Discovering Ganesh

ganesh.jpgOver the past few years, Landmark Education graduate Shana Dressler has created Discovering Ganesh, a multi-pronged project based on her passion for India and the Hindu god Ganesh.

Most recently, Discovering Ganesh has launched a fundraiser in New York City and a Ganesh festival in India. The fundraiser takes place June 26 and benefits the Scojo Foundation, a group that combats poverty by training people to sell affordable reading glasses in the developing world. The festival tour enables people to take part in the 12 day Ganesh festival as well as visit other holy sites in India.

In addition to the fundraiser and the festival tour, Discovering Ganesh has created a multimedia exhibition and a high end photography book, as well as a well developed website.

Ganesh is a deity whose image is very familiar even to westerners, with the body of a man and the head of an elephant, but few outside of India know who he is or what he stands for. Ganesh is a powerful deity who is said to bring good fortune to new projects, is the patron god of the arts, and the lord of new beginnings.

At at time when India and the western world are deepening their ties, Discovering Ganesh seeks to illuminate the historical and spiritual legacy that underlie India’s contributions to culture, the arts, medicine and philosophy, and help explain why Ganesh is one of the most celebrated Hindu deities, even among non-Indians, as both a spiritual and secular icon.

The fundraiser on June 26 is being held at East West Living in the village in New York City and features vegetarian appetizers, non-alcoholic cocktails and a raffle with a wide variety of valuable prizes, including gift certificates for yoga, different styles of bodywork, meditation sessions, and great Indian food.

The Ganesh Festival and sacred India tour taking place during the first half of September starts in Mumbai, in conjunction with the 12 days of celebration of Ganesh which takes place throughout the city. The tour program, which was designed by Dressler and international tour operator Celestial Voyagers, will go through a number of cities, including Khajuraho, Sarnath, Delhi, and more. The celebration culminates with thousands of statues of Ganesh of up to 35 feet high are paraded through Mumbai and end up immersed in the sea, completes the festival.

Dressler, who has developed Discovering Ganesh as she has participated in Landmark Education’s Wisdom and Partnership courses, encourages others to get involved: Go to for more information on the fundraiser, the festival tour, or any of the projects.

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