Heading Into the Black Rock Desert

Nevada Travel
by Ian MacKenzie Aug 27, 2009
BNT founder and editor Ian MacKenzie departs to experience Burning Man for the first time.

Photo: Burning Blog

Life changing. Mind blowing. Complete insanity. These are just a few of the words I’ve heard tossed about when mentioning Burning Man to those that have made the pilgrimage to the sands of Nevada.

I decided this was my year. It’s time to experience the mayhem and beauty first-hand.

I have no idea what to expect, but I do know that a few familiar faces around Matador Network will be joining me, including Ross Borden and Josh Johnson.

As well I hope to meet up with inspiring travelers from around the web, including Pat the Vagabond, the rest of the crew from Camp Nomadia.

On the eve of such a trip, I find myself reflecting on the many people I’ve recently met in person, or more likely, online. These are people busy doing. They are changing the world in their own way. Or more appropriately, they are changing their own worlds, which in turn affects the world at large.

I can’t say exactly how we cross paths. A meeting through a friend, an article published online, a comment left on a blog. I like to think we’re both putting out the vibes. This in turn, attracts people on a similar wave length. It’s like…science for the spiritual.

Sometimes, we trade ideas for collaboration. We fire each other up with our mutually positive energy. We know there’s a project we could work on… but…

The problem is time. There are only so many hours in the day, and so many ways to spread yourself too thin.

And so, this brief moment of mutual collaboration among like-minded individuals fizzles… perhaps we both sense it’s not going to happen. Part of me feels disappointed, knowing that the chance to work with another’s creativity may have passed.

But another part of me realizes that these moments come and go. The very fact that I’m creating positivity means that other like-minded people will inevitably arise. Not all of them will result in a collaboration. And that’s okay.

When the time is right, we will work together to build something. Or we won’t. It may be just the two of us, or it could be a much larger crew. Which brings me back to Burning Man.

I suspect Burning Man is what you get when a vast amount of people pour their hearts and energy into manifesting the impossible: an alternative city in the middle of the desert.

As I said earlier, I have no idea what to expect, but I have no doubt I will cross paths with an array of enlightening individuals that will challenge, inspire, and most importantly, teach me. In anticipation of these future encounters, I want to offer my sincere gratitude.

I’ll see you in the desert.

– Ian

p.s. I came across this bit of prose and thought it was entirely appropriate to share. I hope you enjoy it.


On the surface of our world right now
There is war, violence, and craziness
And things may seem dark.

But calmly and quietly
At the same time
Something is happening underground.

An inner revolution is taking place
And certain individuals
Are being called to a higher light.

It is a silent revolution
From the inside out
From the ground up.

This is a global co-operation
That has sleeper cells in every nation.
It is a planetary Spiritual Conspiracy.

You won’t likely see us on T.V.
You won’t read about us in the newspaper.
You won’t hear from us on the radio.

We don’t seek glory.
We don’t wear any uniform.
We come in all shapes and sizes, colors and styles.

We are in every country and culture of the world
In cities big and small, mountains and valleys
In farms and villages, tribes and remote islands.

Most of us work anonymously
Seeking not recognition of name
But profound transformation of life.

Working quietly behind the scenes
You could pass by one of us on the street
And not even notice.

We go undercover
Not concerned for who takes the final credit
But simply that the work gets done.

Many of us may seem to have normal jobs.
But behind the external storefront
Is where the deeper work takes a place.

With the individual and collective power
Of our minds and hearts
We spread passion, knowledge, and joy to all.

Some call us the Conscious Army
As together
We co-create a new world.

Our orders come from the Spiritual Intelligence Agency
Instructing us to drop soft, secret love bombs
when no one is looking.

Poems ~ Hugs ~ Music ~ Photography ~ Smiles ~ Kind words
Movies ~ Meditation and prayer ~ Dance ~ Websites
Social activism ~ Blogs ~ Random acts of kindness…

We each express ourselves
In our own unique ways
With our own unique gifts and talents.

“Be the change you want to see in the world”
That is the motto that fills our hearts.
We know this is the path to profound transformation.

We know that quietly and humbly
Individually and collectively
We have the power of all the oceans combined.

At first glance our work is not even visible.
It is slow and meticulous
Like the formation of mountains.

And yet with our combined efforts
Entire tectonic plates
Are being shaped and moved for centuries to come.

Love is the religion we come to share
And you don’t need to be highly educated
Or have exceptional knowledge to understand it.

Love arises from the intelligence of the heart
Embedded in the timeless evolutionary pulse
Of all living beings.

Be the change you want to see in the world.
Nobody else can do it for you.
Yet don’t forget, we are all here supporting you.

We are now recruiting.
Perhaps you will join us
Or already have.

For in this spiritual conspiracy
All are welcome, and all are loved.
The door is always open.

~ Author Appropriately Unknown

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