Ganesha and a Vision of Life Lived Well

The awesome Ganesha pendant I received for Losar.

Check out the awesome Thai pendant I received for Losar! An astute friend pointed out yesterday that Ganesha is a god of the Hindu tradition, and Losar is a Tibetan celebration. This is correct, but if you know me, you know that although I long ago took refuge in a dual Tibetan/Mahayana practice, I regularly offer puja to Ganapati. As a guru once told me, there are many roads to heaven. I love this inspiring pendant.

I’ve been thinking in earnest about making big changes. Holding a job in the ordinary market economy is becoming increasingly tedious. Our culture told me a long time ago what life I should create for myself, and I dutifully complied. I worked and studied and made myself operationally useful. And after years and years and years of this, I feel totally stultified.

Culture is not necessarily a friend. It could turn you into a janitor or an accountant or an administrative assistant or a masseuse, with no concern if those roles are actually good for you, if they serve your needs, give you joy, communicate and expand your vision, or make the world a better place.

And by better place, I don’t mean assuming a role as a cog in our political economy. So much individual genius is poured into mundane, paycheck-driven work that makes a very few people very wealthy, and the rest of us stifled and in debt. We’ve been plundering the Earth for thousands of years, in some insane race to make the last dollar. To say it plainly, it’s a lousy system.

Claiming your authentic, true being, which is not culturally given to you, feels like an impossible task when you’re operating from the mindset you were given early in life. This makes it a hard step to take. Changing the way the mind is programmed is a huge task. Learning to live with fear while you invent a new reality takes courage.

But we need to find out what’s true, so we can do what’s right. I’ve done the daughter thing, the college thing, the lover thing, the career thing, the wifey thing, the tax paying thing, the mortgage thing, and the family thing. All the things I was instructed to do at an early age that, if I had then the wisdom I have now, I would have avoided.

If I could get the collective attention of young people today, I would urge them all to take the road less traveled. Own little, if anything. Pass on college, which is a waste of time, and the 9-to-5 job, which is a waste of mind. Make home wherever you hang your hat. See the good that lives in all people everywhere, and avoid conflict and confrontation. Forgive everything, all the time. Walk more, drive less. Find your passion, and run with it.

Grow your own food. Understand that as a species, we are knitted to all other species: therefore, be incredibly kind to all conscious living things. Steer completely clear of people who rob your energy, vision, and peace. Find your company in visionaries and people who are not afraid or angry. Read a lot, and learn a lot. Act as if you’re fearless. Give it everything you can. Sleep late, eat a lot of whole, natural food, spend a lot of time at the beach. Avoid doctors and hospitals. Die on your own terms, in your own way, at home, satisfied with the life you lived.

Live in peace.

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