Earlier this month my wife and I took the honeymoon we never took when we got married 16 years ago. We went to an extraordinary resort on the island of Anguilla called Cap Juluca.
The first day there we took a long walk on the beach and got hot and sweaty, so we decided to take a swim.
As I considered diving into the water, a thought appeared saying, “Oooh, it’s going to be really cold” and I found myself delaying the dive into the water.
I had strong memories of the sensation of cold and discomfort when diving into the water from my younger days as a competitive swimmer.
Then I remembered something I discovered on my journey of discovery into The Teachings.
“Cold” is just a story.
If you dive into water and you say it’s “cold,” how do you know it’s “cold”? Ever thought about that?
If you close your eyes and focus on the sensation itself, is there anything in it that says “cold”?
Beyond that, how do you know that “cold” is uncomfortable? Ever thought about that?
If you close your eyes and focus on the sensation itself, is there anything in it that says “discomfort”?
Nope. Nothing at all.
“Cold” and “discomfort” are just stories. Just thought stories that appear in the mind.
It all happens on auto-pilot, lightning-fast, from what I call “The Mind Machine” — and we generally accept such judgments and stories without examining or questioning them.
Recalling and Seeing that Truth, I dove into the water, open to the actual experience of my body connecting with the water, what I call “the pure experience.”
As my body connected with the water, I did notice that a very strong sensation appeared in my awareness. An intense one. I could see why the labels “cold” and “uncomfortable” were attached to it.
But without the commentary from The Mind Machine, without the judgment, without the story that cold is Real and True and bad and uncomfortable, the strong sensation, the intensity, was actually quite pleasurable.
It made me think about how many things we experience, personal and business, where the same dynamic appears.
See, what I’m speaking about isn’t just about water and cold. It’s about virtually everything you experience across the board — inside and outside of yourself.