I have recently been wearing the pin pictured in this post. It is a lotus mandala with tiny hearts in it.
This pin reminds me of the phrase given by Thay (Thich Nhat Hanh), in his calligraphy, and in his book by the same name. The phrase is: No Mud, No Lotus.
The lotus flower is considered quite beautiful by many, but has its beginnings in the grimy, smelly, muddy bottom depths of ponds. The lotus flower is also considered sacred, a symbol of enlightenment. Our enlightenment, or awakening is birthed and motivated out of our suffering and our desire to be free from and end suffering.
For all of us, there is a lot going on in life – globally, in our careers, in our families. There are times when we feel like we are down in the muck and muddy floor of life. It is helpful to remember and such times, that out of such times can come great transformation and beauty. It is beneficial for us to remember the paradox that without some pain and suffering, we wouldn’t know what joy and peace are.
I find the phrase “No Mud, No Lotus” really beneficial in my life right now, calling me to the reality that we can’t have one without the other. As Thay says in his book, “If you don’t have mud, the lotus won’t manifest. You can’t grow lotus flowers on marble. Without mud, there can be no lotus.”
But it is also a salve in these times, a healing reminder that out of suffering and what we perceive as the ugliness of life, can come great beauty and healing transformation.
I think life is calling us right now to nurture the elements and conditions that support the blossoming of the lotus from the mud in our lives, on a personal and global scale.
No Mud, No Lotus.
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