Who knows how long I had been standing on the top deck of the Victoria Rose, transfixed by the emerald green hills and rusty cliffs rising from the Yangtze River. Soon the massive Three Gorges Dam would unleash the final flooding and this spectacular scene would be no more. My tears mingled as one with the Yangtze mist.
The night before, I could barely pull myself away from the window where a nonstop parade of lighted ships, makeshift boats, and sparkling new towns—freshly built on the hillsides to accommodate 1.5 million displaced people—had kept me awake for hours. Shortly after sunrise I awoke to a perfect configuration of boats and their occupants all assembled, or so it seemed, to greet me.
Only after I was away from the magic of the river did I fully realize the obvious: I had been forever transformed by a three-day peak experience.
- total involvement free of self-consciousness
- absence of fear, worry, or inner conflict
- delight in what is—nothing more is needed
- transcendence of usual limitations and barriers
- an expanded sense of oneself and life's possibilities
- feelings of humility and gratitude