Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Navigating the Switch

I hope you are doing well and enjoying the transition of the seasons as Fall begins to get situated. I wanted to share something that happened recently that may or may not interest you. A couple of weeks ago, a few days after my last seizure, I had what might be called an awakening experience that lasted most of a day. We were in the car on a beautiful day, and I was just taking in the scenery that I had seen before. I started to practice an eyes open meditation practice I had read about the day before, and as I released the thoughts that arose and relaxed muscles that I felt tensing, a strange sensation began to occur. It was the sense of fear almost like the stage fright you might encounter before making a speech. As it intensified, I felt some tension in my body as well. The sensation was almost like an aura that I might encounter prior to a seizure which only added to the fear of what was happening. Instead of trying to change the mental subject as I have done before when encountering this fear, I relaxed and surrendered into it.

At that point warm tingling sensations began to occur in my body. These grew more intense and felt almost orgasmic in nature. I was overcome with the feeling of joy and exhilaration. It seemed to escalate to a point and then even out as I took in the beautiful scenery around me which had become vivid and alive. I realized that I was seeing everything for the first time ever and that I was seeing it without a mental story or label attached to it. Everything made perfect sense without the need for thoughts to reconcile it. It was a sense of knowing that settled over me that allowed me to see the beautiful necessity in everything that is happening in the world, including wars and all forms of suffering.

As the full implications of this felt knowing flooded my body I was on the verge of tears. Not tears of sorrow but tears of joy. Before they started flowing I found myself quietly laughing to myself. It all made perfect sense. Though it was beyond what words could describe, it was like seeing how we are all perfectly connected in a way that makes us creators and products all at the same time. I had this sense that we are all part of a cosmic conspiracy to bring about this moment and to see and experience it fully. Everyone you ever come in contact with, and even those you don’t, regardless of how seemingly insignificant the encounter, is a part of this conspiracy whether they know it or not. The end goal of the conspiracy is to get us to awaken.

I also realized that everyone I see is actually a reflection of myself. They too are the same “thing” I am and the only difference is a perceived difference I’ve placed on them, which actually says more about me. None of these realizations were in the form of thoughts, as thought seemed to be relatively absent. Instead they were just known or felt. If ever a thought began to form, it was met with a sort of reassurance. For example, as I experienced a thought about being able to get back to this point I was reassured that did not need to concern myself with this and that I would be able to return again and again and that this was just a sample. This allowed me to remain present.

Interestingly enough, when my wife would ask a question or I was in some other way called upon to do something, I seemed to be able to snap out of it or regain control without losing my connection. The sense of joy and wonder remained in the background and available for me to step back into at will. I realized I was learning to negotiate the switch.

On the drive home I smelled a very potent dead animal smell. But before the mind could step in and label it as a “bad” smell it was realized that the only thing that made it a bad smell was past experience. Instead it took on a somewhat sweet smell all its own that was actually quite pleasant. Throughout the rest of the day I took great joy in whatever I did, whether it was doing laundry or feeding dogs. I was doing it all for the first time without any stories from days gone by. That night the dinner we ate was among the best I had ever tasted and I had to stop myself from savoring every bite with groans of pleasure as it was a bit much for my fellow diners ;)

In short, it was a great experience that I savored until I went to bed that night. The next day I woke up to my normal mental activity but with a residue of the pleasure I had encountered the day before. It faded over the course of the next day as I had work to do in preparation for our business trip. Though I have tried on a number of occasions since then to reconnect, I have not had much luck. I have also spent a fair amount of time mentally analyzing the experience knowing that it would not get me back to that point.

I was very fortunate to get to experience that which I’ve been reading about for the last couple of years and I realize that I am apparently not quite ready to live it on a full time basis. I recognize now that “it” is always here and can be experienced by anyone anytime if they are interested. I highly recommend it and look forward to being there (here) again in the near future. One thing I came away with that had to do with facing the fear that ultimately arises as you get to the edge is this: You’re doing it for humanity. That was one of a couple of notes I took during my ride home that may or may not have helped me fully surrender to what was about to happen. I wish you well in your journey.