A New Beginning of Sorts by Bodhi Shaman on June 1, 2001 My experience of finding myself in a place of complete connection and surrender place of total connection I found when producing and mixing music is constantly evolving. Every time I find myself there, I need to open myself to the idea that I am not looking in the same place every time, but am constantly walking further down a pathway that is constantly evolving. It is by experiencing and embracing this experience, that it leads me to a deeper place within that same experience.
I have taken that experience and applied it to my meditation practice. Ever since experiencing my first lucid dream a few years ago, I have been in awe of the power of the mind to manifest what felt more real than the waking reality every external source tells me is my true reality.
On a fateful New Year’s Eve of 1995/6, I overdosed on small amounts of a number of different substances (all depressants, it turns out) which landed me in the hospital because my respiratory system was shutting down all on its own. I’ve experienced few things stranger than lying down because I was so tired, only to be unable to take in a breath. When I sat back up, I seemed as though I was fine. I thought to myself that perhaps this was just a momentary bit of strangeness.
But, when I laid back down to try to get some sleep, the same thing happened. Only this time, it was a little more intense. Still having no idea what was going on, especially because I wasn’t feeling that altered at all, I couldn’t make sense of what was happening to me. So, I got up instead. For a minute I once again felt better, and thought that perhaps this was passing.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case, and as it got worse, I soon realized that I might need a hospital, which indeed I did. No need to go into the many details that followed, but suffice it to say that ever since that night, the fear and anxiety over my respiratory system spontaneously shutting down (as it did that evening) has been a thorn in the back of my mind ever since then. That fear induced several anxiety attacks since then that have not required immense effort on my part to combat without the intervention of prescription medication, but the fear of possible imminent death came creeping in all over again.
Finally, tonight, I wondered if there was some positive purpose to them. In one sense, by having to fight with these anxiety attacks, I eventually learned not only to recognize the early and often subtle signs of an imminent attack, but I learned how to talk myself down and/or out of them over time. And this evening, for the first time, I found a way out of the panic attack by simply embracing the fear that wells up inside me when they are occurring.
In that moment something became vividly clear to me: It’s simply a difference in mental state from where I was moments before the anxiety attack began. So, that means it’s also only a state of mind away from NOT having one.
After that realization, learning to embrace the butterflies in my stomach and solar plexus became the breakthrough I never imagined I would find that became my primary tool towards wellness and freedom from these sometimes crippling attacks. For a flashing moment as I embraced the butterflies instead of trying to force them out of me, I felt the fear completely transform to bliss. As soon as I caught this glimpse, I felt the endorphins rush into my belly and chase the butterflies out.
And it’s this realization that re-energized my search for a deeper place of connection; one that might be found in deep meditation practice, perhaps with the help of my favorite chemical or my favorite herb. A long series of deep meditation sessions followed, all utilizing somewhat different techniques or practices from different cultures. I didn’t discard any possibility; I may not know much, but one thing I am convinced of, is that there are many pathways to the Divine.