The best part of this portion of my experience occurred at the very beginning of the experiment when Susan, our group mentor, was very kind and shared her perception of God. Previously, I had found the idea of God to be narrowly defined in the Abrahamic faiths. Her knowledge caused me to recognize that the religious scriptures of those religions did not confine the definition of god; my perception of them did; and that the understanding of God within those, and indeed all religions, can be infinite. I thanked her at the time but want to again, here in writing, express my gratitude. Allowing me to witness God through her perception was a true gift.
I did not expect my perception to be opened even wider. I was having a very difficult time at work, frustrated with my lack of ability to stay on top of everything, angry with the executives of the corporation for trying to get more for less from their employees, and for the general lack of compassion that one of the managers has towards others. Although I get frustrated somewhat frequently with the world in which I currently work, much of the time I am able to see that most companies, including mine, are struggling and cost cutting, and that the manager who appears to drive those around her too hard is simply afraid. None of these understandings were helping me. Each day brought a new challenge and the black cloud that was hanging above me became a thunderhead.
As I was contemplating what to do about this situation, I remembered Kevin telling us to be in the first adho mukha svanasana for the day instead of squirming away from the tension and discomfort. Here I was again, in an unhappy work situation, squirming away from it instead of being in it. The million dollar question was, how could I be in it without carrying the weight of it around my neck. This time, it was Derik’s words that came to me.
I remembered Derik’s story about taking the teenagers camping and the physical difficulties he faced. When he said that it presented him a good opportunity to practice Ishvarapranidhana, I listened and understood the words, but I didn’t hear him. Even knowing that I was missing something huge, didn’t help; I simply retained the sense that I missed the message.