Through the bog to enlightenment...
beginning of the road
As a social scientist I could write a scholarly paper on Goss's Mud Bogs, or mud bogs in general. I'd talk about spring rituals, the symbolism of Bud Light as embodying warm weather and blue skies, of loud engines and vehicle power as shows of fertility and verility, and drives through the mud where vehicles and people are covered in the stuff as a ritual dance portraying the potential of the renewing earth, its return to life after the frozen winter embodied in movement and the challenge of getting from one side of the bog to the other. Community and coming together after the separation of a long winter symbolised by the assistance of the skidder, chains, and pushes to release stalled vehicles from the mud. And I could go on. But, I won't.
Yay! Yay! you all say. (me too, actually) And I won't because to do so is to negate the essence of the mud bogs--a hundreds of people party held on a pastoral hillside in Vermont the Saturday before mother's day (another fertility ritual, juxtaposition not by chance) with much drinking and driving, through mud--fun. Just fun. Stupid, pointless, cut loose fun, fun so fun that that is all there is. No thought, much laughter, many smiles and much much fun.Pointless and that is the point.
Pointless activity, activity that lacks purpose or direction is that which can be characterized as being just being.
What makes the annual bog event curious and compelling is that Goss's Mud Bogs are on the same road as Karme Choling, a large Buddhist center. As with many such serendipitous and counter intuitive juxtapositions, the end is the same, the means different.
On many weekends Karme Choling, visible from the road, is filled with cars and tents and people, along with the usual greenhouses, gardens and large white building with red trim, cloaked in prayer flags, and host to weekend and longer training sessions. Sessions in mindfulness, meditation, being and the like. Ah, how wonderful! How great to be able to partake in such courses and find a place of peace or silence or just being...BUT there is more than one route to enlightenment. The mud bog option, for example, the end different means...just being....breathe, just breathe...just be, just live, just laugh.
The five-fold path...
from whence doth salvation cometh?
at one with the universe
the end of the road
Photo title credit--Chodron, Pema, "Getting Unstuck," Taking the Leap, pp. 37-46, Shambhala Publications: Boston, MA 2009.