My baby brother passed away this morning at 12:20. He was sixty-five. His wife called and we sobbed and sobbed and sobbed. Grief, a tsunami flooding the body with pain.
I’m in Berkeley involved in four days of Sensory Awareness. For two days, the leaders of Sensory Awareness gather to connect, sense, and discuss the details that allow its continuation and spread. Most of us were “hit”, as I was twenty-six years ago. with “this is it”. It’s like a thunderbolt, a lightning strike. Saturday and Sunday a workshop is offered opening sensing to others.
In sensing, a leader offers experiments, suggestions, ways to come more fully into ourselves. Enric Bruguera began yesterday, leading us in “knocking at the door of our senses”. We did different experiments with a ball or rock. One time, when I lay on the ground with the ball under my sacrum, I found it painful, but I stayed with it, and felt myself melt into the ball, or the ball melted into me. Awareness, simple as that.
Sara Bragin led us in tasting. One dried berry absorbed our interest, mouth, tongue, teeth for who knows how long before the first bite. Mine was a shock of sourness, a wake-up burst as saliva and chewing prepared a pulpy mass to flow.
Eugene Tashima led us in “experiencing deep stability”. It was a meditation of support and ease and I felt myself being breathed with no awareness of in and out though I saw and felt my abdomen rise and fall.
Jill Harris led us in embracing this living moment as we came to standing, came to crawling, came to lying, standing, walking. Then, partnered we tapped another all over and were tapped all over, giving and receiving as one. Awake, we gathered, connected. People shared their experience; memories return in the presence of awareness and touch.
For me, sensory awareness has been a touchstone, a savior, again and again. It carried me through chemotherapy and radiation, allowed me to come to myself again and again. It’s part of my book, “Airing Out the Fairy Tale”, cleansing myself, airing myself out, to meet myself new. After Eugene led his meditation he said it was as though we’d showered. I felt showered again in Jill’s workshop, cleansed.
I sit here now knowing I need to stop crying so I can see to drive myself home. I know my brother is here. I’ve never seen anyone fight so hard to live. For two and a half years, he and all of us who love him have suffered as he fought to live. A year and a half ago we gathered to say good-bye, to say it was okay if he let go, but he kept fighting, and now today, I sit here aware that it happened when I’m immersed in the support of friends and breath. I woke in the night, felt an umbilical cord of connection with Source. I was being breathed. I am being breathed. I’m connected to source, to Mother, to womb. I know this.
May we remember we live embraced in love and peace, life and death, one hand, two hands, all hands, love and peace.