Up in Flames — by Bob (Rudra) Nogue

In our satsang with Swami on our first day, she described the impact of Ganeshpuri as follows: “your limited idea of who you are burns up here”.  She used a description of a process called etching as a metaphor to outline what happens.  Swami’s use of this metaphor really awakened something in me; I have been reflecting for a few days on what that might be.  Here’s what has occurred to me to date.

The process of etching typically uses acid or some other abrasive substance to imprint a pattern onto something such as a piece of metal or a piece of glass.  Something that was plain or perhaps had no further use is turned into something useful and indeed beautiful. Swami commented, “Ganeshpuri’s Grace can be like acid or like nectar.”  If I am not open to this Grace it can be like acid attacking my limited beliefs and desire to maintain the status quo.  As I open myself to Ganshpuri’s Grace, the nectar of new possibilities flows like I have never before experienced.

etched tree sansoucie-comI see a few other connections to etching and the experience I am having.  It strikes me that, as with an artist creating a beautiful etched piece, it all starts with an idea.  My experience of Ganeshpuri is brought to life by the teachings of Swami.  She has an amazing ability to take the subtlety and beauty of the ancient teachings that we experience in Ganeshpuri and bring them to life and relevance for a North American audience.  I often marvel with the fact that many solutions that seem new and revolutionary in our society were figured out and are well documented in the ancient texts that Swami brings to life for us.

A final thought is that etching takes something that already exists and applies a technique to it, which destroys parts of what is there in order to create something new and beautiful, yet without destroying the essence of what existed before.  What the teachings of Swami do for me, coupled with Ganeshpuri’s Grace, is to allow me to merge what I learn and experience with who I already am.  I can recognize that I am, in fact, already Shiva.  Now I have an increased ability to see myself in this way.

Etching seems to destroy what already exists but in fact, it removes the limits that were there and allows the beauty and possibility of what already exists to be available now.  So does Ganeshpuri!

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