Two weeks ago I took a tumble down unlit steps onto concrete. I’m no stranger to being hobbled for long periods (how else would a tearabout meet and fall fatally in love with a zafu?) but what’s interesting now, is that there’s … no drama. The Light of Being called ‘I’ is quite unaffected by two sprained ankles and one wrenched knee.
But there’s more, and it wants to be shared. In the leisure of forced immobility meditation finds no distractions. It flourishes. And this morning, after a sweet spell of simply being Being, it bubbled up some interesting questions.
Attention went to my left leg. There it lay on the sofa, the ankle swollen, the foot and calf black, yellow and blue with bruising. Not a pretty sight.
What do I actually see?
I see patches of color, shapes; a form.
Are the patches of color – in my actual direct experience, not in abstraction, interpretation or conceptualization – bruises?
No, they are simply patches of color – data perceptions. Bruises can only be inferred, not experienced.
And the shapes – the swollen ankle?
Swelling likewise. It can only be inferred, not experienced.
And the form?
Simply a form – ‘leg’ is what it gets labeled.
No bruising, swelling or leg is actually being experienced.
What about pain?
My leg hurts, yes!
Huh? Right. OK, there is sensation.
In my leg …… crikey…..?
Is the sensation outside of perception?
No, couldn’t be … could it?
Where is perception located?
Behind my eyes …
Really? Is perception outside of Awareness?
No. They can’t be separated.
So where’s the sensation actually experienced?
In Awareness – which has no fixed point of reference!
And where’s the perception of color, shape and form experienced?
In Awareness. Must be! OMG. There’s only Awareness experiencing Itself as a field of energy data!
And where’s the sense of ‘I’ experienced?
It … floats within Awareness … it is Awareness. It’s all Awareness!
Good Reality check, eh? Just in case you were tempted to turn it all into a wee story sweetheart!
No-thing exists outside of the Awareing,
the Experiencing, the Knowing, that is ‘I’.
No accident, no injury, no pain, no trauma
ever affects this unknowable ‘I’.
The Knowing of this is sweet peace and Lightness of Being.
I share this because I know the agony of bodily injury. This body has been smashed. One of my legs was severed and re-built. I have spent many months hospitalized and immobile, not knowing whether I’d ever walk unassisted again. Back then I was unable to separate the story of my experience from its actuality. Now I am able to do that, and I am profoundly moved to share this simple investigation with those who suffer. It’s such a simple inquiry, and it shows so clearly how we often don’t experience the actuality of what’s going on. We experience the story, and it’s usually an awful one. And it’s usually all a lie. To suffer is to believe the lie.