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Skydive into the Present

12 Sep

I had read somewhere that ‘if you believe you can fly, you will’ and this is exactly what I experienced at Skydive Long Island, New York.  For a lark, I saw myself signing up, where the first thing you are told is that when you Sky Dive, there is a probability that you may die or get maimed for life.  Despite these not so comforting words, I had to put on a cheerful expression looking at the excited faces of my friends, .

Before I go any further, let  me share with you that I have a fear of heights, and terrible motion sickness. Why was I doing this? I like birds, airplanes and the sky and  these to my mind are the perfect reason to jump off an airplane.

So, we troop into a small plane with two rows of benches. We sit astride with no seat belts, facing the tail. I see a cameraman sitting on the floor. He closes the door which is really a flap like shutter and we take off.  As we noisily lurch skywards, I am inescapably committed to jump off the airplane or tag myself a coward. I choose the former, reminding myself that the worst case scenario is death and that I have attended enough Advanced Meditation Courses with the Art Of Living so the death-processshould not be unfamiliar; that I have died before in many previous lifetimes and can do it again.


I decide on mudra-pranayam to calm myself. Breathe in…blue sky…breathe out…blue water below… I feel a jab on my back, it is my instructor.

“Are you meditating”

“Yes”

“How do you meditate?”

I’m confused.

A part of me wants to give an Art of Living intro-talk and another wants to whack him because now I’m jittery again!! Thankfully, he wants to talk, telling me about his workplace: the sky.

Soon, it is time. We have climbed to 14000 feet and the door is open. I go over the instructions once again, pull on the eye glass and wiggle on the floor till my feet are dangling out of the plane. It feels similar to dangling one’s feet out of a truck; only, this one is in the sky!!

There is no turning back now. Breathe in ...and JUMP!!! And I am free-falling towards the Earth. I see the beautiful Atlantic Ocean, green and brown Earth with a river. Strangest of all is that the Earth appears convex, nothing like what we see out of an airplane window. Though we free-fall for about 10 thousand feet, there is no perception of speed or the height ! It is something I have never experienced before.

Free Fall is the most magical experience one can ever have.  It is a totally new experience for the body and mind. As the body starts taking inputs through the senses and before the mind can add labels and form concepts…you experience the PRESENT MOMENT, one hundred percent, un-adulterated, pure moment !!!  As you fall, in that moment there is…no fear, no judgement, no like or dislike, no thoughts…not even thoughts of life/death/ loved ones. It is awareness minus the labels!!

Once back on the terra firma, I realized this is how babies must be experiencing life. For us, it is extremely difficult to live without labelling everything. We label our experiences into likes and dislikes, we form concepts of right, wrong, good or bad which compel us to repeat or avoid experiences. Every single sensory input that we experience is immediately labelled and stored and we become a sum total of our concepts; but when we are babies, the world and its experiences are so new that all we ever have is the present moment…

It took me a leap of faith to understand the depth of present moment.  My sky Dive into present  moment set me free.

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24 responses to “Skydive into the Present

  1. Mallika

    September 12, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Wow….. what an experience that must have been.. congrats on being so brave…. :). YES !!! The Art of Living is the one that teaches us to be FREE…….. RIGHT NOW !!!

     
    • ats21

      September 12, 2012 at 8:05 pm

      Thank you. In that moment I did not feel brave…but in hindsight…YES!!

       
  2. Siddharth Jain

    September 12, 2012 at 11:15 am

    Your writing is so descriptive, that I experienced a virtual sky dive while reading it!!!
    Super awesome post Alka Didi.
    Here’s hoping that we would get to read more from you 🙂

     
  3. vanijgd

    September 12, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    Bravo! Wonderful article. Very True, Art Of living helps in every aspect of our Life

     
    • ats21

      September 12, 2012 at 8:13 pm

      I totally agree, Art of Living helps in every aspect of life.

