I’m just waking from a sleep which began in Pondecherry, India in the middle seat of a van we rented and driven by a private driver.
For $30, this driver picked us all up at our houses, hotels, hostels on Sat. morning, dropped my excess bags off at my new home(Park Hyatt), drove down the southern coast of India, 4 wheeled it through thick jungle roads of thick palm, coconut and Palmeria trees to the boys orphanage, then, to Pondecherry, with many stops along the way to indulge us in all sorts of road side experiences or off road pee breaks, complete with parrots, dogs, goats, bugs, wine and cigarettes for my buds. I was at the mercy of the 5 Indians that I normally work with and are now escorting me through unimaginable adventure.
The late night beach trip was unfortunate in that it resulted in me acting like a fool on children playground teeter totters and spinners similar to the ones we used to get slivers on in Cascade Montana in 1968, stepping off at a high rate of speed after Binil and I had this thing going so fast, the last one off, me, was relentlessly released from orbit, landed wrong and tweaked my hip. You could hear it pop. Ya, I’m old. Much older than a 6 year old. We should have stuck to just walking around our resort housing, I told them the next day. That would be fun enough. They told me, that there can be trouble at night with the fishermen. Hm. Ok. Well, long story short, doctor came to my room, told me to rest, walk it off and gave me 3 med’s and some lotion that burns my pain away. 30 minutes after talking to Jay and Lea about how they may be carrying me through Siem Reap when we meet in 3 days, I’m playing volleyball in the pool. Not a big deal, I can walk.
But, the next day, we did stop and go where locals are and did get to see normal Indians doing “normal” stuff. Bought a drum, ate burnt corn on the cop, drank from a Coconut, ate the meat with a spoon made of the same coconut, filmed wild dogs and stuff.
The most profound moment, perhaps of my life, but certainly of the trips to India, was when visiting the meditation center yesterday at some temple. We had to take our shoes off, enter through security who made sure no phones, cameras and ensure quiet as active meditation was happening.
The silence was palpable. After wandering through ponds filled with thick cut flower tops and ancient pathways, meditators everywhere in random places, I sat down with my buddy Saurav and, well, meditated. This is something I don’t ever do.
At first, as I sat Indian style(if you will), I gazed around the room at all the other meditators, some gazing around as I did, some draped over statues of Ganeesh, some with their hand towards floating flowers, some on the edges of everything, all dead quiet. I closed my eyes and had an experience that changed my life forever. It wasn’t sleep, it wasn’t difficult and it wasn’t anything I forced. It just happened.
In the 15 minutes of eternity that I travelled thru, I saw my life as it is, a magical gift of time that I can do with whatever I want. What impossible luck it is to exist, to be born in to a time and place and into this body from a mother that raised me to be able to think myself into anything I want. At one point, a tear literally shot out of my eye.