“There comes a point at 7000 RPM where everything fades. The machine becomes weightless. Just disappears. And all that’s left is a body moving through Space and Time. 7000 RPM. That’s where you meet it. You feel it coming. It creeps up on you, close in your ear. Asks you a question. The only question that matters, “Who are you?”
The character of Caroll Shelby, the iconic American, creator of some of the world’s best race cars, says these lines towards the end of the movie, “Ford Vs. Ferrari”, when after years of hard work, his car wins the battle against what seemed like unsurmountable odds. These lines were quite meditative for me and I listened to them over and over again.
About 17 years back, I used own a racing motorcycle, the Yamaha R6, you know during that young and carefree time in ones life. Naturally, I loved to go fast on it, and clearly remember the day and moment. I’m riding hard on a vast empty freeway just outside of Minneapolis, USA. After about 20 min of riding, I could feel the machine warming up, the engine revving underneath me. I can’t feel the wind anymore, my helmet and riding suit is snug against my body. I lower my head. Move the handle bar and let the machine do its thing. The road markers on the freeway pass like white blurs under me. The cemented road is just grey blur now. The sound of the machine fills my entire being. I look up and speedometer is at 200+Km/hr. My heart starts pounding. I realize that I could be pulled over by the cops any moment 🙂 and I slow down, come back to the speed limit, having tested the fastest I have ever gone.
I’ve read and heard from multiple sources that we have a sense of “Flow” an experience when one is so engrossed in an activity that the sense of time disappears. One is totally immersed and no thoughts or external distractions come in. All our lives, we are passionately searching for our “Flow”, some find it through their line of work, some from a hobby or in a creative pursuit. Some others find it in devotion to their family or The Universe, in “bandagi” or passionate singing of praises of the Diving Light.
For me, the feeling of Flow comes through a few activities. At work, when I’m in a deep and spirited discussion with an entrepreneur about their business, we tend to totally immerse into it, losing sense of our pre-scheduled meeting time. This is why I love my job and continue in it to experience those moments. When I’m writing, especially composing a passionate poem, something from my inner being, I tend to experience Flow. Writing has been almost therapeutic. Lately, I have felt the same in my meditations.
My first experiments with meditation started 15 years ago and I would usually go through few months or more of intense practice, totally immersing myself into it. And then I’d lose the path due to some other issues. Not sure why my being naturally gravitates towards it, but in each such sojourn I’ve slowly peeled away the challenges that everyone goes through. The impatience to sit for more than a few minutes, the body twitches, the aches, the barrage of thoughts, the overwhelming of the being by the mind. But something interesting has started happening over the last few weeks.
I’ve started to wake up earlier and earlier in the morning, craving the early morning quiet hours, or as the Sikh Gurus call it, Amrit Vela. My body is hot after a deep sleep and is crying for a cold shower. We sit down on the meditation cushion, close the eyes and start the Jap, the mantra from Guru Nanak dev ji, the first Sikh Guru. The body twitches couple of times, the breathing starts to get deep and rhythmic and the body starts to relax. And then, the body feels the energy travel up the body, at some points, it pauses, the heat rises, the body groans, the ears crawl, the breath moves the heat along, up and up the body, reaching the crown. The brows start to twitch, the mind is craving its thoughts, but the Jap has taken over the being and the breath disappears. Time disappears. And the Body disappears. And then, there is Nothing. No thoughts, no breath, no body, no ground, no light – absolutely Nothing. Slowly and then steadily, the Jap comes back, the breath comes back, the body comes back, the mind comes back and then the thought “Who are you?” comes. The recognition of Time and Space comes back. We are here, we are back in the Now.
Its hard to describe what happens, because honestly, I don’t know. Sometimes an hour passes by and I wonder if I had slept off or was actually meditating 🙂 . Whatever it is, the experience buzzes my brain, rejuvenates my being and there is a a feeling of extreme bliss for a few minutes after opening the eyes. The feeling of That Energy remains anywhere from a few minutes to few hours post each Experience.
Lets end today with a verse that really resonated with my being –
Kabeer tu tu karta tu hua, mujh meh raha n hoon.
Jab aapaa par ka mith gaya, jat dekhau tat tu.
Kabeer, reapeating, “You, You” , I have become like you. Nothing of me remains in myself.Bhagat Kabeer, Sri Guru Granth Sahib, Ang (page) 1375
When the differences between myself and others is removed, then wherever I look, I see only you.
Bhai Satpal Singh’s talk is an excellent introduction on the Sikh traditional meditation – The 4 stages of Mantra Meditation for beginners.