Here are some of the experiences, stories and gratitude shared about our 2014 Burning Man experiences:
Due to the rain, all traffic into BM had to stop for a day. Our lecturer, his wife, and another camp member had been slated to arrive by Burner bus on Monday, and were not able to enter. On Tuesday morning, we had no idea when they would arrive, but had scouts checking the bus arrival point to meet them. When the last bus had come in for the day, and we had not seen them, we hoped they were on the Playa, but did not know where.
An important note: on the Playa, there is no cell phone service, no email option, no texting, none of the usual means of connecting these days. Our arriving camp members had our approximate address, but the bus stop was a distance from our camp, and they were on foot in a strange place. We all prayed not only for these three, but for all that had been stranded and were now trying to find their camps.
At a point in the afternoon, Nancy and I both felt strongly that it was time to go walking to meet these members. We started down our road and at the first cross street stopped to write a message on a cardboard sign, should they come that way. Then we decided to close our eyes and just listen expectantly for which of the four possible directions to go from there. We did, and after about thirty seconds, I asked which direction came to her. She pointed. I said, that came to me, too. We began walking down that road, and within less than one minute, John, Michelle, and Patricia all came walking down that road, straight for us. It was such a joy! All were in very good spirits. Though they had not known each other before arriving at Burning Man, Love had brought them together not long before. Such a joyous meeting, led by active listening prayer was a wonderful promise of God/Love’s tangible presence in our midst. That presence never left.
— Anna Lisa Kronman, CS
1. Protection from lightening
I arrived at camp early Monday morning (about 4 AM or so) and went to sleep in the communal tent. In the morning around 8 AM or so, I got up. It was raining, so after visiting the loo, assisted other camp members in setting up for breakfast. I was asked to assist others in setting up two small shelter structures in the cooking area so the group could cook and eat breakfast in the rain. There was lightening in the area and the structure poles were metallic . At one point I heard a lightening crack a few feet away and heard the thunder very loud and right away (no delay). I also smelled very strong ozone smell from the lightening. I believe the lightening struck only a few feet away from me and I thank God for the protection of those setting up the structures, including myself.
2. Two lost cameras were found (recovered) one belonging to me (left in main tent where I napped during the day) (in the evenings I slept in my own tent). My metaphysical work was there was no original sin (i.e. no fallen or lost anything). The other camera belonged to another camp member and was needed to “film” (record) the lecturer’s lecture that same day.
3. On Wednesday evening, I was returning to camp from a staff party and art car tour via bicycle. On the way, my costume (dress) was caught up in the bicycle chain and I came to a sudden halt. I fell but was not hurt in any way (I saw generic man as unfallen) and folks from a nearby camp at the place my bike fell came to my rescue with a utility knife to cut away the costume and helped unravel the cloth out of the chain mechanism. It was getting late in the day due to the delay of the “emergency” bike repair but I got to the camp before the gratitude meeting was over and shouted out my testimony over the rejoicing sounds of a nearby sound camp at the meeting.
4. Another bike crash occurred one morning at about 7:15 AM when I was returning from Center Camp to our camp. I was on the Esplanade (main inner ring road) and another bike was approaching. We each tried to maneuver to avoid each other, but instead of maneuvering out of each other’s way we crashed into one another. Again, I fell (the other driver did not). The other driver asked me if I was OK. I was. I got up and again was not hurt. Both of us drivers apologized to each other, hugged each other and were on our respective ways.
5. On the return to Berkeley from Reno on September 1, in the Previa, probably near Vacaville, an accident was avoided, which I attribute to divine protection. It was night time, probably near 10 PM. The Previa was in the right hand lane. A truck (18 wheeler semi) was parked on the right shoulder but was trying to re-enter the stream of very busy but fast moving holiday evening traffic. The truck was maneuvering to get into the road just as the Previa was going by. The driver of our Previa (Mark) tried to go into the lane next left but other cars refused to let him in. So we went straight ahead and missed the semi (the semi turned away at the last second). I attribute this to our angels being with us.
— Loren M.
John, Michele and Patricia were scheduled to come in on two different buses on Monday. Because of the rain, all Monday transportation was cancelled. So we expected them Tuesday…sometime.Twice a couple people made the trek over to the bus station to look for them. Mike and I were there when the last bus arrived and they were not there.
So we went back to camp hoping they were there but they weren’t and we could only hope they were on the playa somewhere and would find their way to us. Remember, we had essentially no internet service and no cell reception. The approximate address we’d been given, which everyone knew, was I and 9:15. To further complicate things, we’d ended up getting placed much closer to 9 than to 9:15. We figured there was about a 1/2 mile range of possibilities for them to explore on foot after they’d made it to the general area. This didn’t seem like an acceptable way to welcome them and many of us were praying about the situation.
