I think there is a time for every person when they truly disconnect from their mind and enter a state of pure awareness; at least I hope so. I feel like, in a great, bigger view, I was always attempted to be shaken from the reality that I held in my head, but it never really worked, not until I was older.
I was suffocating, once at the age of 7, then at the age of 12. Both experiences had made me stand very close to death, and made me disconnect and yet connect to my present moment and awareness.
At the age of 7, my sister and I decided that it was a great idea to play while we waited for my parents in the car. <This is a good lesson to parents to never leave their children in the car. I probably shouldn’t even write about the time I started a car at 6 years old and drove straight into a wall.> We decided that we should play with the automatic seats that went up and down at the press of a button. I somehow ended up being jammed between the headrest and the ceiling of the car. My breathing was cut short, and I couldn’t talk. I tried breathing, tried with all that I can to get air into me. I kept wiggling around, trying to free myself. My sister was unaware of this, and she even thought I was playing.
I remember very vividly how shaken my body was, how frantic my mind was, and how very at peace something else was. I had found myself right there and then, but it never really reached me. In that moment, I was finally separated from the two other things; mind, and body. I was left with something that knew things would be okay, and that knew something more than my mind did. It can’t be put into words, it was just there; a knowing.
My mind would say things like, “Don’t feel that. Listen to me. We’re dying. BREATHE!” and did I try. My eyes begin to feel some form of pressure, and my head felt weird, but since I didn’t die and even lived enough to say this, it is safe to assume that my sister decided to lower the seat. We promised to never tell our parents.
At 12, I was sick and had a really painful throat. My mom suggested that I make a solution of water and salt. Of course, I did, except I need instructions for that sort of thing. I ended up mixing too much of salt with too little water. I put so much salt that it simply refused to dissolve and rested on the bottom of the cup.
Do not try this at home, ever.
I put the water into my mouth and raised my head to gargle and ended up swallowing some and spitting the rest. It was unbearable and my throat completely closed. I was panicking. Again, left trying to breathe with my mouth and nose with no success. My heart was racing, my mind was going crazy, and there it was again, the stillness that was aware of everything, and perfectly fine with it. In the midst of panic and chaos, I felt peace.
I walked into the living room where my family sat, and with tears in my eyes, I mouthed that I couldn’t breathe. I wasn’t scared of dying, for some reason, my 12-year-old brain accepted it. A part of me went to the living room to see everyone one last time, and I tried to calm everyone down. I came with intentions to not disturb them, only to say goodbye.
Out of that, I learned that I wasn’t my body or my mind. I was the one who was aware of the mind, and body. I was the one who listened to my mind talk, and the one who felt everything in my body. These two beings are the things that die, they go. They want to live. However, the awareness, the self that I was watching it from, lives on, even if the body or the mind doesn’t, and I think that is an important thing to know.