SHIFT is based on the following ideals

Walk in peace and with grace.
Do good unto others, without judgment, or expectation.
Love thy neighbor, and love thyself.
Practice forgiveness.
Leave places and people better than you found them.
Be proactive and participate in life.

Don’t be a dick.

The ethos at SHIFT it to provide the ‘set and setting’ for people to have a shift experience; a shift in paradigm.  How can you contribute to this effort? How can you create this for others and how can you engage and create this space for yourself? We ask you do things you would not normally do. Get dirty, get involved, participate, pick up trash, fill your own RV and wipe your own ass.

This is not just another weekend at the disco.

SHIFT brings together art and artists from all over the world, sound and stage, hosts talks, and provides fun experiences for to help foster those SHIFTs or “Ahhhh haaa” moments. SHIFT is also active in the local community and is collecting, cleaning and donating bikes to send to kids in Cuba in 2015!

SHIFT supports art and outreach projects all over the world.

How can you make your own SHIFT experience?

How it all started

Burning Man changed my life.  Before my first burn I was a working machine in the zero-sum game. Movies like Wall Street taught me greed was good and get all you can before someone else does.  I had a clothing company at the time, manufacturing in Asia, and was selling in in over 600 stores in 6 countries.  My life was go-go-go, planes, trains, and autos, reaching for that brass ring.  While at a trade show in Las Vegas, my friend and I partied way to hard, right up to our 4PM flight to Seattle via Reno.  In Reno we had to switch planes and our Seattle flight left at 8PM. I woke up first. The terminal was dark, I had no idea where I was or what country I was in.  My friend Gary was laying on the floor and may as well have had a chalk line around him.  It took a minute to realize it was the Reno airport, it was 11:30, with no one around and our luggage was already in Seattle.  The entire terminal was dark and void of activity. I kicked Gary until he woke up and told him we were going to a party in the desert.  “It was a mission from God”, I said in my best Blues Brothers accent. We made it to the rental car desk just before they closed and rented the last available minivan.

After an uncertain drive with only directions from a man at a convenience mart, we grabbed two gallons of Jack Daniels, a loaf of bread some peanut butter with two gallons of water and the clothing on our backs we arrived at the gate at about 2:30 am.  After being forced to pay the whopping last minute ticket price of $60, we were finally at Burning Man.

Strange looking people were darting in and out of the roadways as we slowly crept into this other worldly, dark, dusty place. Rows of tents and campers of all types revealed themselves in the beam of our headlights as we tried to find a place to park.  We kept moving forward as we wanted to get closer to the stage.  After getting as close as possible we found a place to park between what looked like two tents.  We locked up the car and went out to see what this place was all about.

Very quickly, we realized there was no stage but the entire place was a stage and we were the actors. Everywhere we were was the party, the entertainment and the event. Camp after camp took us in and made us feel like we were the party.  Everyone shared, no money exchanged, people were friendly and fun.  Girls were nice and friendly, there was none of the attitude and crap we were used to getting and giving.  Could this really be possible I wondered aloud as I fell hard asleep in the drivers seat of the minivan, as the sun came up.

I awoke to knocking on the window, the car was running and the a/c was on full blast. A black minivan tends to heat up in the hot sun of the playa. The man knocking on the window was patient while I wiped my eyes and oriented my self with the window button. As I looked around many people milled about, smiling, happy and laughing. He said since we had parked in the camp kitchen we must be hungry as he handed me a plate full of food.  Confused, I got out of the van. I ate breakfast with my new friends and began to understand I had, in the dark, inadvertently parked with the nose of the van in their camp eating area.  I remember being shocked they they had been so nice about it.  This camp adopted us and helped us through the SHIFT experiences of our first Burning Man. I learned about symbiotic relationships and that giving and witnessing change could be more fun than just taking. Life is not a zero sum game and reward often comes in ways you would not expect.  I now try to carry the tradition forward by adopting at least two “orphans” every year along with creating a ‘set and setting’ for others to have and foster SHIFT experiences of their own.

Over the 20+ years of playa time I have been fortunate to have seen and to have facilitated many SHIFTs.  This is the ethos of our camp. Our core group has been together for many years and shared many great times, with many more to come.
– CW

SHIFT is incorporated as a USA based non-denominational spiritual organization with global reach.

It offers many benefits to campers and to the community. With 600+ members world-wide, SHIFT is a ministry that supports projects which bring people together to share knowledge and make the world a better place.

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