At a certain point in the afternoon, Anna Lisa and I both felt strongly that it was time to go walking to meet them. We went to the end of our road to I and 9:15 and wrote a message on a cardboard sign, in case they came by. Along the way we talked about how they could not be MOOP – a Burning Man acronym for matter out of place or trash. I decided they were actually SIPP which seemed an appropriate acronym given the importance and scarcity of water at Burning Man – SIPP – spiritual ideas perfectly placed.
Then Anna Lisa suggested we close our eyes and just pray silently about which of the four possible directions we should go. After about thirty seconds, Anna Lisa asked me which direction came me. I pointed. She said, that came to me, too. We began walking down that road, and within no more than a minute, John, Michelle, and Patricia came walking toward us, as happy as could be.
Their luggage would be ready to pick up later. Which meant they hadn’t had to drag it across the playa but we also didn’t know when it would be ready. Mike asked John several times throughout the afternoon – “ready to go pick up the luggage?” And each time John would say, “Not yet.”
Finally John came to Mike and said, “It’s time.” They rode their bikes over with Mike’s side car to see the first piece of luggage being unloaded off the truck! (see photo) Later, Mike kept asking me, “How did he know?!”
Listening to God equals perfect placement and perfect timing every time!
— Nancy Earl Harrison, CS
This is such an inspiring story told from all angles!
My experience of that day and the previous day was being so open to and grateful for each moment as it unfolded. When the girl next to me on the plane who was also headed to BM got the text after we’d landed that the gates were closed, I instantly felt like this was the beginning of it being an adventure! The two of us decided to get a hotel room together, and had a great time getting to know each other, repacking, Ziplocing our stuff, shopping for a few last minute shiny things and whatnot, eating some delicious pizza, hanging out with the other burners to be, and having a full night’s rest before heading onto the playa.
We had a great ride on the bus with everyone, and everything went smoothly all the way. When we got off the bus I stayed with the others for awhile who were waiting for their luggage, but I’d thrown mine into the luggage space under the bus a the last moment before we took off, so I was ready to go, and reluctantly left my new friends with hugs and happy burning man wishes..
I headed towards a bus that looked as if it might be prepared to head out, and as I started to ascend the stairs, I tapped the man in front of me and asked him of he knew if this was the bus that was about to head out.. When he turned to answer my question, I recognized his face from the Daily Lift 🙂 We instantly gave each other a big hug, and then up walked Michele and we hugged each other, smiling from ear to ear. As we drove we shared our adventures in getting there, and watched as we rolled through the neighborhoods. We were quickly at our stop, and all jumped out together. We walked down I, and overshot 9:15 by half a block, backtracked, and walked a minute or so when we saw Anna Lisa and Nancy coming gleefully towards us! 😀 We all hugged and screamed happily in each other’s ears (or most of us :D) and headed towards the camp together! What a warm homecoming to camp that was!!!
Thank you everyone for your prayers for perfect placement and guidance of all.. That was exactly what happened!!
I’ll share a few other special experiences.
- after the first of John’s lectures I got to talking to a man who told me he is a physician and that he always prays with his patients, and encourages them to use other methods before pursing western medicine, and then said: I just didn’t know there was a guidebook for that 😀 I shared with him MBE search and discovery process and how one thing led to another.. He got it all the way, truly a kindred spirit!! I know that book is gold in his hands and will be a blessing to his whole practice!
- as I was washing a woman’s feet, the first day I was there, (it may have been the first pair of feet I washed..) she looked so moved, and we got to talking and I could tell she just felt so loved.. I don’t remember the specifics of what we talked about, but at one point she thanked me and said, this means so much to me.. Both my boyfriend and I had our dads pass on recently, and this means a lot. She clearly felt the love flowing!!
- as I was washing a woman’s feet she made a remark about how there were so many methods of healing at Burning Man and how it was all really the same thing. I shared with her about MBE’s search and how she explored from homeopathy to mind-cure and found the dead-level of each method as she was being prepared for the discovery of the fact that there is no medium for Mind.
When I said that, she started crying and said, yes! That’s it! (We would’ve hugged (again) if I weren’t up to my elbows) and when we were done I took them over to the reading room to choose their favorite Science and Health, and they did (she was with her husband or boyfriend) he asked me to write something to them in it, and we all hugged our goodbyes.
