I have taken the jump. I’m flying from Frankfurt to Athens now. I left Amsterdam at 11.00 this morning. I have no idea what is ahead of me. The idea of being away from home for a whole year is still unimaginable. It feels like I have released the inevitable. Something is set in motion that is bigger than me and outside of my control. I feel scared, sad, vulnerable and accepting. There is nowhere to hide. Whatever wants to hit, hurt, penetrate or embrace me can touch me. I’m defenseless.
I know this feeling. I have been here before. It feels like preparing oneself to die.
In Zen Buddhism practitioners seek for Great Enlightenment. The Japanese word is Dai-Kensho which means Great Death. So attaining Enlightenment means to die before your body dies. What dies is the ego, what remains is a realized Buddha.
In March 2004 I experienced the death of my ego. The dying part was absolutely terrifying, as if being pushed from a huge building and experiencing the free fall towards certain death. But the beautiful part was that something was reborn too. Parts of my being that I was unaware of – that I was in denial of – had been re-awakened. I realized that there is nothing outside of me and that I’m essentially whole and complete. It changed my life totally. From that moment I knew had to face death, not run away from it. From that moment I have been creating situations where I could kill and could die. Because, – unfortunately – my Kensho was not Dai enough to kill my ego completely in one strike. More killing has to be done. And that sucks. Because now I keep creating situations that are so far outside my comfort zone that I can count on the collapse of my defense mechanisms. This makes my ego feel utterly desperate and terrified.
I am now without a home, without a fixed income and without the physical proximity of my loved ones. I know that I will push through and that I will come out of this journey as a different man. But I’m already mourning about the parts that I will have to let go.
We are now starting the landing procedure and the turbulence is heavy. It is storming inside and outside. Everything is in flux.
The video is taken moments before I boarded on the plane to Frankfurt. Last seconds before I let go.