playa group.

Listen to the chat here. The Burning Man question comes at about minute 50.

Wanna help? Here’s how!

Burning Man picture
Love sculpture at Burning Man – photo by Trey Ratcliff, Creative Commons

There are two main ways the Christian Science camp at Burning Man especially needs your help. One is financial donations. Please see for the mailing address to send a check and for a link to donate online. Thank you!

The other way is to pray, pray, pray! We have a prayer watch sign up calendar here: Simply fill in your name and click on the two-hour watches you’d like to take, using the scroll bar at the bottom of the page to move through the dates. Then, scroll all the way to the end of the dates and click “save” to be added to the list. Be sure to mark your calendar!

We appreciate YOU and all your help and prayers!

If all who seek his commemoration through material symbols will take up the cross, heal the sick, cast out evils, and preach Christ, or Truth, to the poor, — the receptive thought, — they will bring in the millennium. – “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” by Mary Baker Eddy

Strength, Hope, Song


Photo: AleXander hirka

The metaphysical team has been praying about the following:

Radical Self-Reliance
Burning Man encourages the individual to discover, exercise and rely on his or her inner resources.

Ex. 20:8-11
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

In spiritualizing the Burning Man principle of Radical Self-Reliance, I enjoyed praying with Hymn 10 from the Christian Science Hymnal. It was written by Frederic W. Root and reads as follows:

All power is given unto our Lord,
On Him we place reliance;
With truth from out His sacred word
We bid our foes defiance.
With Him we shall prevail,
Whatever may assail;
He is our shield and tower,
Almighty is His power;
His kingdom is forever.

Rejoice, ye people, praise His name,
His care doth e’er surround us.
His love to error’s thralldom came,
And from its chains unbound us.
Our Lord is God alone,
No other power we own;
No other voice we heed,
No other help we need;
His kingdom is forever.

O then give thanks to God on high,
Who life to all is giving;
The hosts of death before Him fly,
In Him we all are living.
Then let us know no fear,
Our King is ever near;
Our stay and fortress strong,
Our strength, our hope, our song;
His kingdom is forever.

This hymn firmly places our reliance off self and onto God. Especially lovely is the phrase “our strength, our hope, our song.”

Could strength not represent the strength we each have, in getting to the playa, setting up camp, washing feet and doing all the other practical things that need doing? Strength for us and all.

Hope speaks more to our consciousness or state of thought. You cannot be despondent, discouraged, stressed or dismayed and hopeful at the same time. A hopeful, joyous and buoyant thought is expressed by each of us and everyone we come into contact with. This uplifted and uplifting consciousness attracts the thirsty and searching.

Last we have our song! What a song we sing! The tune is catchy – one of those tunes that just gets stuck in your head. It is a song of God’s love and healing. This song represents our sharing with each other and everyone we see. Everyone hears our song, and enjoys listening to it and especially enjoys singing along with us.

Through our radical reliance on God, we have strength to do all that is needed, a hopeful, uplifting attitude, and an endless song of Love.

Next up, we will be praying about the following:

Radical Self-Expression
Radical self-expression arises from the unique gifts of the individual. No one other than the individual or a collaborating group can determine its content. It is offered as a gift to others. In this spirit, the giver should respect the rights and liberties of the recipient.

Ex. 20:12
Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

Isn’t it wonderful how the commandments mesh so beautifully with the principles?! Thank you for your prayers. Please feel free to share your inspiration in the comments!

On What or Whom Do You Rely?
Photo by Darcy McCarty

The next topics the Spiritual Playa metaphysical team is addressing are the fourth Burning Man principle of radical self-reliance and the fourth Commandment. Join in and comment your inspiration!

Radical Self-Reliance
Burning Man encourages the individual to discover, exercise and rely on his or her inner resources.

Ex. 20:8-11
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

As always, the prayer team is open to requests. We’ll be discussing our inspiration on our next call June 29 and welcome your prayers and other input!

How do you experience life?


The next topic the Spiritual Playa metaphysical team is addressing is the third Burning Man principle of decommodification and the third Commandment. Join in and comment your inspiration!

In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience.

Ex. 20:7
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

Prayer request has also been made for justice, equality, and forward movement for humanity in respect to Burning Man.

What’s your gift?


The next topic the Spiritual Playa metaphysical team is addressing is the second Burning Man principle of gifting and the second Commandment. Join in and comment your inspiration!

Burning Man is devoted to acts of gift giving. The value of a gift is unconditional.
Gifting does not contemplate a return or an exchange for something of equal value.

Ex. 20:4-6
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:

Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.