Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China
I am still on the plane to Hong Kong. When I finished the previous post my eye fell on the date of today yesterday. I realized it was March 19th and I would be still on the plane on March 20th. On March 20th of 2004, exactly nine years ago, I had my experience of ego death or spiritual transformation during the writing of a letter on a Saturday morning.
Boy, did my life change that morning.
It is kind of weird. Although I like to entertain the thought that I should do something special on this day I often find out a day or two too late that I just missed it. And today I will lose a big chunk. In New York it is now 45 minutes after midnight but after the landing in 40 minutes it will be 12 hours later and well in the afternoon. That means I will be quite jetlagged and not really in a mood to visit a temple or do something else that is reflective and/or esoteric. I got that idea from dr David Serban Schreiber, late author of the book ‘Anti Cancer’. He had his awakening after being confronted with his mortality when he found his own brain tumor. He described how he celebrated that day every year by going to a church or a temple by himself and spent the day in silence. I liked that. But I am celebrating in the economy class of the Cathay Pacific from New York to Hong Kong.
I have been in a plane now for 13 hours. I am tired and we are having turbulence too. I wish there were nice words of wisdom and gratitude flowing out of me but I have not much to say. I do feel grateful though. I have a tired but grateful smile on my face. The last 9 years: it has been a journey. The last 14 months: even a bigger journey.
The flight attendant asks me to turn off my computer because we are descending. I will do my reflecting now and finish my thought when I have arrived at my destination in Central Hong Kong.
I continue this post at 10.30 pm. Apart from a short nap I did not sleep the last 28 hours. The climate change, from freezing cold to very humid and hot, doesn’t make it easier.
9 years ago my heart opened. I realized we build walls around our hearts the very minute my walls collapsed. I did not know the ego was artificial until I found out myself. Nobody had told me this and today, 9 years later, I know that still very few people have any notion. Although the experience is literally unimaginable to the human mind it is not something that should be perceived as unattainable and its pursuit as a waste of time. It is our birthright to realize our true nature and settling for less is a violent crime against your heart. When we don’t open up we keep our precious hearts imprisoned. I, as the previous owner of a big, fat, quite arrogant ego (that still shines through), must share that revelation since lying and pretending to be something that I am not is no longer an option anymore.
My life has become very dangerous since that day. Dangerous for the ego, that is. I share what I feel. I put myself in vulnerable positions all the time. I admit weakness and imperfection. I must put others before me. I have to obey my heart. I can never give up on anything or anyone. I cannot give in to desires for safety, comfort and selfishness. For my ego, who didn’t die as completely as I thought he did, all this is terrible and very frightening. But my heart feels good about it and my heart is boss.
Henry Shen says
Happy rebirthday my fellow Buddhist friend!
Henry (student of Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche)