Saturday, September 8, 2012

Skydiving Samadhi: Episode 3

Back to Episode 2

At first, I wasn't sure I was out of the plane. The first couple of seconds of free-fall stretched into what felt like minutes of nothing but blackness and the feeling of wind on my face. I had no awareness of falling, no concept that I was strapped to another human being. It was nothing but tranquil being. Then, I opened my eyes.

Reality crashed back in on me. The sun blazed down on brilliantly fluffy clouds. The wind on my face turned into a deafening ocean sound in my ears. I remembered my class and assumed the correct body position. Every muscle in my body was as tight as the skin of a drum. Every sight I took in was quick, sharp, in flashes. No sound came from my mouth. My lips were pushed back from my teeth, frozen into a huge grin like a cartoon character.

My Senior Master tapped me on the arm and made the 'okay' sign. I signed back with a huge two thumbs up. After the first wave of sensation, I got to enjoy the free-fall a bit. I saw the Earth rushing up, getting larger. Clouds passed us in a whoosh, the moisture from them cool on my face.

I was told that I got 60 seconds of free-fall. It felt much shorter. Just as I was beginning to relax and enjoy the fall, my Senior Master tapped my arm. Time to pull the 'chute. I was enjoying myself too much and shook my head, 'no.' Senior Master pulled the parachute and, blessing of blessings, it opened without a hitch.

I had expected the feeling of the 'chute opening to be jarring. It looks jarring, from the ground. But it wasn't. It was gentle, a feeling of just being lifted up, like my parents used to lift me when I was little. From then on, we floated. I could barely tell that we were falling. Had it not been for the ground getting progressively closer, I could have sworn that we were just hanging there, motionless.

"You see that?" The Senior Master pointed at a cloud below us. In the cloud, there was a hole that went all the way through it. And, edging the hole was a 360 degree rainbow. "Wow," I gasped. "Watch this," the man strapped to my back called. I could feel him moving the steering handles and he positioned us right over the  hole in the cloud. My jaw hung open and we dropped right through the hole and right through the rainbow. I felt like this was a sign from Spirit. My prayer had been heard and that I had just been blessed.

I learned, later, that this phenomenon is called a "glory." It looked like this, only with a hole in the clouds in the center.

Down, down we floated. Through clouds and clear air. A couple of more tricks and it was time to land. "Lift!" I lifted my legs. When I felt my Senior Master hit the ground, I put my legs down. The landing was no more jarring than stepping down off of a curb. "I've taken 80 year old women diving," he said. I looked around me and spotted the paramedics near a waiting ambulance on alert and ready to assist. I waved to them. "I'm okay!" And they waved back to me. All was well.

After my dive, my family and I left and stopped at a restaurant to eat. In the car, I was a bundle of jitters. I was talking a mile a minute and my legs bounced. At the table waiting for our food, all the nervous energy made my fingers twitch as I played with a straw wrapper. When the waitress brought our food, I suddenly felt very tired. I blinked and opened my eyes just in time to feel my nose touch the plate of spaghetti in front of me. The adrenaline wore off, fast.

Unable to hold my head up, I laid down in the booth and fell asleep while my parents finished their meal and got a box for my spaghetti. I slept in the back seat during the entire drive back to my house, as well. My parents dropped me off and proceeded to head to their home. After I was home, I decided to take a walk around town and think about what I'd just experienced, to mull it over and digest my flight.

As I walked the streets of Muncie, Indiana, I felt changed. I could feel that my trip through the rainbow gate had transformed my spirit, forever. My mother had said, "If you can jump out of a plane, Bri, you can do anything." As I swished down the sidewalks in my long skirt, I felt like I was floating. I nodded to people I passed, feeling as if I had emerged from my flight a different creature; one that was aware, heightened, blessed, holy.

On occasion, I get this feeling again. Usually after a good meditation session, a highly intense art session or some good T'ai Chi. The mental space is heightened, yet serene. Colors are brighter and I feel as if I'm moving with the current of life, rather than fighting against it. In my heart, I know that whatever worldly troubles may be happening at that time, that everything will work out exactly the way it's supposed to. I feel that I am the best possible version of myself, wise and joyful. I can feel the radiance of the Spark of the Divine glowing inside me for the world to see.

It took my leaping from a plane, protected from death by a thin sheet of silk and a man I'd never met before, for me to have my first enlightened experience and to finally feel like a wise soul. No one ever said the road to enlightenment was easy or that there was only one path to it. We can find and reach our wisest selves almost anywhere.

There is a phrase, "Om Namah Shivaya." I have always heard it translated as either, "I greet and welcome the best possible version of myself" or "The god-light in me honors the god-light in you." Either way, I have a beautiful bracelet with the saying engraved on it. I wear it on my left wrist. It helps me to remember to try and implement the lessons I've learned in my everyday life.
Any experience can be one that enriches us and helps us along in our lives. It all depends upon our perspective and intent. I could choose to look at my trip through the glory as just the experience of a weather phenomenon. But, in my heart, my skydiving did not feel like a throw-away experience. It felt special and I still treasure the memory, to this day.

I hope you enjoyed this tale, my darlings, and I hope it inspires you in your life. Until next time, blessings to you on your journey.

And remember, dears, we're all visionaries. We just have to figure out where we excel.