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November 4, 2014

The Future of American Enlightenment.

PartyOn

Being a news-aware resident of Washington State, it is hard to escape the intensifying buzz of medical and recreational cannabis.

Hemp festivals abound, featuring vendors of just about every green device or seed in existence, all exploring business-to-business networking opportunities and offering information to those looking to merge marijuana consumption (technically THC with all the derivative oils and waxes and edibles now), with yoga, vegan eating, grounding (outside barefoot walking), topical ointments, sex lubricants and grassroots political activism.

This past weekend I checked out Seattle’s third Annual U.S. Hemp Cup, sponsored by a national magazine and held at the large arena on the outskirts of the city. It was a circus-like atmosphere featuring live music, parties, cannabis taste/potency competitions, seminars, a vendor expo and lots of people—predominantly youthful—most being imbibers with others (like us) passing through more out of curiosity.

There was much to see. But what captured my keen attention was a booth near the rear of the exhibit hall with a large Buddha statue on the table and posters announcing the “Bodhi-Patch…for Instant Enlightenment—anytime, Anywhere, Anyone.”

I had to investigate.

The booth was peopled by a young couple in tie-dyed om tee shirts and baseball caps, solitaire cards on their laptop screens and beatific smiles on their faces.

“Hi,” I said. “I’m interested in what you’ve got here.”

“Well, I’m glad you stopped by,” the man jumped up and we shook hands. “My name is Samadhi, and this is my lady Divine.

Divine smiled and flashed a peace sign.

“What we’ve got here is the perfect blend of easy-to-achieve spiritualism and THC buzzfeed…the Bodhi-Patch, instant bud-blast-off enlightenment.”

“Yeah, and not just enlightenment, but wisdom, bliss, compassion and even some know-it-all omniscience—you know, all that Buddhist stuff that’s getting so popular these days,” Divine added, pointing toward an old photo of the Dalai Lama hanging crookedly on their back wall.

“Wow, that’s fantastic,” I said, not believing I was hearing and seeing this. “So, how does it work?”

“Well, it’s simple,” Samadhi said, reaching below the table and producing a small plastic bag containing what looked like a thick, circular paint strip about two inches in diameter, saffron in color with a black Buddha outline sitting on a bright green marijuana leaf at its center.

“Here it is, one of the last I have left. They’ve been flying out of here. Pure solvent-based extracts, a minimum of 55 percent THC for the head—I mean mind, and 14 percent Cannabidiol for body relaxation. Both soaked into a transdermal self-stick patch and absorbed through your skin like water into a sponge. The result: mind and body in perfect harmony, yin and yang entwined, floating gently on the stream of your awakened consciousness. Simply peel off the back and stick the patch firmly on your skin. Some people like to place it on a chakra point, others prefer the soft spot just behind the ear—but anywhere’ll do. Once it’s in place, you just relax and let it do its thing.”

“And what exactly is ‘its thing’?” I asked.

“Ahhh,” came the reply.

“Well, its thing is simply the greatest spiritual reality to ever hit the market, the perfect merging of the high and the deep. It provides all the beauty of awakened higher mind states without the time-consuming process of learning how to cultivate them. It’s a simple and easy way to bypass the long process of study and meditation, which so many of us just can’t do. You know, us Americans don’t do so well with baby steps, we’re just not wired with patience for that ancient, long-range stuff.”

Samadhi laughed, “Heck, for people whose knees have become tender and painful from too much meditation sitting, I tell them to put a patch on each knee—bingo, it really makes the point!”

Divine nodded in agreement, “Yeah, meditators and all those people getting involved in Buddhism work so hard to experience enlightenment, but even if they can feel some it’s so limited—whatever they get is only in their mind. With our patches, once the mojo is absorbed, enlightenment flows through every nook and cranny of the body—it’s part of your blood, it’s you!”

Samadhi chimed in, “You know, our Bodhi-Patches are truly revolutionary, a modern-day miracle. They’re perfect for our busy lives—just stick one on and in a few moments you’re there.  The place, the exquisite one-ness spiritual seekers, meditators and yes, drug users have been trying to get to for thousands of years…the non-duality, liberation from the hum-drum, unbounded freedom, love for everyone. It’s absolutely perfect enlightenment. It’s explosive…blows your head open!”

Back to Divine. “Yes, and to heighten the pleasure, based on our dedication to providing the ultimate customer experience, our patches come in wonderful time-released aromas. We call them our “Shangri-La Scents.” We’ve got Tibetan Butter Tea, Ganges Ganja, Paramita Poppy and, for animal lovers, or those who just want to mix a little wildlife into their enlightenment experience, we’re soon to release our next scent, Himalayan Yak.”

“And of course, all our scents are 100 percent organic,” Samadhi added proudly.

***

At first I thought this booth, the whole idea, the whole thing, was a creative part of Hemp Cup entertainment, that Samadhi and Divine were a couple of actors in vendor drag. Then I had the notion I was part of some hidden camera shtick, which would be revealed with laughter at any moment.

But before long I got it: this product and these people were for real. And I confess that I wanted to play along for just a bit longer.

Looking from one to the other, “Wow. You two have thought of everything. How long do your patches last for, what’s the duration of their effect?”

Divine responded, “We use only the highest concentrations of THC, so your high, er, uh, enlightenment will last for about three hours.”

“And how much does a patch cost?”

Samadhi answered, “Well, we have a starter kit that costs $89.99 It includes three patches, your choice of scents and a one-month subscription to our proprietary website BodhiPatch.com, where we stream music and videos especially attuned to produce realizations designed to work with and enhance your enlightenment experience.”

Divine added, “We’ve got a mobile app version of the website coming out next week. Buy now, and, as a Hemp Cup show attendee,” she winked, “unlimited access is included in your package price.”

Okay, I had had enough. “Well,” I said, “thank you both for the explanation. A pot-induced enlightenment in a skin patch sounds amazing. I just don’t think I’m ready for something like this yet. I don’t—”

Samadhi cut me off as he leaned forward. “Whoa! Listen man, turn around and look at all these people, have some clear vision. It’s a beautiful Saturday afternoon and they’re jammed inside here. It’s all about cannabis… see it straight-out… you’re looking at the beginnings of the most profound development in American consciousness history.”

Excitement in his voice. “In the days ahead weed and its derivatives are going to be legal everywhere, and we’ve got the spiritual angle all figured out. Getting high, getting enlightened…the two together are naturals, like cream cheese and jelly, day and nigh, yin and yang. This is so huge.”

A pause, “And with this technology for the masses, I am its’ future. Bodhi Patches will be worn by people in their living rooms and bedrooms, their workplaces, hospitals, places of worship—everywhere. Our marketplace ranges from the most serious of spiritual seekers all the way to those simply looking for an occasional, easy, feel-good technique. They’ll be used during childbirth, their kids will be raised with them, the dying will die with them. Really, there’s no end to it, or the money it’ll make!”

Samadhi removed his cap for a moment and ran his fingers through his hair as if cultivating a brainstorm. After a few moments back went the cap, followed by a subtle nod, signalling he had made an important decision.

“I’ll tell you what: buy a couple of starter kits now, see how you like being enlightened, and if it works for you get back to me. Maybe you can become one of my regional distributors! I’m going to make tons of money in this industry for a lot of years to come.”

“How old are you?” I was curious.

“Nearly twenty-two,” grinned the future of American enlightenment.

 

***

Thanks for reading. Obviously, this piece is a bit of humorous exaggeration—hopefully, it is thought-provoking as well.

 

 

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Author: Mark Winwood

Editor: Renée Picard

Photo:Toyin Oshodi at Pixoto 

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