in USA

° Waves!!!


“Waves!!!” – first word in a sms from my friend Jessica at 8:59 AM today. As I woke up at 5, then by that time I had already done an hour Vipassana sitting meditation, morning exercises, written further an outline for the the book “Stories in Drawings Around the World” and edited some of the drawings. Also had made breakfast – roasted almonds, oatmeal, raisins in a coconut oil and served it with coconut yogurt from local organic shop “El Paraisio”. Also added some fresh papaya and bananas. On the top of it all pressed lime juice.  

When I got the sms, the sky was cloudy and weather not so warm, but it was no time for excuses, because there can be days without good waves. And most of all, I couldn’t let the beginner’s mindset trick me. Having time on the ocean with Jessica is too precious – she is a great teacher. So I walked to her place and got the board, while she was feeding her 2 months old baby Hugo. And then to the beach!…being the only ones there. 

I had surfed few times before now in Santa Cruz (U.S.), but it was 10 years ago… So I have no body memory of this action. But I love being in the water – it seems like my natural habitat. 

 During today’s lesson I noticed how I was struggling keeping the balance while paddling with the arms. As I was losing balance, I instinctively gripped to the board and had to start all over again. I also tried to keep the balance with my whole body. I knew I was using more energy than necessary.  

When learning about engineering during architecture studies, I felt so inspired by the physics of balance – something to be balanced, needs only 3 points of contact with the supporting ground. I have played with this knowledge, while doing sculptures and it came to mind today on the surfboard. I was thinking what are the most optimal 3 points that could keep me anchored to the board, but also let the body to move. I chose to concentrate on a triangle containing hip bones and upper belly. As I made that decision and focused on these points, the balancing became easier and mind more quiet. 

I took a deep breath – everything was suddenly calm and clear, including the ocean – no waves. I fell into a state of awe while experiencing the beauty of the presence – body balancing on the gently rocking board, transparency of the water, air moving…and then a perfect wave appeared. With this calm mindset I somehow knew exactly what to do to catch it and flow towards the shore. With no extra effort.

I got excited and paddled back to catch another one. But the enthusiastic and (unreasonably) more confident mind kept me from succeeding. I was thrown off the board once and then jumped back and was right away hit again. But I kept on going with a feeling of pleasant silliness and humour in the mind. Finally when I decided to finish and paddle towards the land, a smooth wave came and carried me with an ease to the shore. I smiled to the ocean – so powerful… yet so sweet and gentle.  

It’s hard to keep the awareness when doing a sitting meditation, but on the surfboard it’s 100 times harder. Today though, I saw the potential. 

Great respect to all of the masters on the waves!    

° Creative People make Creative Cities

Few weeks ago we – Ivo Naries, Elo Nirgi and I attended at Burning Man ELS (European Leadership Summit), representing the Estonian Burners. The event took place in incredible Les Machines de L’île, Nantes, France.

I thought my mind has been blown to pieces during 9 times/years of seeing unbelievable art on playa at Burning Man, but now looking back, I see that the biggest explosion had been waiting for my presence in Nantes. Robotic animals, birds and trees intertwined with a daily life patterns of local people! Context really makes a difference! I’m in awe – La Machine.

Sharing now some of the impressions of the event.


For the first night of the Summit Marian Goodell had put together wonderful movie program about the evolution of Burning Man. One of the highlights was “Temple: A Radical Arts Project in Derry~Londonderry”. The next day Temple master David Best also held a meet-up where both Elo and Ivo attended. 

While Elo and Ivo were learning how to consciously build a temple, I attended the Grant Giving roundtable, where a group of regionals and Katie Hazard – the Program Manager of Burning Man Arts, had a chance to connect and share valuable tips about grant giving process. During the Summit me and Elo also took part of being in a jury for the Civic Ignition Grant, created by Burners Without Borders. The knowledge and experience from these two grant workshops came in hand and were put effectively into action after returning from France – we had Estonian Bling Festival Art Grant application deadline and a jury meeting right after. 
Also, the idea of a temple is here and will take a form at the right moment in a perfect way.  


During one of the lunch breaks I sat next to Charles Landry – had a chance to get inspired by his work and share a heart (a connecting game with playing cards at ELS). Looking forward to taking time to read. Ivo and Elo were attending the breakout session, where he, Kim Cook and Maud Le Floc’h shared ideas on topic “Creative Cities, Making Places & Burners”.

At that time, I was taking part of a session “Beyond the Trash Fence: Engaging & Building Communities of Non-Burners”, where David Koren (FIGMENT) curated a talk between other fascinating leaders – Troy Swanson (AlphaBet Club), Peter Smith (Klean Foundation) & Sergey Korsakov (Cardboardia).

After the session I had a conversation with Peter Smith to learn about the technique that he uses to do the Plastic Madonna – how to make plastic trash look aesthetical and form into a sculpture. In a way a solution to collect and use the materials we have to create beauty and share the message. During our talk he mentioned of being in contact with Estonian Teeme Ära (Let’s Do It). World is small. Power of One.
Peter Smith’s story in TEDxAmsterdam – HERE

It was a fun surprise to meet again my serendipity brother Troy Swanson. Last time we met I drew him as a Genie at Bubbles and Bass during Sunday morning dancing on playa. Add to (or with?) his Genie magic powers, he is building schools in India + Nepal and opening people’s hearts around the globe. Looking forward to visiting one of the schools and its students this month in Gaya, India.
Truly inspiring interview with Troy at Burner Podcast: “Breakfast at Troyfanny’s

Had a chance to meet a brilliant and bright mind – $teven Ra$pa – a Life Artist and as Jurgis Did from Lithuania would sing – love warrior. In the presentation at ELS, Ra$pa shared ideas behind the city planning of Black Rock City. After Nantes, we had a chance to meet again in Paris. While having a brunch with princesses, superheroes and magicians on a boat on the Seine River and later walking in the Tuileries Garden, Ra$pa shared good tips how to celebrate Life and make great parties. Inspired by the story of the coffin cake – for Ivo’s Birthday I made a brownie cake in a shape of an anatomical heart. Using the Vegan Fudgy Beet Brownie recipe from Natalia’s blog “The Magic Little Kitchen”.


Last day in France I spent with my dear friend and mentor – the Man of Flowers – Aligna Sadakhom at Monet’s Garden. I felt so touched by the calmness and beauty of this place and in tune with myself, that I forgot time. That made me miss my flight with a feeling of “supposed to happen” and Aligna’s reminder of Dalai Lama’s quote:

“If there is no solution to the problem then don’t waste time worrying about it. If there is a solution to the problem then don’t waste time worrying about it.”


ELS in Nantes and Spring in Paris opened the heart for following Life and seeing the full potential in us all. Learning how to use it for the shared values.   

Keeping connected & connecting.


Thank you Larry! Rest in Beauty




// All the Stories in Drawings from the ELS – HERE

// Thank you French Burners for being such a great hosts for the ELS 2018!

// Thank you Flo for the powerful performance of humans and robots and for hosting and doing a midnight bicycle tour through Paris.

// Elsa Snellman’s ELS summary and an interview with Estonian Burners in the Burning Man Journal: HERE 

// The magnificent Herons’ Tree. When you can, please support this wonder of our World: HERE

// Artists and Robots – inspiring exhibition at Grand Palais, Paris


Music from the ELS (if I missed any, please contact me and send a link – I will add it here for us all):



Moon GoGo – HERE

Martin Marquez – HERE

Dodley – HERE 

Iurii – HERE