Please note: This is Ep.3
Please click here for Ep.2
Feb 13th 2015
The sun had already kissed the Earth goodnight, and the logs of the evening’s fire-pit out on the balcony glowed fading warm embers. It seemed they too were whispering goodnight as they drifted into a slumber.
But I was awake.
I was more awake than I had ever been in my life. I felt more alive than ever before. And I don’t mean this figuratively. It wasn’t ‘a feeling’, it was something that I was actually experiencing; something was going on in my mind and my body.
As I settled back into my room in the log cabin, alone, high in the mountains of Rishikesh, the sound of the nearby waterfall, Mother Ganges gushing forth into the valley, filled my ears.
I’d heard it before, I’d already been there for a couple of days but tonight it was different. Not only could I hear the waterfall with a crystal clear clarity, I heard the symphony of insects calling out into the night, with the same heightened awareness.
My body felt familiar and unknown all at once. I felt no trace of lethargy, nor worry, nor misery, nor pain. In fact, I wasn’t even feeling joy or elation, I felt no particular emotions that I could define.
But, I felt enlivened, as if I’d just been plugged into the most powerful source in the universe, yet completely tranquil at the same time. And my mind, my mind was doing something I’d never experienced before. It was the strangest thing. I didn’t understand what was happening to me.
It wasn’t until some thousands of hours of meditation, mindfulness practices and stints of months at a time in complete solitude later that I realised what it is to have a totally silent mind. The bouts of silence have become a part of me now, but it’s a completely foreign feeling when you’ve never experienced it before, when it descends upon you all of a sudden.
On this night my mind had fallen silent, I just didn’t know it. I was in a state, I would later learn, known as one of the stages of samadhi, oneness with the mind. I was in a state of absolute freedom. Freedom from thought and freedom from everything I had ever thought about myself… indeed, freedom from ‘myself’.
Unsure of what to do, and unable really to do anything else, I lay down on the bed in the dark in complete awe and wonderment.
‘Who was the Swami I had just met with?’
‘What had really happened when that unassuming monk had placed His hands on my head earlier?’
As my body relaxed more into the comforter, a point at the centre of my forehead began to vibrate. And not just a little tingle that could be mistaken for an itch or my nervous system playing tricks on me.
It was vibrating with such an intensity that it was almost painful, like someone had switched an electric, handheld massager on, at full intensity, and was pressing it against my forehead. It overpowered me to such an extent that I could do nothing but lay there for hours in stillness and silence and simply experience it.
I saw many things that night; perhaps they were dreams, perhaps they were visions, I couldn’t be sure. But I know I saw the monk again in my mind and I knew my life had just changed forever.
Please click here to continue to Ep.4