Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Near Death Experience
I've spent many a moment thinking that a near death experience would make me more efficient, interesting, and driven. It would surely make my story marketable and catapult my status to the next level. So earlier today, on route to an evening session with a client, I received my wish; and it was a moment I will never forget.
I was coming off the major pedestrian artery in Hong Kong and as I stepped off the escalator (for non-HKers, this escalator is the longest in the world) on Robinson Rd, I quickly spotted the bus that would take me straight to the front door entrance of my next appointment. As I stepped towards that vehicle across the street, I got side swiped by a green minibus that was turning the corner at the pace of what felt like a jolt into a parallel paradigm. What happened could easily have been prevented; I could have "checked both ways before I crossed" but I didn't - I WALKED INTO A SPEEDING BUS - and my elbow grazed its side. I dropped my cell phone and became a ghost. What's so compelling to me is that nothing changed; from the moment before to the moment after, nothing shifted, except my inner experience.
Life went on in slow motion, not a single person (this happened @ 6:15PM on a Tuesday night in November) acknowledged that the scattering of my cell phone and Immigration papers on the side walk was a split second alternative to my brain and guts. I gathered my belongings and looked both ways, confused by the lack of attention this event was pulling in, and proceeded to the bus across the street, a green minibus.
As the bus drove off, it felt like we were in an off-road vehicle on a never ending rocky terrain. The two minibus rides seemed to last forever. As I was contemplating oral elimination (vomiting), strangely enough, I couldn't seem to understand how I just had the most blessed experience of my life, in the most unbiblical of circumstances.
There was no burning bush, nor parting of the Red Sea;
no Cross or Crucifixion, no holy war,
nothing except, a second chance,
a funny looking green mini bus,
and then another, that got me to where I was going,
without a hitch.
I finally arrived at my client Chris's place and noticed my throbbing elbow. Thankful for that was the only kiss I received, I considered my life minus handstand, and made sure to find movement in both my hand and elbow joint. The turning point of the evening was when Chris said to me: "This is what soldiers in battle feel three times a week". Wow, I saw the face of Ori Perlman, my 17 year-old brother from another mother, who'd decided to join the Israeli Army next summer when he completes high school.
A story came to mind: I've been walking around town, listening to the audio book version of Russell Simmons' Do You. It's a success book geared towards American urban youth from the hip hop mogul. Russell the aspiring Yogi explains how Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now has changed his life, specifically the idea of presence that Mr.Tolle delivers so well. One day, Russell took Puffy/P.Diddy/Sean Combs to a yoga class and after trying to explain this concept of presence to Puffy, who after a difficult time in processing this idea, finally said: "Yes!!! I know it, I feel that every time I get shot at, everything slows down and becomes so real".
For me it was a momentary opportunity to re-evaluate everything, a re-distribution of what is important, I mean a green minibus saved my life.