No Mud No Lotus
Updated: Jul 17, 2020
Most people are afraid of suffering. But suffering is a kind of mud to help the lotus flower of
happiness grow. There can be no lotus flower without the mud.” THICH NHAT HANH”
I love reading Thich Nhat Hanh. This particular quote really speaks to me of our lives right now. Sometimes I feel stuck in the mud, myself, as I try to negotiate these new changes that are being bestowed upon me by the pandemic. It requires I go to places that challenge me, like technology, in order to allow another part of myself to emerge. And when I remember what the lotus flower must go through to bloom, it reminds me that I am not alone in my struggle.
In Buddhism, the lotus flower is symbolic of enlightenment and the suffering that is endured in order to get there. Are you aware of something within yourself that is trying to emerge and bloom during this time?
The human spirit is amazing and resilient. I saw a story about a man whose restaurant has closed down due to the pandemic, yet he has continued to feed people charitably, as it is his mission and heartfelt desire, even though it brings him no income. This is a time when our entire societal structure seems to be changing. It seems our hearts are opening to a more appreciative, compassionate, grateful, and generous way of being. We also are seeing the not-so-pleasant qualities coming out in some, as we are all undone in various ways by these current conditions. We don't know where this is going to take us ultimately. All we can do is to find some moments to be still and present with the unfolding process. At least, that is the one thing I do. It gives me access to my inner reservoir of peace, for a little while as I take a break from my steep learning curves. It is a space where I can consciously observe my negative thoughts of worry or anything else, and release them.
Meditation is like cleaning house. It allows us to not only clean our minds, but to reset them. We are also doing great service to the world when we meditate because we are connecting with our own inner light, which raises us up as well as the world around us. It is a charitable thing to do!