Thumbing can be very Spiritual

Author: Bernd Wechner
Published on: December 1, 2000

Have you ever considered how spiritual an experience it can be to hitch-hike? To thrust yourself, with open arms onto the roadside, and embracing whatever, whoever fate throws your way. It's an amazing way to see a country, truly unparalleled. It opens up so many possibilities, simply because it is unplanned and unstructured.

I had the pleasure of working with some Ananda Marga monks on their food stall at the millenium ConFest on the Murray River. Our meeting is a story worth telling, and worth thinking about. It is rich with themes.

To begin with though, I should recount the tale of another thought provoking encounter. I described it in a story I published on-line some years ago now. It is a wonderful tale itself, and certainly helps to put the ConFest encounter into context. It takes place in the winter of 1997 when I was hitch-hiking back from Canberra to Wollongong after a round trip of the south east of Australia.

That was 1997. Christmas 1999 was another story. It follows:

I really don't want to say much more about it. Except perhaps, that I found many things to think about as a result of these experiences. They strike me as replete with themes. Perhaps the greatest of them: What is chance?

I have been hitch-hiking for a decade now, and have a collection of thought provoking tales. But you don't have to hitch-hike to experience them. The key, I think, is to open your arms to chance, to fate from time to time. Simply let things happen, abandon the seductive addiction we have to that illusion called control - if only once in a while. For if you let things happen, rather than make them happen, many things will find expression, that would otherwise not ... be free.