The movie 127 Hours reminds me of being on vipassana meditation retreat. Okay, on retreat there usually isn’t apparent and immediate threat of death. One’s right forearm is not crushed under a boulder; it’s possible to get up and leave the cushion or even leave the retreat at any time. Yet there was something very familiar about watching the film’s presentation of self-confrontation, heightened sensation, delusion, memory, surrender, choice and freedom. Not in the exterior conditions, but in seeing the experience of the mind. (And I should say that I will take any chance I have to go on vipassana retreat, for this very reason!)
In a larger sense, we’re all stuck under that boulder. We’re all in that narrow canyon, simply being here. It’s about how we respond, treat ourselves and each other. As in her book, Being with Dying, Roshi Joan Halifax @jhalifax asks: Knowing that death is inevitable, what is most precious to us today?