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Vaishali Headshot

The Buddha of Burbank

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Some people have found themselves heavily influenced by such iconic philosophical figures as Socrates, Plato, Kierkegaard, Kant or Thoreau. Others find comfort in the words of Emerson, 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 ultimate philosopher 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 philosophical traditions, I still have not found a better embodiment of transcendent wisdom than Bugs. The "Buddha of Burbank" has taught me everything I needed to know about wisdom to achieve complete sage-like Enlightenment.

Bugs is a karma-free philosopher. No one has met their demise or been manipulated in the name of Bugs Bunny.

Do you know how hard it is these days to find a wisdom icon that hundreds of thousands of people do not have some issue with? As far as the collective consciousness is concerned, Bugs has no stains on his white-gloved paws. There have been neither carrot coups nor military regimes overthrowing banana republics and turning them into rabbit republics based on the works of Bugs. No one will be exiled to Encino for all of eternity for taking Bugs's name in vain. And certainly there have been no global acts of terrorism for publishing a satirical cartoon of Bugs. Bugs can be freely and fearlessly 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."

Bugs has no body image issues.

What I love about Bugs is he is completely immune to any negative body issues even when dressed in his best stylish Viking hat and full body corset. No matter how many different female types of attire and outfits Bugs dons, even with his fluffy white tail, I have never heard him ask, "Does this outfit make my butt look big?"

When Elmer becomes smitten with Bugs and confesses to Bugs he is, "so wov wee." Bugs's honest and humble response is, "Yes, I know it... I can't help it!" May that be the philosophical cry of every female, everywhere!

Choose a philosophical leader that is also a successful cross-dresser. (Let's face it; with a butt like Bugs, you could really wear anything!)

I want a philosophical leader that has transcended the traditional male/female role limitations. I want a wisdom icon that knows what it is like to wear both the constrictive female undergarments as well as the combustive male ego. Who better than a gender transcending fun loving Bugs!?!

Enjoy what you do have.

Bugs never gives his attention to what he does not have. He makes the most of the simple things that he does have that bring him so much joy. It would never occur to Bugs to try to keep up with the Joneses or the Fudds. Even though he lives in a hole in the ground, Bugs is blissfully content, comforted by his attitude of gratitude, and the knowledge that he lacks for nothing; he is enough all by himself. He is totally whole and complete... just add carrots.

Always focus on what you do want... not what you don't want.

Bugs recognizes the value and wisdom in what you choose to give your attention to. Bugs faithfully practices giving his attention to what he does want, instead of fixating on what he does not want to invite into his life.

This means that Bugs does not recognize the power of "set back," "fear," "intimidation," or "unhappiness." He knows the formula for getting what you want, is giving what you want your attention.

How to win friends and influence cartoon characters.

In order to have friends, you have to be a friend. Friends always make friends smile. The best way to attract quality friends into your life is to smile all the time. The mean-spirited, superficial people will be disenchanted by your openly offensive optimism, flagrant good will and positive loving nature.

The best way to influence cartoon characters, or people, is to do what Bugs does: relax, smile and be yourself! The greatest wealth we have is our joy, sense of excitement and ability to laugh in the face of loss. The only way to insure that life is worth living is to show up as the best possible person or rabbit that you can be.

Laughter is the best medicine.

The best defense for good health is the offense of a great sense of humor. The most powerful boost to the immune system is the ability to laugh your way to wellness. Illness is just another form of limitation, and Bugs Bunny never met a state of limitation he could not laugh or grow beyond.

Imagine how great life would be if your insurance premium was based on how flexible your mindset was, and if an animated sense of humor was the best antidote for terminal seriousness and illness. The ability to laugh has no side effects, you can't overdose and does not require a prescription. Plus, laughter always leaves you feeling better than any drug. With laughter you do not need an appointment and never have to "turn your head and cough"... how good is that!?!

Levity is enlightenment.

No one is perpetually happier or wiser than Bugs Bunny! He always has a smile on his face, a song in his heart and a carrot (or banana) in his hand. If you can't laugh at yourself and life, then you cannot grow or heal what ails you. And, you cannot create a life worth living. Enlightenment is all about lightening up, and Bugs Bunny is certainly the poster rabbit for advanced playful euphonies.

Let's all take a page from Bugs's book of wisdom and remember not to take life's limitations seriously. Then we will have more time to watch cartoons, play with our friends and maybe even attend the Cochella Carrot Festival... and generally feel increased pleasure from life... seems like a no-brainer!

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