Rev. Kamalakanta’s “Mind Your Feet” reminded me of something that happened to me years ago regarding the whole foot etiquette issue :)
An important teacher for me in my early Śakta days was Andrew Harvey, an Anglo-Indian Christian devotee of the Divine Mother. Andrew launched my long, troubled reconciliation with Christianity and, just as importantly, during a period when I was reading thousands of pages of Upanishads, Sahasranamas, and saints’ lives, he stood out because he was like me: a highly sexed, academically-trained Westerner who knew the intellectual game inside out but whose heart was aflame for God. I thought of him as a spiritual big brother.
When I got a chance to attend a weekend retreat with Andrew and 7 or 8 other people, I was so excited. The topic of the weekend was, of course, the Divine Mother and more specifically how to build your daily life around Her, live with Her as you would a friend or lover.
Andrew was not one of your “I sit up here, you sit down there” teachers, so for satsang we all sat on the floor. Somewhere in my vast reading, I’d come across that “never point your feet at God or the Guru” thing, and I was determined not to point mine at Andrew.
He must have figured this out, because he always seemed to end up right where one or both of my feet were pointing. And when I moved, he moved. He’d shift himself with a playful smirk, and I’d nervously shift myself back into a Spiritually Correct posture. Soon, he’d move again and the dance would continue.
Finally I got it: just listen. Join the rest of us. Be Here Now.
Note: none of this is to imply that Rev. Kamalakanta is “wrong.” I’d almost rather be shot than point my feet at Shree Maa or Swami Bhajanananda or any Guru. But—in Hinduism, context is so important, and like any good teacher, Andrew knew what I needed right then, in that situation.