Ganesh is the elephant, and is revered as the remover of obstacles. I like that, as there are so many particularly at Christmas I think. Ganesh is the god of beginnings, and is honored at the start of rituals and ceremonies, certainly this visit to Pune is a kind of beginning for us. And Ganesh is identified with the Hindu mantra Aum, and you can see the Aum symbol in this photograph etched into his palm. You might notice the mouse too!
Today we attended this mornings class with Prashant, 7 – 9am. What a gift for Christmas day: a Pranayama master class.
Talking about the spiritual path: Prashant gave a useful and rather fun analogy from a Christmas Carol we all sing: ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’. The thing is, the star it’s not ‘little’ it’s BIG, it is as Prasant observes, only ‘little’ because we can only see it only from our own perspective. Once we start to explore the inner body and mind with the breath, the size is infinite, like the cosmos. The star is vast.
I remember very strongly how my father used to describe encountering the world as a blind person and it being so small and so full of obstacles that he might bump into, pressing in upon him. He described how he didn’t know how much space there was between him and his chair, or the piles of papers that lay all around, all these things could press in upon him. So over many years he evolved his consciousness to include the world of chairs, tables, papers. people and other things all inside him, then once then he had entered that world there were no obstacles and no limits, he could generate infinite amounts of space inside himself to explore.
Prashant says that the breath is our guide for such a practice.
He talked too about time, and asked the question ‘if it took 8 hours to get to Mumbai would you go?’ to that we all answered a silent’no’. ‘And what about if it took 8 hours to the USA would be go?’ to that many answered ‘yes. ‘And would you take 80 years to get to a far reaching planet?’To that we answered ‘no’. ‘would we spend 8 years or a lifetime to pursue the path of YOG’ and to that we answered ‘yes’.
So space and time are relative. In YOG with the aid of the breath time can be shifted around, and space can be infinitely expanded.
This is Geoffrey opening his chest to create more room for the breath – it’s Christmas day after all!!
Today I was lucky enough to go to visit Geetaji, with Debbie Bartholomew. We thanked her for the wonderful convention and talked about the importance of Pranayama and health, but also about grief, a wonderful conversation as she flowed and communicated with us so openly and easily. What a gift. The photograph header at the top of this blog, is of hanuman the monkey god decorated with flowers for christmas day by the priest – we went to visit the shrine on the rooftop of the institute