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Sandra Pawula

The Dangerous Habits of Coconuts

What do coconuts have to do with meditation?  Good question!  Here's the story.

One day, I was quietly walking along.  Minding my own business, but not especially brilliantly awake.

Suddenly, in the blink of an eye and with a thunderous roar, a slew of coconut bombs pummeled the asphalt.  Less than 30 feet in front of me.  

Needless to say, this brought me back to the present moment with a jerk.

We all know how difficult it is to crack open a coconut.  There's the hammer, nail and towel method, but this is still not a piece of cake.

But due to the force of gravity, the falling velocity of a coconut accelerates.  These puppies - 15 or more - literally exploded splashing a big stretch of the road with coconut milk and littering it with cracked nuts, white meat, and gigantic branches.

Let's just say I was really lucky.

I once read about a guy who was blithely jogging along listening to his iPod when a similar scenario took place.  But he didn't survive.

Now, this sounds like a fairy tale.  But actually the phenomena of injuries from falling coconuts was investigated by Peter Barss, a hospital director in Papua New Guinea.  His study - "Injuries Due to  Falling Coconuts" - was published in the Journal of Trauma in 1989.

It's often said that you are more likely to be killed by a falling coconut than by a fatal bite from a shark.  Although this has not been substantiated, it makes sense not to sit, rest, or walk directly under coconut trees.  And you certainly wouldn't leave a baby under one or send your children to play beneath a coconut tree.

Mindfulness Is a Lifesaver

But - surprise - this isn't really about coconuts.  

It's really a public service announcement to remind you that mindfulness can save lives and protect you from many ouchies not just from the rare possibility of a coconut concussion. (Which is obviously less rare where I live.)

You see, mindfulness is not just an esoteric art practiced by monks in the Himalayas.  Or ganja smoking hippies in Hawai'i.  Meditation isn't just something you do 20 minutes a day to make your bum bigger.  

The main point of mindfulness mediation is learning to be awake all the time.

It's actually the most logical, intelligent, and natural way of being.  Mindfulness is a lifesaver and it saves a lot of hassle too.

And coconuts are not just one ingredient in your favorite pina colada mix.  They can actually be lethal.  But don't worry.  Coconuts aren't out to get you.

Nevertheless, the best protection is to be here now!

Has mindfulness saved you from any close calls?  I would love to hear your tales.