My boss is an easy-going person. He is a relaxed and well tolerant person who runs the company single-handed all by himself. When I joined the company a year ago, I told him truthfully about the reason I resigned from the previous job. He was quick and responsive enough to share the empathy of the feelings why I quit the previous job.
“You work here, you would not undergo a bad time and be racked with the chest pain again caused by the extreme work stress,” my boss was speaking to me with empathy and showing his inclination of comprehension for me. He said further, “Working here, you get to compose yourself at ease. Working stress is minimal here.” He further made a point, “The company runs a small business operation, I do not see you be stressed up by the workload.”
He has spoken to me in such a convincing assertion. Working as a part-time accountant with his company, I must admit it is an appease relief to say, I have a lesser expectation and fewer demands from my boss to be fulfilled.
Two days ago, I spoke to my boss, Stanley, about my intention to go for a long break from work.
“Stanley, I intend to ask for a break from work, can I?”, I asked.
Stanley looked onward at me, but he said nothing yet.
“I intend to go for a long break from work,” I said again and I looked at him. I added, “Not going for the break now, but later.”
I did not draw a quick conclusion by simply began the conversation hastily. I avoided being too quick to mention to him of my request for 2 months break, and got rejected. I only mentioned to him - long break, without saying the leave period of 2 months. I was trying not to rouse any of his unnecessary attention. Being two months away from the office is too long for a collar employee to withdraw from the office and is not a usual withdrawal. It is also not a usual decision for an employer to approve such a long leave.
“Where are you going?” Stanley asked.
I replied, “Going to Nepal.”
“Are you going to a meditation retreat again?”, asked Stanley.
I only shook my head as a sign of giving him a response. I didn’t say anything further. I decided not to reside about any meditation matters at all with him.
I wanted to learn Hinduism. In learning religion, I’ll learn a proper meditation. I have been exploring a pursuit to search for a befitting teaching when I was backpacking in south Asia. I know well, I have a serious spiritual complication in the mind. I also have a hitch of clinical disorder residing deep in the heart. It is better for me to remain silent instead of orating about my spiritual learning with anyone. I may have reached the age of 42, but I am an undoubtedly a minor in all aspects associating with spiritual learning. And I decided not to tell Stanley any further about whether I have any intention to come to light with any meditation classes in Nepal. I remained silent.
Out of the ordinary, 8 years ago I began seeing supernatural beings in the eye of the mind and hearing voices that normally inaudible to my ears. That moment, I began to receive the prescription of medication for mental health because of the occurrences of the supernatural occult. I was distinguished with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. However, I have an irk of agitation, for me to accept, anything beyond the understanding and claim of normal sensory contact by the medical science is treated as a form of mental disorder. This is the medical dogma I find it difficult to condone.
I live in a massive internal conflict contradiction. People who learn religion believe in the existence of supernatural beings and its receptions. So do I. Because I have such a belief, I try to do away with the prescription of medicine. I feel I have a sense of being forced to swallow the medicine for mental health. Years past, I still go on with the medical prescription because I have my father who is an angry person sitting in the backyard watching and remonstrating against my every tablet I keep in the medicine box. I feel aggrieved against my father for being crude as he does not take meaning the full scenario of the occult that had arisen on me. I hold a grudge for his crudeness.
Before, I have attended several meditation retreats but I only have a scrimpy knowledge about it. Meditation is too wide a spiritual insight to grasp unless I live under a proper teaching of a guru. I had two times set away from the office to attend the meditation retreats. One from last year, I attended a 10-day retreat in Batu Pahat and later in February, I went for a Vipassana meditation course in Gambang, Kuantan. It was a 12-day retreat.
Stanley seemed to have no objection to my application for the long break. He gave a nod of yes.
He asked, “Who are you going with? With your friends?”
I replied, “I am going, one person. I am going for a long trek in Nepal.”
I have completely avoided saying words such as, meditation, retreat, and pilgrimage throughout the entire conversation with him. I only revealed to him about my intention of going for trekking in the Himalayas. I feel introverted to express any of my spiritual retreat plans.
Trekking in the Himalayas in any way is only a part of my itinerary in Nepal. I have an essence of an essential list of what to do in Nepal. I have a route in the mind of how I will go for the pilgrimage expedition and spending some time for retreats in the Himalayas. I wanted to begin the expedition from Pokhara and heading my way to the west from Pokhara over the range of Himalayas.
I gave an assurance to Stanley, saying, “I am only leaving after I have closed the 2nd quarter accounts and after we have submitted the returns for goods and services tax to the Royal Customs by 29th of July. I’ll be back on time for the 3rd quarter closing of accounts in October.”
Yeti Dherai Maya Diye - by Narayan Gopal