- a girl came in, pretty drunk, and was saying that she was going to wash her friend’s feet. Gabriel explained to her that there was one rule, that you had to have your feet washed before you could wash anyone else’s and once you did, you could wash as many feet as your heart desired. She insisted that she didn’t need to have her feet washed, that she already knew how, and that she was going to wash her friend’s feet. I felt moved to say something to her. I looked her in the eye and said something along the lines of: often the people who are saying they don’t need anything and are trying to do everything for everyone else, really actually need it the most. She sat back in her chair hard and said, wow, I’m going to take that with me. She then immediately took off her shoes and socks and let me wash her feet and asked lots of questions.. it was a great conversation. She was eager to grab a S&H to take with her too, and you could see how moved she was by being seen straight through to the heart and met there with truth and love! Good times :))
- And then there was a really moving experience that I had in center camp, right before the lecture. Genevieve and I went over to a table that had a bunch of notebooks on it because I wanted to add a thought contribution to one of the pages. This was the CS quote that stayed with me the whole time:
“Not by the hearing of the ear are spiritual truths learned and loved, but we glean spiritual harvests from our own material loses. In this fervent heat false images are effaced and the material pigment beneath them fades into invisibility.” ~ Mary Baker Eddy
So perfect for the spirit of Burning Man!!
So I opened the journal right to a pages that had an entry on it from a woman who said that a year prior, her sister and mom had committed suicide, and that the time being at burning man was so healing… Tears started rolling down my face as I read, they probably would’ve anyway, but more so because just a few months before, my sister and mom had attempted suicide, but didn’t commit it. (Much progress and healing have emerged since) I felt in that moment such an embrace of love wrapping up this woman and her family in healing and my own, and as Genevieve and I shared, I felt all of us encompassed in this uplifting embrace of true love and the Life that can never die… It was so wonderful the timing, because the “Embrace” had just been burned that morning, and here we were, burning in that fervent heat which removes the false sense and reveals the true substance and relationship of all! I will never forget that true embrace of Love that enveloped us, and then we went to the lecture, and the adventure continued into a dust storm filled with spiritual lessons and giggly playtime! 😀
There were so many other precious moments, but those are a few for now!
Much love to everyone!
So much good happened for me at this year’s Burning Man. The best of it, though, had to do with learning about true marriage and relationship.
Ansley and I had wanted to do a little music while at Burning Man and so Loren had recommended we might want to check out the center camp open-mic. One morning we got up super early and decided we would try to get there at 6:15 AM to do some music. We grabbed Jamieson’s guitar, the books, a hymnal supplement, and threw it in my car.
As we were driving, very slowly, down 9:30, I just felt so grateful for all that I was seeing. I also felt really healed to be driving Ansley around. There was a lot of fear about coming to Burning Man pregnant, having to walk a lot, ride bikes, etc. etc., but here I was able to still drive her where we needed to go!
When we arrived there, we found a small area where there were many other cars parked near Center Camp. We parked, but as we got out, two rangers stopped us. They asked who we were and what we were doing and then told us that this was for Burning Man founders and main organizers only. They also asked if my car was an art car or not.
I explained to them that my wife was pregnant and we just were going to do some music at center camp. I had two boards on top of my car that were given to me by Nate Frederick and Laurie Burgdorff from Boston that were beautiful pieces of art as wedding presents.
The ranger asked about them and I told them what they are. They have quotes from the Bible on one and Science and Health on the other. This is what they say,
“Yes, Master. You know I love you. Jesus said, ‘Feed my sheep.'” (John 21:17)
“Love inspires, illumines, designates, and leads the way” – (454: 18-19)
They were moved by the ideas and said, “Well, it’s not much. But I think your car IS an art car. You can park here.”
So, we walked a few minutes to Center Camp and got there just in time to find out that one slot had just opened up for performing. Ansley and I went on stage with our books, the guitar, and had two mics set up. We sang an original song I wrote called “It’s About Good” that was produced by The Mother Church a few years ago. Here’s a link to it:
Then I heard this really beautiful song in the background called “First Love” that is this awesome Christian rap/techno song. I have no idea where it came from, but suddenly it was there in the atmosphere, playing in another part of Center Camp! So I started freestyle rapping to that beat and it was really, really awesome.
Then we sang together the Golden Text and Responsive Reading of that week’s lesson and closed with a musical prayer for all people. It was really beautiful.
But what was even better was the artist that came next! She was a great female vocal artist and singer/songwriter. She presented her songs so beautiful and mentioned that the real inspiration she wanted to share was what it meant to know God as a Mother as well as for women all over the world to feel safe with who they are and where they are.
Her songs were SO beautiful! Ansley and I got to sit together and enjoy her performance and silently thank God for this beautiful expression of Mother Love. It also made me think of the invisible rivers of water flowing through, gushing through, Burning Man that I became aware of through prayer and the use of spiritual sense. I just sensed rivers of water everywhere during her performance and they came from Gihon which is defined in Science and Health as, “The rights of woman acknowledged morally, civilly, and socially” (587: 3-4).
What a blessing to have this thread to share our good memories and experiences.
LOVE YOU ALL!
— Michael Morgan