I looked Death in the face and did not blink yesterday.
Oh, it was brief. Don’t think you can tempt the Fates too long and get away with it.
For a moment, I felt destined to die right on the spot, with nary a second left to continue with my life. It made me think about life. And, more importantly, to question my Self if I was ready to accept it’s loss.
You see, I had meditated with eyes open, taking in my surroundings and sending out feelings for the “presence” of the Divine — that source within that warms my Being. I touched it. And I felt its peace. I also felt an urgent need to bring peace to my bladder by seeking the nearest rest room.
Leaving a breakfast table where I had completed most of my meal, I got up and walked to the restaurant’s public bathroom. Opened the first door and pushed at the second, only to bump into a gentleman standing at the other side, near one of four sinks.
Silly me. I left my glasses back at the table. I planned to simply get in, relieve myself, and get back out to my “day-dreaming,” what Dr. Carl Jung would call my conscious connection to the unconscious. A “musing,” a “seeing,” an attempt, in my words to “commune” with my “Higher Self.”
I could not make out the man’s details. He was younger than I, taller by a half foot, and dark-featured. Short haired. Conservative-looking. Nothing in the brief glimpse I got suggested anything sinister.
But, as I turned my back and stood before a urinal, I felt a presence of someone about to take my life. Kill me right in my tracks. Or, lack of tracks.
They say people who are experiencing a drowning, or some other near-death threat, see their entire life flashed before them. I felt Death behind me, about to deliver a painful blow and then . . . the end of all I know.
Nothing “flashed” before my eyes. If anything, I had but one, and only one thought.
Ready to meet Death with no fear. No qualms with the loss of the only life I knew. I was at peace with my Self and simply “ready” for leaving. With no regrets, no clinging to any unfulfilled hopes or desires.
Was I “in the moment?” You bet I was! I was “seeing” the world for the last time. It was a completely new experience, one I never thought about, or wanted to contemplate from any readings I made of scripture, sacred books and holy verses. You can face up to Death, I thought, if you’re ready to live in the moment.
It was not as if I “didn’t care” anymore. I was full of love and compassion from the meditative posture I had developed. And that’s why I could face anything with the same acceptance, the same “courage,” if you will. Don’t get me wrong. I would’ve defended myself — “go down swinging” — and not make it an easy slaughter. But if Death was calling me, I could greet him with a smile, look in his eyes and hit him with a little Greek “madness,” by wise cracking, “What took you so long, buddy?”