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Anticipate the Unexpected

I'll start by saying this is my personal experience, and my experience only. Everyone who suspends does so for different reasons and therefore has a different result in their journey. I can only tell you about my own events and cannot vouch for what you will go through should you decide to embark on this for yourself. I held no expectations of my suspension prior to my event.

I will also state that I am not religious. I practice meditation and I believe my experience stemmed from my meditation travels. This being said, I would like to take you down the road I went while experiencing such a wonderful event.

Starting with the basics, I suspended while at a BME BBQ in Essex Junction Vermont. Prior to the BBQ, I did a lot of research on suspensions, asked a lot of questions of fellow BME'rs and did a lot of thinking. I wanted to ensure I was ready for this experience. I went back to my own pictures of my pull and tried to picture myself hanging from those hooks, rather than pulling another body from those hooks. Physically, I was 80% sure I could handle it and mentally, I was 100% sure I could handle it. The weeks prior to my suspension, I kept asking my boyfriend, Marty, "Do you think I can physically do it?" and "What happens if I fail?" He was very supportive and thought, knowing me and what I physically can and cannot handle, that I could flawlessly execute this. I wasn't so sure, but I tried to put the faith he had in me, into myself. I also contacted my friend Badur in hopes he would a) be at the BBQ and b) be able to coach me. He was present for my pull and the ener gies he produced during that time were ones I clung to and still do to this day.

I meditated quite a bit in the days preceding the BBQ. I received a message back from Badur that he would be attending the event and also be honored to coach me. Topically, it seemed that everything was panning out to work in my favor. On that note, I put everything into the back of my head and leaned more towards my meditations and trying to sort out my religious beliefs prior to suspending. I wanted to be on solid ground (mentally) before I went up and not question anything I held fast to.

The weekend came and Marty, my very close friend, (Emile), and I piled into the Jeep to take the trek up there. The three and a half hour drive went by fairly quickly and before we knew it we were turning into Jen's driveway. We were greeted by the host and hostess whom I had talked to at length on BME, but never had met formally. Everyone was gathering wood and putting up tents, so we jumped in and helped out, set up camp and then wandered into the backyard where we asked some questions about where the suspensions were being held.

The suspension team, M.O.M. had not yet arrived, but Jen showed us to the three where they were planning on holding the suspensions. I was in awe. I never thought a simple "tree" could take my breath away. Now I was wondering, "are we going to do this tonight, or will it be tomorrow?" My questions were soon answered as the M.O.M. team arrived and started setting up. They had everything they needed and were extremely professional and sterile. I signed up on the sheet and paid my money (donation) to the team.

There were a couple of people signed up to go before me, so I sat back and waited until the team was ready to "throw my hooks". I had spoken with April about how many hooks I was going to use. I explained that it was my first time and I would put my faith in her, though I really wanted to go with four hooks, I would certainly do six if she felt I needed to. We determined that four hooks were perfectly acceptable and then she did my markings for the placement of them. I requested that Marty do at least two of mine. He is a professional piercer and I had all my faith in him. It was decided he and Derek would throw my hooks. I can't remember if my hooks were done two at a time or four individually, regardless, it's a trivial point at this time to me. They did their thing and I was ready.

Hooks in back, I headed down to watch Jeff suspend, then Marty suspend. It was Marty's first time as well, and to watch him, it lifted any doubts I had that I could do this. It was beautiful to see and be a part of. Chills went down my back at the time. My own suspension wasn't even a thought at this point. I was so enamored with his I couldn't even focus on my own.

He came down from the tree and was unhooked. My turn.

I stood under the pulley while Ace hooked me to the suspension rig. My heart was beating a little quickly, but I soon quelled that by doing my meditation and yoga breathing exercises. Badur put his gloved hands in mine and said, "When you're ready, let me know". I nodded my head and said "pull a little please". Warren and Rob pulled a little. I felt the tension, but it didn't hurt, so I asked that they pull a little more. They did and I felt a wave of déjà vu as I was brought almost immediately back to my pull. Badur pulled my body forward towards him and then rocked back towards me. He kept rocking me back and forth until there was a little pattern going and I asked to be pulled a little more. The hooks were getting tighter and I could feel my skin lifting a bit, but there was no pain. I concentrated on the pattern of rocking Badur had pulled me into. It felt like hours we were standing there rocking back and forth, every once in a while, I'd ask that Warren an d Rob pull me a little more. Back and forth, Badur and I danced to the music playing in my head; the steady beat of my feet on the ground. I could hear the dirt shuffling under my toes.

