No Mud, Then No Lotus Flower

Happy Tuesday Omyoga blog followers and visitors – I hope your week is off to a good start. There is a famous teaching by the Vietnamese Zen Buddhist Master Thich Nhat Hanh which says this: “No mud, then no lotus flowers.” We all want to enjoy the beauty and presence of a lotus flower on top of the calm pond water. However, the lotus flower is there because its roots are deep in the mud beneath the pond. In the dirty mud, there are nutrients needed to nourish the entire plant – roots, stem, and flower. The sunlight from above is not enough. In the same way that we want to enjoy friends and other aspects of creation, the proverbial mud part is necessary. We must clean our home. We must study. We must endure sickness. We must forgive others. We must work to earn our keep. We must persevere every day with humility and gratitude. Then, somehow, we have a home. Then, somehow, we have food to eat, a roof over our head, friends, work opportunity, and more. Then, the sunlight we see each morning has new value and meaning, because we are grounded in our own proverbial “mud.” So, as you chant OM each day, do not see mundane day to day tasks as non-spiritual. Everything is spiritual. One famous yogi once said that “Life is the Guru.” Traffic can teach us patience. Work can teach us focus. Friends can teach us acceptance. Significant others can teach us teamwork. Children can teach us parenting and virtue. The list goes on. Each endeavor here is symbolic of the proverbial “mud” that the lotus flower must have in order to rise above the water and manifest as it does – in the flower-form that we all cherish. People want to see others happy, healthy, with a smile, ready to accomplish something. However, for this to happen, the person must be well-grounded. This proverbial “mud” allows for the person to flourish and actualize his/her life experience. OM TAT SAT. Namaste, Keith

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