April 03, 2023

Katie shared here that the last time she went to Varanasi, she almost died.

During our latest trip, I had a scary situation where this thought arose:

oh no … this time, it’s ME!

And the wild thing is … it happened entirely while riding a tuk tuk.

We had just spent a peaceful afternoon at Saranath ~

the precious piece of land where the Buddha gave his first teaching after attaining enlightenment in Bodhgaya.

It was here where the Wheel of Dharma was first set in motion.

Just 10 kilometers outside of Varanasi, Saranath is a total refuge from the craziness of the city.

We took it s l o w here.

We napped in the sun, did our daily love embodiment practice in the grass ...

... gazed at herds of magical spotted deer, and ate a yummy picnic lunch.

 It was the most perfect afternoon spent with family & friends.

As soon as we felt the temperature drop as the sun began to set, we packed up & made our way out to the road to find a tuk tuk back home.

After bartering with a few drivers about the fare, our group hopped into 2 different tuk tuks for the 15-minute ride back to our guesthouse.

I jumped in with Katie & 14-year old Shantideva. I was in the middle of the two of them (thankfully, and you'll understand why in just a minute).

A few minutes into the ride, I started to feel nauseous. *Oh no, is this food poisoning from our delicious picnic lunch?!*

I closed my eyes & mentally scanned my bag for something I could puke in. *Oh no, there’s nothing.*

I quietly looked to my left & right to find the straightest shot into the road.

I turned to Shantideva and said: “I might throw up. If I do, I am going to lean over you & into the road.”

She’s a champ and had no reaction to my statement. She just leaned back to clear the way.

And then, miraculously, Katie whipped out a ziplock from her backpack. *Phew! No puking into the road from a moving vehicle.*

With the ziplock in hand ready to catch whatever wanted out, I slouched over. I placed my awareness on my breath in an attempt to pull myself together through the sensory overload of an orchestra of 100+ tuk tuk horns & a rammed tailbone accompanying every bump in the road.

And then through a fuzzy haze, I hear Katie saying, “Taylor wake up!
Me: “What just happened?
Katie: “You passed out!

Thankfully, I was sitting in the middle of Katie & Shantideva when I fainted because if I was sitting in one of their seats, I could have very easily fallen out of the car! I was probably out for a good 20-30 seconds before they realized I was a limp bag of bones.

Starting to taste our picnic lunch in my mouth, I leaned over & puked into the ziplock. *Relief, the nausea passed.*

But then, I could feel my fingers & palms start to tingle. My hands started to clench up. Within moments, my hands were rock hard & I couldn’t move them at all. My fingers were so tightly pressed together that Katie had to pry my fingers apart to get the ziplock out of my hand!

I could then feel the stiffness moving up my arms and into my stomach.

It was like my body was starting to turn to stone.

It moved up my chest, into my throat and to my lips. At this point, it was hard to speak clearly.

I remember thinking:

“If this keeps progressing, I am not going to be able to breathe soon.”

While repeating mantra in my mind, I was trying to figure out what to do:

A) Get off the tuk tuk and make Katie carry me (because I’m not sure my legs are working) to the side of the road. I’d most likely be sitting next to a cow, a man peeing or a pile of fresh shit … or possibly all three.


B) Stay on the tuk tuk and do everything I can to keep it together for the next 5-10 minutes until we get back to the guest house.

After a few fuzzy seconds of contemplation … I chose B ... Just. Keep. Going.

Luckily our driver was tailing closely behind the motorized rickshaw that the other half of our group was in so we could inform them that something weird was going on.

With goddess-like power, Shantideva managed to wave them down, got both motorized rickshaws to stop, hopped out and told Alan (our acupuncturist at the SAN Center) he was needed in our rickshaw.

With Katie on my right and Alan on my left, I knew I couldn’t be in better hands.

They both were super calm & chill while I felt like I was dying … which gave me a glimmer of hope (in a moment of total worry), that I was going to be ok.

Through the haze of just trying to keep it together, I remember Katie whipping out a Sacred Body anointing oil and applying it to her fingertips. Katie & Alan each took one of my rock hard arms and started stimulating acupressure points.

Before the oil came out: 

The totally uncomfortable physical sensation was getting more intense, more scary, more debilitating … pushing me to the edge of what I thought my body could handle.

Once the oil was applied: 

That feeling flipped … like the rewind button was hit and whatever was happening to my physical body was unwinding and easing up. Within 10 minutes, my statue of a body was back to normal.

When we finally arrived back at the guest house, I was in total exhaustion mode. I laid down and as soon as my head hit the pillow, tears just started coming out of my eyes. *That was scary, but the intensity has now passed. I am alive.*

While on my emotional rollercoaster, someone angelically misted me from head to toe and Katie hugged me & said: “I wasn’t going to let anything happen to you.” And then of course, more tears came. *I am so lucky to be so closely connected to such precious human beings.*

The application of flower essences DURING the whole episode helped turn down the dial on its intensity. The application of flower essences AFTER ensured that the memory of the experience didn’t lodge itself into my system to be expressed at some point in the future.

It happened & it passed—and all that remains are insights(vs trauma or fear).

And like Katie, I also vowed to never go back to Varanasi. But as I put this story together and looked back at the photos … of course I will probably find myself there again one day. ; )

Sending happy thoughts to you in the wind,