When you get the message, hang up the phone

On the train to countryside, 24 may, 14:15.

Went to bikram yoga in Amsterdam, as I do in every new city. Bikram studios always have a modest price for trial week, trying to get people on the hook and then, when you think you are safe, blam, in comes the regular fee.

Got a strange feeling from a guy in the locker room. Is it really safe to leave my smartphone in here? Didn’t have a lock so decided to wrap it in my drawers and bring it with me in the studio.

Lying on the mat before takeoff, getting acclimatised to the heat. Thinking that it was a bad idea to bring the phone after all, wouldn’t want to distort the vibes co-created by all these focused beings.

Decided to bring the phone back. Guy was gone now and I was calm, ready for yoga. The session went really well. Stayed present the whole time, gentle to myself, dancing through class, moving in meditation, always close to my breathing.

During Shavasana, dead mans pose, the end of class where you lie on your back and relax, an idea appeared: Should I send a message to Iekeliene when done here, to see what she is doing? It sure would be nice to hook up…

Then another thought, overwriting the last:

When you get the message, hang up the phone.

And again:

When you get the message, hang up the phone.

The words lingered, dancing in the unseen world of my mind, stronger than the average thought, grabbing for attention.

What does it mean? The phrase was coined by zen entertainer Alan Watts in the 1960's. A way to tell enlightened acid heads to drop the dope after coming to realization and start chopping wood, carrying water, as the saying goes.

Right now, during Shavasana, it had a different meaning. The message was saying: Stay in the present moment and the future will take care of itself. No need to worry about what to do after class, just follow your breathing.

What a paradigm shift. My mind has always been active, trying to make sense of past experience or planning for the future, like a distressed monkey jumping from one branch to another.

Is it really possible to navigate through life without compulsive dwelling or planning ahead?

In the locker room after having a shower. I grab my underwear from the pile of clothes and the smartphone comes flying out landing on the stone floor. Crash.

– Oh shit, I think it broke, said this indian looking guy with big eyes in his face, staring at the phone on the floor.

I picked it up and turned to him:

– Yep, no worries, pretty sure it was meant to happen.

Kind of surprised with how calm my voice sounded. Then I constructed a map of the terrain, to understand what had just happened.

If having an expensive phone makes me judge fellow beings as thieves, without knowing nothing about them, like with the guy in the locker room before class, I’d rather be without. To much attachment to molecules.

Plus, a phone can be such a filter to the physical realm. Experience tell me that strange coincidences, miracles, synchronicities, moments of feeling super connected to life, or whatever one wish to call them, rarely happens over the phone or online, but in our immediate surroundings.

Today, Alan Watts message means one can feel safe staying in the present moment, without dwelling about past experience or planning ahead, just trusting intuition for guidance.

Time to hang up the phone.