♪ ♫ “I trust in my struggle, each and every day.
Music is my mediation, it’s the way I pray.” ♫ ♪
The Hindu God of Ganesh is the archetype we call upon when starting a new journey or beginning a new project. We look to Ganesh to offer auspicious blessings. Ganesh is the god with an elephant head, son of Parvati and Shiva. He represents the union of shakti and shiva, masculine and feminine, raw, unfettered potential and focused, kinetic kundalini energy.
We look to Ganesh to remove obstacles set before us. Ganesh is also known, in his mischievous way, of placing obstacles in our path. In our struggles, we often find our greatest gifts. These gifts, much like the pine cones that only release their seeds during the heat of forest fires, only reveal themselves to us when we are tested. We might be completely unaware of our brilliant mediation skills were it not for the many arguments we found ourselves in the middle of.
Ganesh, in the placer of obstacles, often represents the archetype within us that “gets in our own way.” Sometimes, you just need to tear down a pre-concieved belief in order to move forward with a true understanding of your limitless potential. For example, I told myself for years that I was completely incapable of learning another language. I just didn’t have the head for it, so why bother trying. It wasn’t until I found myself in El Salvador surrounded by Spanish speaking people and a desire to communicate that the Spanish classes I took so many years ago assisted me by providing the words I needed in the moment. This revelation led me to re-examine a mantra I’d been feeding myself for more than 15 years – “I am incapable of learning another language.” Once I had the vision to recognize this harmful message, this obstacle I had placed before myself, moving forward was painless and I saw fast progress.
Usually, the obstacles we perceive are due to a fault in our thinking. A klesha that is obscuring our thinking and preventing us from seeing ourselves as the filled-with-potential beings that we truly are. Recognizing this klesha, or thinking pattern, is the first step to letting it go. Proving yourself wrong is the second. From there, place one foot in front of the other in an act of trust in the universe that your path will naturally unfold.
When we honor the energy of this archetype, we honor both the obstacle and the act of tearing down that obstacle. It is important to bless our struggles and thank them for the life lessons we’ve gained from them. In lighting a candle to Ganesh, we bless new beginnings with the knowledge that each moment offers the possibility to reinvent.
Practicing with Ganesh
Practice this simple yoga mudra and breath at the end of your yoga or meditation practice to connect with the energy of breathing into and releasing your obstacles. Sit in sukhasana, or easy seated pose, with the palm of your right hand facing your chest at heart level. Raise your left palm to face your right and bring your hands together with the fingers curling in towards each other.
As your fingers unite, close your eyes and inhale. Feel your hands tugging against each other as you inhale fresh energy and fresh prana into your lungs and heart. Tug as hard as you can without allowing your hands to separate. As you exhale, keep the mudra but soften to the struggle, allowing your hands to slightly relax and your elbows to soften gently down. Keep your eyes closed with your inner gaze focused downward toward the center of your chin. Practice for one minute, then switch your hands with the left hand facing in, the right hand facing out.
You can also chant or sing the Ganesh mantra, in the video above.