Ishvara Pranidhana

In the final session of our class explorations of the yamas, we focused on ishvara pranidhana, surrender to the divine (“Thy will be done”). The practice was bracketed with metta mediations, a dedication of loving kindness and recognition that our yoga is about something bigger than the physical activities that go on.

That weekend, Wes, the girls, and I were in the Super Target parking lot in the middle of a windstorm. A gust picked up a cart and rolled it across the vast expanse of pavement, heading straight for the side of a Honda Accord. We were slowly rolling alongside the renegade cart in our car, while Wes wondered out loud whether he could stop the car and intercept the cart. Just as the cart passed a dip in the curb of the sidewalk, the wind blew up and guided it on to the path, out of the lot. The Honda was spared. We hooted with laughter at the tragedy averted. Even funnier, the cart then crossed a driveway and headed for the stone-faced side of the next building, where it wouldn’t have caused any damage but might have upended. Instead, just a foot from the building, it gently stopped.
In the same week, two of our neighbors were accused with murdering a third. These events made an interesting study in surrender to the unseen hand of the divine, which appears to save a Honda in a parking lot but lets apparent failure of the educational and judicial systems take place, with dire consequence.