You can’t fall out of the world.

December 14, 2008

We walked outside today morning, Ghani and I. We were going for a walk. My house is surrounded by tall, beautiful pine trees that keep it in a shade most of the time. In this shade I stood today morning, shivering, because it was rather chilly. Ghani was snuffing something in the bushes. I considered pulling her away so that we could walk towards the sun, but before I did that I looked. I was cold, it didn’t feel good to be cold, it was uncomfortable and hurt a little – said my mind. I looked beyond it and saw that it was not the temperature of the air that caused me discomfort, it was my resistance to it. I was in reaction, I didn’t want it, I wanted something else. So I let go of that, I let go of my reaction, I let go of my mind. What was left was a curious, not unpleasant, sort of tingling sensation on my skin. I let Ghani finish her snuffing and off we went. As I walked I remembered things. An exchange I had with Brooks few years ago when I said “I just want to be safe”. He asked “what does it mean, to be save?”. I answered “It means having somebody else taking care of me”. And another situation: walking in one of my favoritest walking places, a preserve in Santa Barbara. A piece of wilderness overlooking the ocean. It was a very long time ago. I just moved to America, I was 26 and little more than a child, confused and scared. A thought came to me as I walked: “you cannot fall out of the world”. I didn’t understand the meaning of it but I could feel it: you can’t fall out of the world, you are world, world can’t hurt you because world is what you are. There was an amazing feeling of safety, of comfort, in this realization. It all came together today, the understanding that there is no such thing as fear, or danger. There cannot possibly be any danger to me in life, in the world, in reality – because I am the reality. Only when I separate myself do I feel the need for safety. Only when I choose to split from the entire experience of me, push most of it away, then what is “outside” appears as scary. When that happens I start looking for safety in others, in money, in possessions, in power, in control. When that happens I start defending myself, I organize my life such that I can’t be hurt. I make sure to get the right education, the right job, the right salary. I make sure to follow all the rules, to be a “good girl”. But the only thing I really have to do when there is fear, discomfort, pain, danger, is to become present to who I am, entirely and completely. To become present to the reality of the fact that I can’t fall out of the world.

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