       
  4. Archa

    September 12, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    Nicely written article. The moment you are free of all worldly things is when meditation happens and even the few moments in the state of meditation make us very productive.

     
  5. mkailkhura

    September 12, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Very nicely written and the beauty of present moment shared so well!

     
    • ats21

      September 12, 2012 at 8:06 pm

      Thank you :))

       
  6. Anonymous

    September 12, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    Felt Inspired to jump off the plane once.. Of course i meant sky diving .. Great. Keep Jumping..:-):-)

     
  7. Anonymous

    September 12, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    yooo aprana dii keep flying

     
    • ats21

      September 12, 2012 at 8:09 pm

      hey, I know what Shakespeare says, but you did get this one wrong

       
  8. Harsha Singh

    September 12, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    i think i lived wd moment as i start readinggg u let me into skydivinggg, speechlesssss way to describe think how u let us to go on dive wdout costt BEST is “”””present moment””

     
  9. smithaone

    September 13, 2012 at 12:16 am

    Great experience, beautifully narrated!

     
  10. hemadamani

    September 13, 2012 at 11:21 am

    sky diving is an item on my bucket list. hope i’ll get the chance to do it.. love the narration.. and the blog. My blog is – http://hemadamani.wordpress.com/

     
  11. Pragya Chauhan

    September 13, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    ‘I have died before in many previous lifetimes and can do it again.’ WOW! Your way of writing itself takes me to that moment and right now I feel as if I just jumped off from 14000ft! 🙂

     
  12. Anonymous

    September 13, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    can try bunjy jumping that how life is up & down …just when we feel we r going to hit the ground bunggy cord or gods pull u up …..did experiences deep fear leaving me he guruji was my parasute for safe landing

     
  13. Anonymous

    September 13, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    simple language, profound message ! brilliant !

     
  14. Anonymous

    September 13, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    I want to see death …. No seriously i wish this was that easy … but i guess sky diving is the perfect example of being in the present moment 🙂

     
  15. Amit Om

    September 14, 2012 at 10:31 am

    ‘ To fly ‘ Human Race has been constantly dreaming of it. I am sure it certainly must have been a life time experience for you. The only part u missed was the faith on the Trainer/Partner ro whom you were strapped. He was your guide, for whom you left all the fears. Likewise a disciple should float with knowledge bestowed on him by his Teacher. Teacher should have enough courage to remove the fear of his student and to make him experience a free flow in the world of knowledge.

     
    • ats21

      September 14, 2012 at 12:10 pm

      Thank you for showing us the beautiful facet of Teacher-Disciple relationship which I missed mentioning. Duncan Shaw, my skydive trainer, did make me very comfortable; and Guruji who has taken care of me in more ways than I can recount. Without my teachers, I’d be lost. With gratitude, 🙂

       
  16. Nitin Pal Singh

    September 14, 2012 at 11:25 am

    I am proud to be your student, Alka Didi. You are brave, I mean really brave. The moment when it actually comes to practically jumping out from that crazy height… Phew!!!

    I will do it but for now I actually jumped and experienced it just by reading your experience 🙂
    Hats Off!!! Miss Present Moment 🙂

    “Jai Gurudev”

     
  17. Rishika Gupta

    September 14, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    Amazing!!!! Its all GURUJI’S grace and you are seriously amazing didi
    HATS OFF!!! 🙂

     
  18. preitythomas

    September 20, 2012 at 1:27 am

    Truly amazing! You’ve narrated this breath-taking real life xp of urs in such an interesting, amusing manner! As I started reading it, I was smiling & then …. each & every word is so profound! ‘The un-adulterated Present Moment’!!! I bet you could savour this xp of ur life time in this particular favour only becoz of Art Of Living & the presence of the Master! Reading this article is an xp in itself! Hats off! 🙂

     
  19. meenaldimri

    September 23, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    amazing & inspirational experience………………..only today is ours………..present is a true gift

     

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