Just Like You
by May Ting
These connected stories of the ordinary and extraordinary were recently shared on Gangaji’s online Forum. Reproduced here with permission of May Ting
This afternoon, my young son built an amazing vehicle out of little magnetic pieces and ball bearings. I was absolutely impressed, it looks so brilliant. I’m always in awe of his creativity at 8 years of age. I took some photos and a short video of him with his creation. Just before bedtime, he added extra parts to the vehicle. Then I tucked him in, kissed and cuddled him goodnight.
I walked into the lounge room, picked up the vehicle and marveled at the intricate linkages of various shapes and sizes of colorful parts. Before I knew it, the whole thing just collapsed and smashed onto the ground! Oh my god! I was horrified! I stood there for some moments as it really hit me. Oh no, should I tell him now or wait till the morning?
I went and told him what happened. He was horrified and silent for some moments. I said I was so very sorry, I was holding the vehicle underneath the mid-section and forgot they were only held together by the cohesive magnetic pull. I said, “thank goodness at least we have the photos and video of it”. I hugged him so very tightly. He smiled a little, and said, “its ok mum, I will build it again tomorrow”. We assessed the wreckage before I tucked him in bed again. I buried my face on the side of his cheeks and neck for moments, then gave him a kiss.
I made a hot cuppa and sat outside in the bright moonlight. Thoughts arose about my particular connection with my dear son. He was right there with me during several of the times when I experienced spontaneous absorption in Self. Well, more accurate to say “right there” is only Self.
My heart glowed as the image arose of me sitting on a chair in the garden breastfeeding my son. He was about 5 months old in early 2012. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon and the sun’s rays were gently touching my skin. When he was content and clearly milk-drunk, I too was so delicately fulfilled and drunk in the miracle of this intimate, exquisite bonding. His body laid across on my lap and his head rested on my left arm. We looked at each other, smiled and looked at each other some more.
As I looked around the garden, the grass was green, the flowers radiant and birds were chirping. It was all so beautiful and such stillness. Then suddenly, the Silence of the “stillness” thundered forth as if it had been lurking behind “stillness” all this time. The recognition of Silence as one’s true nature was so revelatory yet also organically seamless. This form called May-Ting turned towards the baby who was already staring back at me, words blurted out of my mouth, “the Silence of the stillness!!!” Just right in this sublime moment, he broke wind! Yes! You heard me right! He did. Even this loud vibration was Silence filled, so vivid to this day. We both stared at each other surprised, stunned, joyously mute and then a little frown on his face as he wiggled his legs and flapped his arms a bit.
In the bliss of it all, I cuddled my son and walked into the house. I joined my 2-year-old daughter who was sitting on the kitchen floor. Causeless Joy was overflowing and I giggled silly as my baby kept wiggling in my embrace while my daughter was climbing all over me. It couldn’t be more grounded in groundlessness than this very mundane setting. What a mystery!
It comes to mind another incident which strikes right at the core, at the rawness of our humanity and the possibility of direct true seeing of totality, as it really is; in the midst of good times and the bad times. I had shared this story in a post I wrote here on Jan 14th, 2014 and extracted part of it below. It was titled “Maa Ganga”.
“Dearest Beloved Gangaji
It has been a month since returning home from the second blessed weekend retreat with you. These newfound eyes where everything is seeing Itself at once! What mystery! A walk through the woods is never the same anymore – the inherent emptiness of forms and formlessness, everything from the dirt to the clouds, the rocks, trees, grass, breeze, insects, this body…. Everything, non-thing… ALL falling into and out of Itself! Words fail hopelessly in any attempt to describe this living truth of – Dancing the Dream Awake! Gratitude overflowing without end.
A few days before New Year’s Day, my two-year-old son was feeling unwell with flu-like symptoms. On New Year’s Eve, we had to rush him to the hospital’s emergency ward as he had difficulty breathing. The doctors suspected a serious case of uncommon pneumonia with inflammation of the air passage and lungs. It breaks my heart to see the muscles in his mid-torso compressing so deeply with each inhalation, his heart rate shot through the roof. He was in distress but was too exhausted to express in the ways he knew how. As these overwhelming scenes rolled along, silent ground of being is ever-present and palpable; all movements were rooted in the alive recognition that who I am is untouched by it all.
