[largely bastardized from a journal entry I wrote this afternoon, while sitting in the Muddy Cup and eavesdropping on a group of nursing mommies and social workers]
I've spent the past two days mulling over the best way to write this - not because it's a difficult topic, but because it's important to me and I want to write it well. I didn't come up with any great ideas though, so I guess I'll just jump in and see what happens. I completed my teacher training this past weekend; took my final exam on Saturday, and had the last class session on Sunday. I had the impression that no one wanted to leave at the end of Sunday's session. Certainly I didn't.... Now that it's over, I find myself in familiar, well-worn territory: reflecting on and contemplating that which has been...
...there are things I understand better now than I did before the training. I get what samskara means now, having caught myself building new samskaras around the prospect of student teaching. I get that tapas and svadhyaya are necessary conditions of ishvarapranidhana; we need to study ourselves honestly and work earnestly in order to produce something of value to offer up. And I get that, as the Bhagavad Gita says, we are entitled to our efforts, but not to their fruits. It's not about self-denial. It's about mindset. Work becomes its own reward when it is undertaken with honest intention and diligent effort. Work ceases to be work, and becomes something almost sacred; a covenant between self, Self, and That-Which-Lies-Beyond-Self-And-Permeates-All. For some, this means god. For me, it means Love.
I often shy away from the use of superlatives, but as regards my instructors and fellow trainees, I can say without equivocation that they are the finest, most dedicated group of yogi(ni)s with whom I could have hoped to share this process. A more generous, courageous, grateful cohort is difficult for me to imagine. I am honoured to have had the great fortune of practicing with and learning from them, and I look forward to continuing to practice with and learn from them, in whatever form that may take. So thank you all - fully, completely.