Sunday, October 23, 2005

I don't know.

The details of last night are slowly coming back to me, I spoke with my girlfriend early in the evening, cooked a dinner of mashed potatoes and green beans, did some studying and light reading, performed my bokken strikes and began my breathing mediation as I have been doing for the past several weeks before falling asleep. But something was different, something happened that was unique. As usual with my breathing meditation my physical body entered the usual state of relaxation and my consciousness began to settle. The only thoughts in my mind were of breathing in the universe and breathing out the universe and the only stimulus I encountered was the sound of the air rushing into my nostrils. The tactile feeling of my body started to fade as superfluous thoughts of the day diminished. It was at this point that my experience departed from the norm.

Before going any further let me preface this with the fact that I was most likely asleep by this point as I often do fall asleep while I mediate, the only difference is that I usually don’t have dreams that are so vivid and rich. Also this is the first time I've ever been able to clearly recall the transition from being awake to being asleep.

As I lay in my meditative state with my eyes closed I started to feel as if I was being reoriented physically, it was if I were slowly rotating and my head was the axis point. I didn’t want to break the experience by opening my eyes so I kept them closed. I may have been a little anxious of the situation because I developed a sense that someone familiar was beside me which was comforting and peculiar because I didn’t know who it was. I could still hear the air as I breathed in and I could feel the coldness in my nostrils caused by the influx, but it was more of a detached feeling than before. A transition occurred and I felt as though I was young boy on my father’s sailboat, a 34 foot sloop aptly named “Yesterday’s Dream”. I could hear, see and feel the greenish bay water gently striking against the ship’s hull while the bow cut softy through the waves. I had the feeling as though my dad was on the boat, but I don’t recall seeing him. I actually don’t recall seeing anyone, not even myself. I felt as if I were a detached observer of the solitary sailboat as it made its way across the bay. My perception gradually changed from the boat to the horizon, it was the San Francisco bay, with the exception that the coastal areas and surrounding hills were lush with greenery, absent were the bridges and buildings which are a regular feature. Although the situation was odd, I felt a familiar comfort and peacefulness through out the experience. The experience of time passing while on the boat is most perplexing, because I feel as though and have the memory of sailing across the bay for a few days, but not once did the sun set and the trip usually can be accomplished in an afternoon. What is most hard for me to reconcile about the sequence of events is that the memory of being on the boat is just as fresh and real in my mind as the hours I spent studying this afternoon at a cafĂ© in downtown Philadelphia.

How can we differentiate memories of dreams from memories of waking life? I know that I haven’t been on my dad’s boat for several years and that I will never see the San Francisco bay area in the condition I discribed above. But the experience seems too real to not take notice of. I’m sure that the memory of it will eventually fade away like all my memories do, only to be partially recalled when I look at this entry someday in the future. I don’t think I’ll ever make sense of what happened, and I’m not in a rush to either, because I when I woke up this morning I felt great and my mind was filled with beautiful thoughts.

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