The last little while things seem to have gotten very difficult for many of us. We look around and wonder why we seem to be stuck in this nasty feeling. It's in moments like these I am reminded of the Parable of the lotus and I'd like to share.
Like a secret, the seed of the lotus flower begins its life submerged not only under water but nestled deep in the dark and obscuring mud.
One day the life within the seed stirs and begins to germinate.
Yet while it is mired deep within the mud it naturally strives to push through the thick and constraining dirt. Each day the sprout is strengthened ever reaching toward the promise of the nourishing sun. Even though there is no assurance of reaching the surface of the murky water; the stem of the plant must maintain its momentum. Pushing and reaching a little more every day; the water slowly becoming clearer allowing more light from the sun to pass through it and nourish the pod.
After a time, the lotus stem finally breaks the surface of the water. Though it has made the long journey from the mud and murky water that obscured the Sun's light it has yet another task before completing its journey.
It must now open.
Lying atop the surface of the water, high above the mud that once encased it, and the shadowy water that formerly blocked the sun, a single petal at a time the pod slowly begins to flower.
Now, the seed has become what it was always meant to be; the lotus flower. Free from all barriers and open to the world. It plays its role in creation having totally met and realized its full potential. The mud now nourishes the flower, giving it strength, and the water that used to blind it now washes its petals clean keeping them spotless and beautiful. In the center of the now open flower lay seeds that contain all the unknown potentials of the future, the newness of beginning.
This is such a beautiful metaphor for life and its challenges. So often we can find ourselves hindered and even stuck in the dark of confusion, stress, depression or difficult circumstances. Just as the mud and murky water prohibits the passage of sunlight to the seedling; so too can the state of being within our minds prohibit the light of truth from penetrating our souls. Similarly we can also find ourselves with our pain being the matrix for profound growth.
To the Buddhists the lotus seed signifies universal potential. The sprout and stem represents the desire for enlightenment and the determination to not allow suffering to overtake the soul. The opened flower is a metaphor for an awakening, spiritual growth, and enlightenment. The blossom also represents the purity of body, speech and mind.
The parable of the lotus can be thought of as a metaphor for the awakened mind, which grows naturally toward the warm and nourishing light of truth, love and compassion. The lotus may appear delicate on the surface, but it is flexible and resilient, securely anchored under the surface of the water.
Within you the same desire for awakening, transformation and liberation reaches for the light of the truth of your purpose.
If you read this and it has helped you, pass it on!