If nothing else, my life has taught me one thing: The mind and body that I have are the only mind and body that I have. They deserve my attention. And when I give it, I receive so much more in return. Learning to fall gracefully through one's mind-body relationship is not a submission. One learns to fall gracefully in order to roll.
There is still so much to realize. My experience tells me that the silence within us can be experienced energetically as a nourishing sap. When this happens, consciousness changes shape. For example, I have never seen anyone truly become more aware of his or her body without also becoming more compassionate. A mental state like tolerance can deepen into a three-dimensional state of true patience. Nonviolence can become more than a moral principle, it can become an integrated state of consciousness that includes the body. And, of course, for good and for bad, the silence within us also contains the opportunity of choice.
Since my original accident, I have felt like a little boy, out of breath, trying to tell his family that something wonderful is awake in the back-hall closet. The silence we carry is not loss. It is the presence of death as it travels within us. The energies of life and death - of movement and silence - integrate within our existence to form consciousness. It requires both a mind and a body. One to open: one to stay present.
Take a moment, soften your jaw and the inside of your mouth. Close your eyes and let them sink down under your cheekbones. Let the silence spill forward and add dimension to your presence, both inward and outward. Take a gentle breath. Let it fill you up.
And this fill-up is free. It is not like going to the gasoline pump to take you somewhere away.
Stay. Breathe gently. Awake!