by Lynette Bell
One day, I decided to die. Pain from years of Rheumatoid and Psoriatic Arthritis, before miracle drugs, had brought me to the lowest I had ever been. A few months before this, I had watched a documentary on how Tibetan monks, that were ready to die, left their body by meditation. Death was the result.
Meditation was something I knew nothing about. But desperate times call for desperate measures, and I had become desperate. Living in pain, frozen in time, unable to move even an inch without extreme pain, was just no way to live. I had lived that way for over 5 years and felt I had hit the limit of what I could bear.
Being a Christian, I was taught, God never puts on you more than you could bear, and I believed that with everything in me. Until that day. That day, I felt I had all I could bear. Even though God might have wanted me to believe I could bear more, I could not.
Knowing nothing of mediation, I began by closing my eyes and making peace with my world, my family and my God. This was to be my intro to leaving this world. After making my peace, I began looking around in my mind's darkness for something to stare at. I eventually found a tiny white light and so began to stare at it, quieting my mind. After a bit, the tiny white light began to grow larger, and my mind began to drift. As I drifted, I came to a serene, beautiful flowing river with rocks and many trees bordering it.
I saw people gathering at a bridge over the river; it was my family. They gathered there to throw my ashes into the river, as I requested. In my realization, I found myself identifying with and becoming the ashes that were falling silently into the flowing river. For a bit, I flowed along the top of the river water, and then, in glee, I began washing over and around the rocks. I became one with the bubbling and gurgling, and felt the joy of being free. I was being carried away and away, flowing on and on, for miles and endless miles. Eventually, I came to where the river met the sea. I heard the roaring ocean waves rushing towards me as I flowed haphazardly onward. My soul felt total elation as the salt water wooed me like a lover towards the ever widening inlet. Nothing could have made me happier than the thought of living forever, flowing and churning with sea life, a witness to and being a part of the power of the all mightyocean. But this was not to be.
As the the salty water carried me toward the ocean, the waves began to push me back toward the shore. It was as if the waves, hearing my heart's desire, determined it was not be. Aggressively and without mercy, the waves herded me quickly onto shore. There I lay. Forever, the sands to be my crypt. Watching my true heart's desire flow before me.
As I lay there, disheartened, my ashes slowly began to come together, recreating my form within the warm golden sands. Then, becoming fully formed, my golden being glistening, wrought from the sands of time, I felt the sun, beam it's warmth into my soul, giving me life. I was renewed. Born again.
Suddenly, I came to myself. My eyes flew open! Lying there, back in my bed, I could feel the warmth of the sun beam still tingling within me. The memory of the joy and elation of my trip down the river, reverberated within my body. What struck me immediately, I felt no pain. Gently, not knowing what to expect, I moved to get up and walk. It was affirmed. No pain. And for weeks, I felt no pain. And although some pain did slowly creep back in, it never returned to what it was before that day.
I did not die that day, but I did find the power of my mind and of meditation. My life has not been the same since.