Note to Readers: if you’re looking for lotus flower images, go here.
The lotus seed starts in the muck at the bottom of a pond. As it grows and reaches the surface, a beautiful lotus flower blossoms. Still rooted in the muck, it rises above it all up into the pure air and flourishes beautifully, above the denseness, the darkness, from which it came.
Of course not all seeds are successful. Some start in the muck and stay there until they die.
The lotus flower is revered in Buddhist culture because it is a beautiful analogy for human life and achieving enlightenment. We are all born into this world, a world filled with suffering. The world is the muck into which we are born. However, we are fully able to rise above it all, to reach up to the pond surface, and when we get there, we can achieve enlightenment and blossom and live a beautiful life. All the while we are aware of the muck because we remain rooted in it, but our focus is high in the sky, soaking up the sun and the air, serving as a beacon of beauty for others.
So often, being entrenched in the muck of our world, we’re unable to see past it or rise above it. There’s a lot of suffering out there. There’s a lot of evil, a lot of unfairness. I’ve written about why you shouldn’t follow the news, and I stand by it. Just because the muck is out there doesn’t mean you need to be focused on it. It’s fine to be aware of it, but counterproductive to focus on it. Don’t let it be part of your reality.
In a sense, the “muck” is all of the shit in the world. The evil, the suffering. In another sense, the “muck” can be bad situations in your own life. We’ve all been through rough times. A lot of us have been through really, really rough times, and when someone is able to experience those situations but still rise above them and prosper, he is more able than the average person to be an inspiration to others. More able to be a positive beacon, a beautiful lotus flower above it all, providing hope to others. In that way, the muck is a good thing. Without it, the lotus could not blossom. Without evil and suffering, good and joy could not logically exist.
In that way it’s important to appreciate the muck. After all, a lotus flower cannot grow on marble or gold or mahogany. It grows out of the grossness.
A common theme of many inspirational quotes is that you learn more from failure than you do from success. So it is with the muck. We are all able to grow into something beautiful. Now enjoy some pictures of lotus flowers and remember: the muck is necessary. Don’t resent it. Embrace it.