Updated: Jul 7, 2021
Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Buddhist monk wrote "No mud. No Lotus." Why? Read on.
Have you noticed the lotus flower as a spiritual symbol? All over the internet, on book covers, yoga places and even tattoos?
Here's one reason why.
The lotus symbolizes growth of the human spirit from the hardships of every day life.
The lotus plant grows in the mud. In fact, it can grow in nearly dry mud. The plant sprouts and a slender stem shoots up through the murky water. The sunlight is its guide and the stem grows upwards, longer and stronger. Once it reaches the surface of the water, it blooms into a glorious flower with strong and sturdy petals.
We grow up into the spiritual light from mud.
The mud represents the challenges of life, our ignorance and the dark moments. The growth of the stem represents our yearning for growth, consciousness and spiritual awakening. The strong and beautiful lotus flower is the symbol of consciousness and enlightenment.
Whatever darkness we experience, it’s all fertilizer for the opening of our souls to more light, more love, more awareness. The yearning inside us is as real as the stem of the lotus.
This is why Thich Nhat Hanh wrote "No mud. No Lotus." The pristine radiance of the lotus flower cannot exist without the mud it grew from. It is the same for us. We could not mature into into the light of our lives had we not experienced our challenges, our confusion, our unknowing.
We grow up from our own murky waters.
If we have the sense there is something greater, we begin to search and to grow up and out of our own murky waters. We yearn to live in the clear light of understanding.
The lotus has been a symbol of growth in Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and so many cultures. Fossil records show that lotus flowers survived the Ice Age! You are a survivor, too. Like the lotus plant, you are alive and always growing towards a greater understanding. Like the radiant beauty of the flower, your soul is filled with, and always connected to, the pure divine light.
So when times are tough or you are struggling to advance spiritually, take courage and know that you can grow to a new level and into the clear light of understanding. Like the lotus plant, you are designed to grow towards the light. There will be times again when you luxuriate like the brilliant and strong flower, floating more gently in life and knowing you are supported by everything--life, growth and spirit.
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- Marla Lombard
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