Finally I put my head back and lifted my feet. I heard a little triumphant "she's up!" from Badur. They lifted the rope and sure enough, as I looked down, Badur's head was now at my knees. I tested my limits a little, moving my body back and forth on my own. I could not feel the hooks, there was no burning, and there was no pain. I tried to swing myself by kicking my feet on the tree, but my legs were too short. I pulled my knees up to my chin and hid my face in my thighs. I then looked out into the woods, pulled my feet up behind me and held fast to my ankles.

The following is my perception of what happened. I'm not asking you to believe. I am simply putting onto paper what I experienced. I do not do drugs and I had not had any alcohol prior to my experience. I am not on any medication and I feel I have my full mind in every situation I experience.

Looking into the woods, I saw a light high above the trees. I took myself up to the top of trees and into that light. It was bright. I saw a figure, a woman standing there, holding her hand out to me. She was dark skinned and thin. She had a purple headdress on and held her hand out to me. (I can only think that this is when I physically put my legs down and held my hands in my meditative pose.) I took her hand and we walked down cobblestone roads, stopping only once so I could touch the stone on a building we passed. We were looking for a Bodhi tree. She did not tell me this, it was something I felt. We walked for what seemed like hours. She would occasionally look back and nod and smile at me. She was warm and she was inviting. I remember thinking that I would always like to be with this woman. I wanted to learn from her. I wanted her to teach me everything she knew. It was a time I felt very free...very close to believing in something I didn't know was out there. In the distance, I could see a tree sitting in the middle of what appeared to be "nothingness". Under the tree I saw Ganesha in all of his glory. He was so far away and I remember wanting to touch him, to sit with him and be protected by him.

Upon my brief glimpse, I was immediately brought back to my suspension, to my body, to hanging from hooks. I looked around at all the people watching that I had forgotten had been there. My legs were stiff and I had to peel my hands apart as they were stuck together fast with my strength and my sweat.

I asked to be let down. Apparently, I was up for about 15 minutes. As the ropes were letting out, I burst into tears and was brought down into the arms of Marty and Badur. I kept saying, "It was amazing" over and over again. It was.

We walked up to where the M.O.M. people were set up and my hooks were removed. I lay on the table while Shawn took out my hooks and massaged my back. He succeeded in getting out almost all the air bubbles because I had very few pockets of air under my skin the next day.

Afterward, I couldn't talk about it. I couldn't tell all these people what I saw for fear they'd think I was absolutely insane, so I kept it to myself, just outlining that it was the most amazing experience I had ever had.

I walked around in a bit of a daze for the next day or so. I couldn't believe what I saw. I still haven't spoken about it to anyone and this is the first time I've ventured out to tell anyone.

The only thing I can gather from this experience is that Ganesha is the "remover of obstacles". Perhaps mentally I needed a symbol to know that I could overcome what I thought I could not do. The Bodhi tree is the site of Buddha's enlightenment. Maybe I thought I had achieved a very small minute amount of enlightenment during my suspension, which would bring the Bodhi tree into my "vision". The woman that led me is the same woman that comes to me in my meditations. Perhaps I was on the same wavelength suspending as when I meditate. I've tried to analyze this many times and the above is all I can come up with.

Again, I cannot vouch for the validity of what really happened when I suspended, I can only give you my perception of the event. I hope to suspend again soon. My body is ready for it and mentally, I am prepared for anything that may happen while hanging from hooks again. I only hope I do not go into my next suspension looking for anything. I was not looking for anything in particular for my first one and amazing events unfolded for me. I only hope to achieve the same thing again at some point in the future.

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 03 Dec. 2003
in Ritual

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Artist: M.O.M.
Studio: +
Location: Vermont%2C+USA

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