August 31, 2014
Honoring Ganesh, The Remover of Obstacles, Part I
As I became aware of the Chaturthi festival honoring Ganesh August 29th, I reflected on honoring him at my Sunday evening spiritual gathering. As soon as I did so, it came to me that one of the main ways that Ganesh helps us to remove obstacles is by helping us remove the obstacles within us that block us from achieving our spiritual goals on our paths. This morning, during a Kundalini yoga session, I realized that I had recently been taught three lessons about how we can contribute to removing the obstacles from our paths. Ganesh represents wisdom, and so honoring that inner wisdom that we need to follow will enable us to achieve our goals, despite any apparent obstacles on our paths on the material plane. Here is the first lesson I received ….
This summer, I dedicated myself to “practicing the presence” through repetition of the “I AM” as a mantra. At one point, I literally felt tired of focusing entirely on spirituality, and I allowed my ego to creep back in. A couple of days later, as I was driving around a circle to work, I had a negative thought about the traffic entering from Connecticut Avenue to the north (sometimes the drivers refuse to stop in order to yield right of way to traffic already in the circle because they are hurrying from Maryland suburbs into Washington, DC), and I got hit from behind as I changed lanes to exit.
Now, it was clear to me that my negative thought had contributed to this event, but it was also clear to me that I had been in the traffic circle first before the other vehicle entered, which means the driver was supposed to yield to me so that I could exit. (I later checked the Maryland State Highway Association website to confirm that, as I had learned to drive here in Maryland nearly 40 years ago, I remembered correctly that I had the right of way, even changing lanes to exit, because I was in the circle first.)
When the older lady and I talked after getting out of our cars, she literally said to me, “I don’t like driving around traffic circles because they are so confusing. I was only aware of the white car behind me.”
Well, over a period of a couple of weeks, her story to both insurance companies, hers and mine, changed significantly, and became: “she had seen me and tried to avoid hitting me.” Also, while there is a record that she entered from Connecticut Avenue to the north, at one point, a representative from my insurance company, who couldn’t name the entry point for me when I asked, nonetheless insisted that the other woman had entered three or four entrances before we collided. Both insurance companies towed the line that she was “maintaining her lane” and that, because I was the one changing lanes, I was at fault.
Now, I tried to make logical sense of all this, and could not. One morning as I tried to meditate, I just kept trying to picture her entering the circle three or four entrances before where the accident hit, and realized that would put her in the circle first, but there was no traffic in the circle when I entered (or I would not have entered!). No logic there. So, then I ran through various scenarios, including using my hands to simulate her vehicle trying to avoid hitting my vehicle, in which case it would not have been pointing in the necessary direction to create the hit which actually occurred. I could find no logic to any of the changed story as told to me by my insurance company. And then I realized that my insurance rates might go up.
At this point, I heard Buddha tell me, “Let go of the fight, Carol; it’s just tiddlywinks.” (As my daughter said to me, “Buddha said ‘tiddlywinks?’” Yes.) I realized that Buddha was telling me that I was forming an excessive attachment to the outcome of this car accident and insurance debate as to who was at fault.
So, then, I objected to Buddha, “but my insurance rates might go up,” realizing as I did so that the older lady probably really wanted to avoid her rates going up, despite the fact that she had the appearance of a wealthy married woman with plenty of retirement income (a great contrast to my seemingly precarious financial situation at the time). Buddha responded again, “It’s just tiddlywinks.” Then the thought flashed into my mind that I had been paying off debts for years, and it had neither caused me to go hungry nor to lose having a roof over my head.
I realized quite clearly that the struggles happening on the material plane were no obstacle on my spiritual path, and that the spiritual path was truly what is important. I am so grateful to Buddha for this lesson.
While I sense Buddha guiding me and speaking to me, this is a lesson in removing obstacles in our paths, in other words, it is the role of Ganesh to help us to remove the obstacles within ourselves by accessing the divine wisdom within ourselves.
And so, I honor Ganesh, for teaching me that fighting and arguing on the material plane simply creates more ego, and ego and fighting and arguing simply beget more ego and fighting and arguing. So, if we would like to move forward past the seeming fights and arguments of the ego level of the material world, then we simply need to let go of our end of the argument.
I realize this is easier said than done. This does not mean that we cannot ask for what we need, and sometimes even for what we want, but there is no point in asking those with whom it will contribute to an ego-based fight. That will only create obstacles rather than removing them.
May you be blessed to experience the relief that comes with the higher consciousness that comes from letting go of ego and letting go of the fights or arguments in your life. Our higher selves are not about winning; they are about loving and blessing. Seeking to win on the material plane simply creates karmic obstacles on our paths. Seeking to love and to bless creates karmic blessings on our paths, and Ganesh (or heaven, or whomever/whatever you understand as the source of blessing) will bless us.
I was blessed by being treated really well by the car repair company – more on that in lesson number two.
Love and Light,