The 10 Principles: A Temple Guardian Practice

Hello Fellow Guardian,

The Temple burns in 26 days!

The Temple is no ordinary place and Burning Man is no ordinary event. Since the earliest days, the ethos and culture of our community has lived and thrived according to the 10 Principles.  As participants, we seek to emulate much of these ideals not only on the playa but in the default world as well.  And as Temple Guardians, we seek to infuse all our words and actions with the spirit embodied in them.

At the recent Voice Town Hall, we officially unveiled The 10 Principles, A Temple Guardian Practice, as a tool that we hope will help guide you as a Guardian both on or off your shift. We would like to share with you that document here, too:



  1. RADICAL INCLUSION. As Temple Guardians, we welcome all to the Temple. No prerequisites exist for individuals to participate in the experience of the Temple.                         
  2. GIFTING. Our gift to the Temple is grounding, serenity, and love. Our gift to Temple participants is a safe and sacred space, a catalyst wherein they can experience profound movement through personal challenges towards a deeper inner peace. An essential part of our gift is to keep the sacred space free from any individual guardian’s personal material or opinion, regardless of its intrinsic value.                                    
  3. DECOMMODIFICATION. We seek to create an environment unmediated by transactions, therefore we do not expect anything from others in exchange for our service. Service is its own reward.                                                                                                           
  4. RADICAL SELF-RELIANCE.  Temple Guardians proactively rely on our own inner resources to ensure that we are on-time, fully prepared and present for our shifts. We arrive physically, emotionally, and mentally prepared to fulfil all our duties & responsibilities and ready to manage our own needs. We do not assume others will assist us; we do not rely on others to take care of us during our shifts.                    
  5. RADICAL SELF-EXPRESSION. Our most radical expression is powerful but subtle: we make small pushes from a great distance. Our expression is consciously and distinctively unique from that of our fellow participants. We do not seek attention and we do not seek to provoke a reaction. We carry in our hearts the sacred space of the Temple.                                                                                                                                                   
  6. COMMUNAL EFFORT. While we may practice our art in silent solitude while on shift, we do so together as a community of Temple Guardians. We communicate with other guardians and are available to them. We work together to address problems. We courageously stand for peace and harmony, directly resolving any conflicts without gossip, judgement, or complaint and without inciting division. We understand that unresolved conflict distracts from and pollutes the sacred space. We cooperate and collaborate with one another so that, together and as one, we can hold the sacred space of the Temple.                                                                                                               
  7. CIVIC RESPONSIBILITY. Temple Guardians are committed to holding the sacred space of the temple and being aware of any risks to safety. We effectively communicate with and cooperate with our close counterparts, the Rangers, in a partnership that creates invisible solutions that do not draw attention or distract Temple participants from their experience.                                                                                         
  8. LEAVE NO TRACE. Temple Guardians respect the sacred space and leave no sign of our own personal presence. We are in the background and invisible when not needed. We do not add our own material, impose our own ego, or assert our own self on the sacred space or on those participants who are in it. We stay focused on keeping the sacred space clear and unpolluted, open and available to all.                                                
  9. PARTICIPATION. We participate by invisibly creating the space in which miracles can happen and being witness to those miracles. We do not seek to participate as a character in other people’s experiences. We are committed to allowing all to deeply and personally participate in the Temple experience and allowing them to take actions that open hearts and unleash transformative change. We realize and appreciate that it is people’s participation that makes this beautiful edifice become a Temple.                                                                                                                                                           
  10. IMMEDIACY. Temple Guardians are present and calm. We recognize and respect the space participants need to process and feel that which they have come to the Temple to experience. By bringing the powerful presence of an open invitation to each and every participant who shares this profound space, we silently witness the miracles that unfold and transform people’s lives within the Temple.

Thank you for your service.

-The Temple Guardian Leadership Team