The Temple

Now to the burning of the soul.

Your soul will burn like your skin. Story below 

On night two, I was at a camp dancing with 100’s of people jumping and smiling to the most incredible DJ after a sunset like no other, when all of a sudden I felt this intense wave of sorrow. The sadness was very familiar. Too familiar. If I closed my eyes, I was right back in the hospital room staring at that freaking clock. Then just as quickly my parents came into view. And tears just flowed like water. 

It was a crazy experience to go from joy to pain in a split second.  How can I be sad in such a joyful place? Where did that come from? 

But upon talking to my fellow burners, this is a very normal experience. Burning man is also a place of spirituality and healing that people come from all over the world to experience. I personally believe it is the most spiritual place I have ever been to. And this is coming from someone who has been to Sedona, India, Israel etc. As Burning man has the light of Israel, the energy of Sedona, and the heart of India. 

Burning man’s energy along with plant based medicines will reach deep inside you and find the pain and make you understand it. It also provides a safe space and a ritual to release it. The burning man temple is devoted to this purpose. And I was called to it. In the middle of the night among art cars, dancing, and light shows, Steve took me there. 

Yes, that is a temple built in the middle of nowhere by volunteers. It is a masterpiece. This year’s temple, “Temple of Heart,” was designed by the first female, Ela Madej, and is  inspired by an upside down rose. 

Here is a pic inside.

Look at the intricate patterns of light captured. However, this picture does not do it even the slightest bit of justice. It is much better in person. I tried to find video as I didn’t take any, but I did find this video from artist, David Best, that explains the whole thing. 

In that temple I felt my own sadness and the suffering of others. Swallowed by it. All over the temple you read stories, stare at artifacts and admire beautiful memorials to loved ones lost. All written and hanging on its walls. Among them you will see prayers and scribbles of self forgiveness.  Walking around the temple I could  see how normal my own experiences are. How I’m not alone in this pain and in the end we share this. That my pain is not alone and I don’t walk alone. And I decided to join them and left my own artifact behind.  

I took off a necklace that I wore daily for the past 5 years straight through the struggles of cancer and taped it to one of its walls. Right next to a message from another burner that reminded me a lot of my own family. It was not an obvious thing to do, That necklace is important to me. It had the words EMIT (truth) on it, it also had an owl for protection given to me by a friend, and it was on a chain that Steve had custom made for me. It was not obvious to tape this onto the temple wall as the temple burns with everything in it. All the messages and artifacts go up into flames.

The temple like all things at burning man, is temporary, my favorite type of art, installation art. Which is the highest form of art. It is art for the sake of art. It celebrates the  journey of creating it and the gift is only  joy or wisdom.  It is a gift to create  as no one can own it. Installation art is the reason I was called to burning man. 

But the whole fire thing…did make me pause. I felt paralyzed by the decision. I Asked Steve to sit down next to me. I really have no recollection of what I said to him, but I do remember what I said to myself with him next to me. I held that necklace that I would grip during those long nights in the hospital. I gripped it for a sense of control. I gripped it so hard  that I would get lines on my skin. I wanted stability that I wasn’t able to get from the inside (too broken for strength). Too broken by what the world and my family  had come to.

I sat in that temple and gave it one last grip and heard an inner voice say clearly that I don’t need this anymore. That I no longer need this protection as I have learned the lessons that were somehow required to understand it all. I learned about boundaries, the universe (physics) and a lot about people. I now feel that I have EMIT (truth) and that I have protection in knowing my self reliance and that as long as I am in service of others, the playa will provide. And that it has. Karma is real.

And I let it all go. The pain. The betrayal. The guilt of even having boundaries. And even the guilt of having a fulfilling life like while others suffer. 

And “soon it will burn. (Thinking of everyone at Black Rock City who are hunkering down right now).

I can already picture it. Flames dancing with wild abandon. The written words and artifacts become one as they disintegrate, but their particles transform into a new entity. Once again star dust. 

Becoming a new energy that is sky bound.

Let there be light. 

Note: As of today the temple has still not burned due to the adverse conditions on the playa requiring burners to hunker in place. If anyone has any information on when this will be happening, please let me know:) Also if you are there- PLEASE take a video. XO,


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