Monday, December 29, 2008

A Near Death Experience - June 2nd, 2008

Who cares when I woke up this morning? The morning time, whether I get up, meditate, jerk-off or just sit around in bliss, it is my time for transitioning into the day. If the birds wake me up with their singing response and cheerful glee for the sunshine that sustains their life, then that is a complete blessing. Even if the devil mind plays intricate tricks inside my conceptual life leading me to ponder my existence, well that is bliss as well, because it is all a story. What is a story? A story is an impermanent evaluation of the experiental world in which there are contrived conclusion. In actualality, there are no conclusions and no absolutes, so, the mental chatter serves which purpose? NONE!! So, thus in turn, is all bliss and smiles. I scurried upstairs to Jai’s place and was met with an exuberant smile that was power packed with excitement and anticipation. Today, Jai would take me on the longer swim in the ganga. This swim, a more challenging swim that would keep us in the water for about 4 times the length of the other swims, was about an 35 minute hike up the road. On the way we stopped for a juice and then carried on our way. On this particular morning, I felt silence to be a major part of my experience. So, as Jai continued to pry conversation from me with great vigor, my responses went from short sentences to nods as we closed in on our destination.

When we arrived at the river, I quickly noticed that our entry point was at the foot of a rather swift moving rapid. Fearlessly I fixed my gaze on the flowing water analyzing my entry mathematically. After quickly preparing our bodies for the chilling Ganga water, Jai set off on his way. Right before he jumped into the river, he recommended that I come within 5 seconds of his departure. Not having any realization why, I chose to wait around 20 seconds as I mentally prepared for the initial swim out into the center of the rapid. Seeing that my 66 year old friend did this with such grace and ease gave me full confidence, but, nothing could prepare me for what happenened next.

With a strong sense of Gusto, I rapidly pushed out into the murky water, swimming adjacent to the oncoming current. I think it was after the 10th stroke when I realized that this may have been a bad decision on my part. For reasons I will never know, the brisk water somehow took over my senses, causing instant fatigue and sudden panic. My graceful and penetrating strokes were reduced to a poodle paddle and a worried mind. I was dumbfounded but aware that I have been all but excersised over the last few months, so my stamina was at an all time low. In my mind, panic began to consume me at the speed of the flowing water. Like an silent predator the heavy current pushed and pulled at my ankles, dunking me into the bumpy waters. The river was testing me, testing my strength, testing my stability and testing my fear of the inevietable, DEATH. My mind quicklyl resisted all the above and went into a state of relaxed panic where I knew something was completely wrong with the situation, but knew there was no way out. I looked to the river banks actually actualizing the probability of reaching them, even though I was traveling at more then 20KM per hour down river. My limbs lost more and more strength and the river accumulated an degree of heaviness that I can only desribe along the lines of…THE WORLD. Everything from associating myself as a statistic of Rishikesh to the thought of joining my mother in the great holy river and in the afterlife to the realization of the truth of those 4 people that lost their lives weeks ago, crossed my mind. It showed me my absolute truth and I cannot deny it. At this moment, I feared death, I paniced in my fury of raging waters and mentally, I completely lost my composure. But their was something deeper that the mind could not touch. This something deeper was a conditioned stillness and reserve on energy that helped me to maintain the composure not to scream from help and not to physically resist with such adversity that I would completely deplete all of my resources. This is when I realized that the practices have done their work on my system. There was a complete surrendering that happened on this journey, unlike anything I have ever experienced. For a brief second, long enough to give me an extra boost of energy to move me into the calmer waters, I surrendered to the universe, allowing for the greatest good in this situation. All inhabitions were dissolved, all EGO was dissolved, all material possessions and life long goals were dissolved. All that mattered in this moment was the moment. God willing, I will survive, but their was a great possibility that I could not and I was not in a state or posistion to be adverse to either possibly outcome. This happened to directly coinside with the distant screaming of my great friend Jai, insisting on me swimming away from the quickly approaching rocks and rapid. Somehow, in this surrendering, the river naturally carried me away from the danger, into the center and spit me out into the openness of much calmer waters. When Jai got within 15 feet of me I surrendered again into his help, crying for his assistance. He gracefully came toward me and allowed me another short boost of energy in the form of climbing on his shoulder, only for a split second. I would find out later that he was only seconds from grasping me into a rescue hold and carrying me to shore, but his intuition told him to let me work it out. With the grace of GOD, I managed to gain my composure in those non-forgiving waters. Jai quickly taught me a resting pose that would completely liberate me from the situation and as I laid on my back looking up at the sky, feeling the energy cells restore into my body like attaining a power pack in Dune, I chanted the words THANK YOU GOD over and over with complete devotion. I had survived an experience that would bring me closer to GOD then I have ever imagined. Death has a way of bringing us all to LIFE.

In my experience on this planet, there has never been a situation that has brought me more humility. In this moment, I was a slave to the universe, completely impermanent and unimportant to the whole. My life became smaller then it has ever been. My compassion for those unfortunate/fortunate souls that had their lives mysteriously taken by the river grew exponentially. There was no mystery in the power of nature. I have never in my life experienced something so fierce, so penetrating and so unforgiving. When we take it upon ourselves to test the lawas of nature, we must walk respectfully with a sense of ease and surrender. I mentally convinced myself that I would relax and surrender to the flow of the waters if it were to attempt to take me under, but it is only in the face of this situation that we can truthfully come to some sort of cuncllusion or not for that matter. The truth is that I reacted naturally, as any human being would in the face of this great loss of control. There is no right nor wrong in the situation, only the situation.

No comments: