Awhile ago I flew from Zurich to San Francisco. People sat quietly in their seats, reading their newspapers. One man exclaimed that there was smoke coming out of the wings: condensation trails. The flight attendant tried to calm him down. Everyone was eating and watching a movie: an angel fell in love with Meg Ryan and he jumped off a skyscraper to become human so he could feel her kisses. She was frustrated because he didn’t feel an5q;hing; as an angel one is freed of all physical sensations. One cannot feel pain, but likewise nothing beautiful—that was the story line.
The physical exercise on the plane consisted of going to the toilet, waiting outside the toilet, and maybe a little stretching to look out of the window to see how the condensation trails were doing. I wondered to myself how I could expect to arrive in San Francisco feeling like a human being if that was all the exercise I was going to get. I certainly didn’t want to land as an angel. I’d rather be a human being who feels his joints creaking, with a stiff back and tense shoulders.
I don’t exaggerate when I say that before the flight my head was balancing on a completely loose neck. It actually felt as if it was free of gravity and it was a pleasure to turn my head since my neck felt so supple, my shoulders were as light as fluffed feathers, and my breathing was free and deep. What I would have liked to do most was dance. Instead I had to go through a ravine-like entry gate into a silver cylinder. I was surprised at how intensely pleasant my body felt as I boarded.
Even though it’s my job to help people to feel good in their bodies, I am not always in this exquisite state, which I had no intention of losing on a twelve-hour plane journey. I came prepared: I had my ability to visualize, I had two exercise balls, and last but not least a copy of the manuscript of this book—stored in my memory.
Of course there were amused looks when I did my exercises on board. But it seemed more important that my muscles were being amused than that I was perceived as a normal passenger. Every time I felt even the slightest tension arise (for example one had to press one’s arms up against one’s body in order to be able to eat without nudging one’s neighbor’s noodles off his fork), I did an exercise.
All the tension in my body literally flew away over the clouds. I was the master of my physical state, and this had a very positive mental effect. The flight didn’t annoy me with its seemingly never-ending length. There was always something to do. I felt comfortable.
After the flight, despite twelve hours on the plane, I enjoyed the way my body felt.