The Time I Almost Died Was My Favorite

One year ago I was in Sayulita, Mexico as part of my meditation teacher training. After a long day full of rounding (an industrial strength advanced technique for existing meditators), great food and knowledge meetings, my roommate and I decided to go down to the beach at midnight.

He was an experienced surfer and not afraid to drop his swimsuit and go out in the pitch dark, intense crashing waves. I laid down on the sand to chill out and digest all the beauty I had taken in that day.

My attention kept going to the water because I was a bit jelly that I didn’t feel comfortable enough to go get in the waves. But I thought, fudge that sugar, I wasn’t trying to get swallowed whole by the elements.

Several minutes later Grant came rushing onto the beach yelling “Bioluminescence! Bioluminescence!” I didn’t know what the hell that meant and was enjoying the absurdity of him running naked on the beach all excited about a word that sounded funny. He explained bioluminescence as stars in the water, that it looks like fireworks.

His enthuasism and the opportunity to step into and through fear got me up and moving. My attention had been drawn to the water, I figured this was a sign that I needed to take action toward my feeling.

I struggled to get out into the water as the waves pushed me about. I finally reached a break and looked down to see precisely what Grant had described. It was amazing! Like some for real science fiction shit! Colors were swirling around and lighting the otherwise pitch dark water up! My amazement was cut short when I heard Grant yelling something that I couldn’t understand and I saw him waving his arms.

At that moment I felt a hard slam on my right side. The waves had pushed me into a rock formation. I began going to my left and slammed my leg on a rock underwater. So I decided I should go toward the rocks I can see. The waves kept coming and knocking me off balance as I started to climb the formation to attempt to find a way out. Crashing, struggling, crashing swallowing water, crashing, barely hanging on.

I finally got on top of a tall part of the rock and began scouting what my next move would be. I saw a small opening I could jump to! I thought to myself “I have to play the rest of this situation right or this could go really bad….. Exciting!” All my years of meditating and the perspective it has given me allowed me clarity in that moment. I wasn’t afraid, I was excited, and I was confident in myself and trusted that I would make the right choices. I wasn’t clouded with fear, stress, or doubts. I was able to adapt and act!

As I was having this breakthrough moment a wave knocked me loose from the rock and I adapted the momentum toward the spot I had picked out. I landed rough and cut my feet up pretty bad on the jagged rocks. I braced myself against the dip I found myself in as several more waves crashed. I thought to myself, “I got this! This is fun!” I found my opportunites and climbed my way back to the beach.

As I looked out to the water with all sorts of emotional chemical reactions happening in my body I saw Grant. He was running toward me butt naked yelling “Jonathan! Are you okay?!?” I couldn’t do anything but laugh! It highlighted the absurdity and beauty of life in a way I had never experienced.

I was gifted a wonderful flash of stepping through a perceived fear, seeing an unbelievable wonder of nature, finding clarity/excitement/trust/strength in a moment of peril, and after it all being reminded to not take life seriously and enjoy a laugh. So yeah, the time I could have died in Mexico is far and away my most cherished memory of my time there, and one of my most cherished memories overall. If you want to be able to turn your negatives into positives and have clarity in the middle of “stressful” situations, contact me about starting a meditation practice that you’ll actually enjoy!