Some people have found themselves influenced heavily by such iconic religious figures as Jesus of Nazareth, or the historical Buddha. Others find comfort in the words of Gandhi or Lao Tzu. For me there has been only one personality over the years that has remained transfixed in sheer perfection; one voice that comes piercing through the illusion of daily life and its challenges; the one that has always been there for me: Bugs Bunny, my religious symbol of choice! Aside from always getting in the last word, Bugs consistently comes through every convoluted situation an animated imagination can throw at him, completely unscathed, never any worse for the wear, never a hare out of place, perennially smiling, and ever optimistic. After a lifetime of studying various religious traditions, I still have not found a better embodiment of transcendent wisdom than Bugs. He has taught me everything I needed to know about spirituality to achieve enlightenment.
- If you don't know what reality is, don't take it seriously.
There is no reality more permeable than Bugs Bunny's, and he never takes his belief about reality seriously. This is his undeniable strength and power. Bugs is always senior to the drama that rages on around him, because reality exists to serve Bugs, Bugs does not exist to serve reality. Brings a whole new meaning to wascally wabbit, don't it!
- Question authority first; then ask good questions like, "What's up Doc?"
In the "know thyself" quest, exploration is absolutely imperative. It is always Spiritually in style to question any and all dogma. Exploring the nature of reality is what we are all here for, and what better way to endeavor in that quest than by asking, "What's up, Doc?"?
- Deal with your enemies by giving them, a full-on kiss on the lips.
Bugs lives a life free of worries and fear. He transcended every conflict from Elmer Fudd to Daffy Duck by giving his antagonist a full kiss on the lips! Bugs brings a whole new meaning to "Love conquers thy enemies!" (It also keeps them confused.)
- Choose a religious symbol that is also a successful cross dresser.
(Let's face it; with a butt like Bugs, you could really wear anything!) I want a religious symbol that has transcended the traditional male/female role limitations. I want a religious symbol that knows what it is like to wear both the constrictive female undergarments as well as the combustive male ego. Who better than a transgender fun loving Bugs!
- Be adventurous! Be outrageous! Be Bugs!
Spiritual growth always happens outside the box. All great spiritual teachers like Bugs Bunny have lived outside the restrictions of cultural limitations and prudish sensibilities. Dare to be your original self! Dare to be real and alive. Dare to be fearless! Dare to be outrageously Bugs!
- Know when it is "Wabbit Season" and when it is not.
Bugs knows when to his pick his battles. Bugs knows when to declare, "This means war!" and when to run (or hop). Knowing when it is the season to reap or sow, knowing when it is time to emerge from the rabbit hole and when to stay underground meditating, this is the hidden, higher teaching of Hare Krishna!
- Always leave 'em laughing.
Bugs always leaves ya laughing, because Bugs knows that the only thing anyone really has any control over is their attitude. We do not always get to choose when we find ourselves staring down the loaded end of Elmer's hunting rifle, but we always get to choose our reaction to that reality. If there were a more enlightened response then leaving 'em laughing, Bugs would have modeled it!
- There are no small cartoon characters, only small people.
The impact that people have in our lives is most astonishing. Sometimes it is the people that have the smallest walk-on roles in our lives that affect us most profoundly. There are times when that unknown person, who passes us on the street with a smile and well wishing, lifts our day to its highest experience. No contact is small; some have a shorter exposure time than others; but all have unlimited potential.
- Live to be over fifty years old, with only one gray hare.
You are only as old as you believe you are. Bugs proudly proclaims he is over fifty years old with only one gray hair! Only you decide your inner age. You choose your level of adventurous excitement and engagement to life. You choose how many gray hairs will determine your response to life and love. It's your choice.
- You can't kill a toon.
Resilience is the name of the game, and it is always in fashion. We all come to the earth to practice growing beyond what has hurts us. No one can do that without the power and commitment of resiliency. Resilience is what makes babies such powerful self-healers. Resilience is what makes our life worth living. Resiliency is the great spiritual fashion accessory that never goes out of style.
- Always watch a cartoon before the main feature.
Have a perspective finder in your life! When the little things that manifest in your life annoy you, experience them as an opportunity to grow beyond what infringes upon you. That way, when you really need it, you will have that skill fully developed. If you see everything that comes to you as an opportunity to a richer life, when the "main event" of your life shows up, it will bring you and cultivate inner richness, not endless suffering. Popcorn, junior mints and soda, as always are, optional.
- Take life lightly -- and Bugs seriously.
We spend way to much time taking our irrational fears seriously and our Divinity lightly. Our divinity existed before our life struggles and will exist long after them. Only love is real, and we do not have love, we are love. Bugs reminds us to see our love-self as powerful, and our life challenges as an interesting animated joke.
- Carrots are divine, you get a dozen for a dime. It's magic!
Bugs sees all of life as magical. Even the smallest most mundane object or event in life is imbued with special magical qualities, because Bugs knows he makes the magic within himself. Bugs knows he IS the magic. All you have to do is claim it!
- Monsters are such interesting people!
Bugs is always unconditionally accepting. Bugs has embraced some of the most insidious animated monstrosities ever created, and he lovingly responds to them with the wisdom that: "monsters are such interesting people!" Bugs experiences all life forms as working for his benefit, aiding and assisting him in his personal growth. No creature, no matter how fiendishly packaged, is anything less than fascinating and here to empower him!
- Bugs is a karma free religious symbol. No one has been killed maimed or tortured in the name of Bugs. No one has ever yelled, "die in the name of Bugs!"
Do you know how hard it is these days to find a religious symbol that hundreds of thousands of people have not been killed in the name of? As far as the collective consciousness is concerned, Bugs has no blood on his white gloved paws. There are no little children out there recovering from a Bugs abusive childhood. No child has grown up with someone dressed up as Bugs, slapping their hands with a ruler and yelling that they "Got it WRONG!" No one will rot in hell for all of eternity for taking Bugs' name in vain. And certainly no one has been terrorized for publishing a satirical cartoon of Bugs. Bugs can be freely and fearless embraced by all. Bugs is beyond corruption, exploitation, fraudulence or depravity. Verily, I say unto you, "If you do not see Bugs in all, you do not see Bugs at all."
Vaishali will be appearing at The Omega Institute June 13-18th 2010 to enroll click here.
Follow Vaishali on Twitter: