I just watched the taped delay broadcast of Roger Federer vs. Andy Murray in the Australian Open. Unfortunately for Murray he played quite poorly up until the very end of the match. Federer won. I learned recently that Andy Murray does yoga and he believes it helps his game a lot. I was wondering how much more improved Federer’s game would be if he also did yoga.
Anyway, the live broadcast of the match aired at 2am here. In hindsight I realized I could have watched most of the match live this morning but I was busy with something else and didn’t think of it.
At 2:30 am I was awakened from a very restful sleep by pounding on my door. BAM! BAM! BAM! I came fully awake in literally three seconds and immediately entered the middle of a scary movie.
I have seen so many scary movies where I think to myself, “Why do they do that? I would never do that! I would hide right away and call 9-1-1.” For me the scariest movie of all time is “The Strangers” (2008). Based on a true story it’s about a young couple who stays at somebody’s house overnight and for some unknown reason they get seriously harassed by three unknown strangers. It does not end well.
In the movie the strangers pound on the door, peer in the windows, stare at them from the yard, eventually break into the house… for me it’s seriously horrifying because of the similarity to recurring scary dreams I had when I was young. The movie still scares me but over the years I worked through the dreams and don’t get them anymore.
So anyway, I hear the three BAM! BAM! BAM!’s on the door at 2:30am and in three seconds I’m wide awake standing in the hallway that connects the front and back doors and from which you can see most of the windows of the downstairs part of the house.
It was very bright full moon night, and even though cloudy I could still see quite well through the cracks in the blinds to outside the house. I stood there holding my breath, looking for movement and listening for sounds.
Then I made the rounds of all the doors and windows, peeking through the blinds to see if I could see anybody.
After a few minutes I realized, as one naturally realizes first thing every morning, that nature called and I had to go to the bathroom. Bad timing! I abandoned my searching and walked back to the bathroom. Just as I got there BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM!
Maybe it’s a blessing to see nothing, but I can tell you I was really scared.
I formulated a plan at this point. Get the phone in my hand. Make rounds of the doors and windows. Wait to wake the kids and call 9-1-1 unless it happens again. Listen to see if they enter the gate to the backyard. How can the dog be sleeping through this?
I kept up my rounds for 30 minutes. Complete adrenaline rush. Trying to forget the movie. Eventually as I had time to think I realized whoever it was must have gone because the temperature was in the low 30’s last night and very very cold – no one would just stand out there in the cold. If they wanted in, they’d come in or do something else.
I also began to think of who, and why. It also occurred to me that some classmates of my younger daughter have harassed us before (although at reasonable hours) playing ding-dong-ditch with the doorbell, and other stupid things. Think of 6 year olds in mens’ bodies. I thought it was a good chance it could be them although I had no way of knowing for sure.
Finally I went back to bed. It took a long time to fall asleep.
Eventually this morning I woke up and started my usual routine. While I was doing asanas I reflected on the whole situation. I was thinking it’s kind of normal to be afraid and have the adrenaline rush if someone bangs on your door at 2:30am. However, I wondered why is this? Why is fear the first feeling?
I had the power position – I was inside behind locked doors, I had 6 phone/handsets to call for help, I could see outside much better than they could ever have seen inside, I had a dog (not sure how much help that would have been :-)…
In yoga they call this feeling of clinging to life Abhinivesa. Like all things there’s tons of details to define it all, and I forget exactly everything, but they break these fears down into things like fear of: wild animals, insects, disease, losing loved ones, losing things, getting your body maimed, losing your life, etc.
One time Swami Sivananda was sitting in a satsang in Rishikesh and somebody who didn’t like him came in and axed him in the head. The ax bounced off and nothing happened to Swami Sivananda. I think the story goes that he then treated the man as his best friend with total forgiveness and the man eventually repented because of how well he was treated even though he tried to kill Swami Sivananda. Throughout the whole thing Swami Sivananda never flinched. He had total belief that the body is transient and unreal, and therefore, there’s nothing to lose if you die.
Lots to think about.