I sat on the bed cradling him on my lap and his head resting on my heart-center while the nurses hurriedly prepared him for intravenous drips, oxygen tubes, heart rate & blood oxygen monitoring. A gathering of deeply concerned doctors stood at the end of the bed discussing the potential volatile condition for such a young child and whether to put him on the Flying Doctors plane to the specialist hospital in the city.
The doctors ordered for an urgent x-ray of his chest to find out the extent of the inflammation. Waves of emotions rippling through this body of imperfect mama with every animal instinct triggered to protect its cub. My son was very calm and sat upright on the bed by himself while the nurses pushed his bed to the x-rays room. As they were getting the portable machines ready in front of him, I was told to stand back at a safe distance. He looked at me, our eyes met….yes, he is the radiant living Buddha sitting half crossed-legged!! My heart burst with such fullness, there is no separation between mama and son. I smiled so so deeply to him, what great secret! It didn’t even matter that I forgot to stand back from the beams of x-rays!
When we returned to the room, I cradled him in my arms again as I held the oxygen mask onto his beautiful face, tears welled in my eyes. Then, in an instant came the mysterious spontaneous full and complete meeting of the death of my son. Silent spaciousness thundered forth in utter blinding luminosity. This deeply prostrated mind absorbed at the feet of Silence, received the command, “Maa Ganga”. In that instant, all is bathing in this indescribable luminosity of the holy living waters of Maa Ganga.
I cannot explain nor describe fully this mystery that Is. Somehow, I was still wide-eyed and fully conscious yet there wasn’t a sense of “me” nor any other objects, just this intensely alive all-seeing eyes of awareness aware of itself. Just then three doctors came closer by the bed, they were explaining to my husband and I about our son’s condition. Somehow attention was drawn to the discussion, all was heard but it passed through and dissolved. Next, a fourth doctor came by the bed and listened to my son’s heartbeat with the stethoscope. Again, attention was drawn to what he was doing, yet never separate from the depth of this ocean.
The doctors transferred my son to the emergency ward’s intensive care unit. I stayed and comforted him as he was distressed with all the restrictive tubes and intravenous drips and beeping electrical monitoring. His blood oxygen level kept dropping below safe levels, I kept vigil by his side all night for two intense days, yet true vigilance is endlessly discovered to be effortlessly being.
There was a moment when in the wee hours of the morning, the emergency siren on the sick patient’s life support monitor next to us went off. Then I heard the nurses’ panic footsteps and screaming out the patient’s name. A nurse yelled down the phone for the doctor to come immediately, while another rush into the medicine room. I could hear them trying to revive the patient. Just then, my son awoke in distress and he was hyperventilating and his blood oxygen monitor siren went off as it fell below the safe level. I tried to calm him down and struggled to hold him as he fought so hard trying to pull off the oxygen tubes prongs stuck to his nostrils, as well as, the intravenous tubes. Yet in all that panic chaos, pristine abiding Silence is the animating force of the totality of ephemeral existence; birth, death, un-born, death-less.
Blessedly, my son responded very well to the strong medication that helped open his airways and tackled the viral infections. His condition began to stabilize on the third day. What great joy to see him breathing easier by the day! My hair literally turned grey overnight, the word “sleep” is not in my vocabulary.
When we checked out of the hospital, my heart called out to be by the ocean with my son. He was still weakened by the ordeal and I had to carry him. The healing energies of the ocean was clearly having a beneficial effect on him. I could not describe how profound it was for me to be by the ocean. My bare feet in the shimmering water, yet all of life is completely immersed in this ocean of luminosity, the holy river of Maa Ganga.
Mute in this utter humility, tears welling up in the eyes of my soul. The frail bones of this form somehow spontaneously swimming in the rapids of non-resistance to what is.
No words can speak of this grace. Beloved Gangaji, Satguru, I thank YOU with all of life.
dirt, rocks, trees, grass, millipedes, stars, clouds, rain, thunder, May-Ting, dung beetles and …. etc “
© May Ting 2020
Bio: My career in the financial arena came to an end soon after the profound meeting with Gangaji for the first time in 2006. Since then, these feet have been walking the trail that leads ever deeper into the forest of our true nature. Blessedly cocooned in parenthood and following my heart’s calling, I’m currently immersed in writing a book about my spiritual journey.