Coming back from my massage lesson today I was pulled over by the police for a routine papers check. The officer was quiet stern and short, but not rude. I think it’s their way of showing authority.
Lucky I put my papers in my bag two days earlier so I gave him my vehicle ownership papers, license, international license, indian vehicle permit and passport. He looked at them and asks why I am riding a Nepali motorbike in India. Strange question.. so I gave him the obvious answer. “Because I bought it in Kathmandu”. He looked at me with wide eyes, This is your bike? “Yes”, I answered thinking, (uhm.. you just looked at the ownership papers).
Insurance? He barked. I checked my bag, shite, I left them in the hotel. I told him and he starts on a small rant that I can not drive in India without insurance. It is illegal..!!! I ensured him a number of times that I have insurance. So he tells me to go and get the papers, I go to take off and he barks at me..NONONONO.. BIKE STAY.. YOU GO!!!
He then asked for my keys and all my papers. I was so surprised and startled that, like in a trance, I watched myself hand over everything that proves I am the owner of this vehicle, the vehicle itself and the keys to go with it to this man in uniform.
I walked off on my slightly weak knees, my heart rate elevated and palms sweaty. My mind in overdrive replaying all the horror stories I read in blogs about corrupt police and how you should never ever ever ever part with your papers of anything in any case, ever!!!! This lead to my mind playing out all possible outcome scenarios of the situation, further elevating my heart rate.
Then something wonderful happened that changed the state I was in completely. Mooji’s teachings, which I have been contemplating over the past weeks and applied successfully at various times showed their full power in this moment.
I pulled my awareness back from my body/mind into the ocean of stillness that is at the core of who we all are. From here I witnessed the thoughts, the physical reaction of my body and the situation at hand.
I observed my physical reactions and how my mind would morph these into emotions validated by my past emotions. My mind was using these as fuel to throw onto the fire flaring up inside my body. Paradoxically, on the other hand, my mind was playing out all possible scenarios and devising defences to each, in it’s feeble attempt to gain control. As if it was the necessary water that could put out the flames inside caused by my mind in the first place. Like a feedback loop it was heating up my system causing me to suffer.
As I noticed this I burst out laughing. Suddenly it was so absurd. Not serious at all. The storm lost it’s power. I was observing my ego in full flight from this inner stillness and just marvelled at the complexity of the interplay between feelings, thoughts and emotions. As I did the mind stopped. Like switching off a TV, it was that sudden. As Mooji said: A thought can not exist by itself. It needs YOU. But YOU can exist without your thoughts. If you identify with your thoughts being YOU, there is no escaping this conundrum.
The ego is a powerful machine. But that’s all it is. A construct built on past thoughts. In the place of awareness, the inner core of silence that is pure consciousness, I am not these things. I am not my past, I am not my thoughts of the future. I am stillness. From this vantage point the ego looses all power. Thoughts stop feeding on feelings. The need to control ceases. Regaining the innocence of a child. Dropping back into essential being.
I said to myself. I have no control of this situation. I don’t know what will happen but one thing I do know. In the bigger picture it does not matter. Even if I lost the bike altogether. In a year it would be just another thought.
It took me about an hour to walk to the hotel, get the insurance papers and return. The rest of the walk I was calm and happy. Happy I could accept my lack of control and stop the suffering that comes with trying to control.
By the time I returned the 5 police men and women where sitting in the station room. I walked in and handed over the insurance papers with a friendly smile on my face instead of paranoid nervousness. They looked them up and down and told me they are in Nepali language!!??!! I answered:
“Yes, it is a Nepali motorbike.”
“This no good here in India. You need India insurance”
“No, this insurance is also valid for India”
“NoNoNo.. you need India insurance”
“Please see my Indian driving permit. It was issued by the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu. To get a driving permit for India you need to have valid Insurance. Or they will not issue a driving permit. I had to show them this insurance certificate to get the driving permit”.
(Discussion between the 5 followed for a couple of minutes with careful inspection of all the papers and lots of finger pointing)
“OK sir, No problem (head wiggle)” My papers and keys returned to me.
“Thank you kindly” (hands in prayer pose, as is custom here when being very respectful)
I got on my bike and rode off. Stopped by the Ganges and took a dip in the holy waters of India. Thanking Mooji for the profound, simple and powerful teaching and thanking the Great Mystery for bringing me to this point in my life.