Calling Ganesha

A yogi friend of mine’s just been found by Ganesha. She’s been seeing him everywhere recently, she says, to the point where she bought a murti for her home. And she’s started a mantra practice multiple times a day. We chanted together recently: 108 times oṃ gaṃ gaṇapataye namaḥ. I don’t usually repeat a mantra that many times, I lack the discipline, I lack the faith. Perhaps it’s better if I cast my prayers and my devotions more widely, spreading my bets. But with her counting I just went with it. It was quite beautiful. Her sharing her practice with me, mutual trust and respect. Our voices merging gradually closer and closer together. And sharing the silence following, resting together in the gift of stillness.

Coincidentally my teacher just asked me to write a little something about Ganesha so I’ve been working on that too. While we discussed it, I told him that Ganesha has been trying to elude me recently: the chain for my pendant broke twice in a week. He asked me what Ganesha was trying to tell me. I can never tell if he’s gently pulling my leg with such questions. Perhaps not. So I deflected the question by relating how I ended up talking about the significance of Ganesha and about Yoga in general with the assistant in the jewellery shop. Yes, I know he was just trying to crack onto me, but really who can miss a teachable moment!! In any case I deflected his attention too — no, I don’t need your help in doing the chain up, thank you!

img_0075And when I’d finished my writing today, I settled down to chant myself. oṃ gaṃ gaṇapataye namaḥ. I don’t know how many times. I can’t play harmonium and count at the same time — I’d need another pair of arms myself for that to work! At some point Hubby came in and rolled out his mat for practice. I could tell he was having a bit of a hard time, but I just carried on my chanting. Maybe some Ganesha vibes were what he needed? Maybe it helped, who knows? Certainly he was drawn to practise a few asanas that he’s been avoiding for a long time, out of fear of injury. Afterwards he told me about the depth of the practice. He looked humbled and a little puzzled, telling me that some asanas felt so different today, deeper in some way, that he realized how much he’d been missing up til now. Yeah, I know that one. Layers of ‘meaning’ (but beyond meaning) that are revealed during repeated practice. No practice ever the same. Some days a deep immersion beyond what was ever possible previously.

So maybe some obstacles disappeared for him today. It must have been Ganesha — I’m sure it wasn’t the sweetness of my chanting that guided him beyond! 🙂

(And while I’m writing this, the room is sporadically lit up by Diwali fireworks from our neighbours; I can hear the bangs of explosions and children shrieking happily).

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