Grasshopper Soup: Wanderlust unfolds like a lotus flower | SierraSun.com

Grasshopper Soup: Wanderlust unfolds like a lotus flower

Bob Sweigert
Special to the Sun

TAHOE/TRUCKEE and#8212; Wanderlust describes my life fairly accurately, so I didnand#8217;t need to go to the commercial version in Squaw Valley last weekend. I was told it was a splendid array of music, shared, spontaneous delight and exquisite people watching. The event offered certain forms of yoga as well as a satisfying variety of music, tight security and medical assistance.

I was quite content to stay home and let the younger generations experience the grand novelty of what we called a and#8220;Be-inand#8221; in the sixties, though I did not miss Hot Buttered Rum at Commons Beach Sunday, which was great, but not as eventful as Wanderlust.

Capitalism has always been quick to take advantage of youthful idealism and gatherings. Good for capitalism, which is just another lovely petal of the lotus flower, the yoga symbol of universal beauty, unity and cosmic consciousness.

By most accounts, Wanderlust did not fail to satisfy. But the event was slightly marred by some sort of miscommunication, or bureaucratic snag, between event organizers, attendees and Squaw Valley ticket sales. A couple hundred Wanderlusters showed up without Cable Car passes. Apparently, the Cable Car tickets were supposed to be included in their package deal. Many of them became irate and proceeded to inflict a barrage of verbal abuse on innocent ticket sellers, who were caught completely off guard by the glitch, and thought they were supposed to collect money. Apparently, the stranded Wanderlusters thought they were being deliberately ripped off, as if they had never experienced human error before. At least they were in the right place to take advantage of yoga instruction in the art of meditation and the fundamentals of dharma.

Dharma is a Hindu (and Buddhist) word used to explain the way things are in the universe (like lost tickets), and the actions of humans. Thereand#8217;s more to it than that, and yoga instructors and speakers are well versed in the spiritual lingo of yoga. They use their knowledge and charisma to attract more paying customers. Hopefully they were able to pacify some of the unnecessarily disgruntled minds done in by the ticket foul-up.

Some people also complained of Wanderlusters stripping down to their underwear to jump in the overcrowded High Camp swimming pool. Too bad I missed that.

Yoga and commercialism are not necessarily mutually exclusive, unless you interpret them to be contrary, which is not hard to do. The yoga principle of non-attachment to things was meant to draw aspiring yogis inward to the soul, not outward to the store.

But when your inside is out and your outside is in, it doesnand#8217;t make any difference where you go, does it? What good is yoga if it isnand#8217;t just as confusing as any other human attempt to transcend the material world and become one with everything? Thatand#8217;s what the yogi said to the hot dog vendor, and#8220;Make me one with everything.and#8221;

Not everyone went to Wanderlust for yoga and enlightenment. The ticket snafu went largely unnoticed by the majority of happy people who were there just for the music.

Thirty years ago I was in a six-week yoga apprenticeship at a place called Ananda, near Nevada City. The food was great, and I learned a lot. I went to hear the head yogi, Swami Kriyananda (Donald Walters) speak. He was rudely interrupted by a crying baby. He said, and#8220;Can you shut that kid up? Hit him over the head with a stick or something.and#8221; He beamed as his followers laughed nervously. Only the baby seemed to be one with everything.

and#8220;Enlightenment and debauchery,and#8221; which is how Wanderlust was described by one local who worked the event, often share the same stage. They try to steal the spotlight from one another. Order and chaos are twins, unfolding from the beautiful flower we call life.

Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, former college instructor and ski instructor. He has a B.A. and an M.A.T. from Gonzaga University. He has lived at Lake Tahoe for 28 years.