The Lotus Flower
In Buddhist symbolism the lotus is symbolic of purity of the body, speech, and mind as while rooted in the mud, its flowers blossom on long stalks as if floating above the muddy waters of attachment and desire. It is also symbolic of detachment as drops of water easily slide off its petals.
I love that. Unfortunately if you search for Lotus Flowers on Pinterest you’ll find it is also a really popular tattoo. Not sure they grasp the full meaning.
I like the idea of blooming in adversity and staying just above the mud. It’s my go to imagery when things aren’t going well for me. I remind myself that I will bloom best in adversity and my goals are to stay above the mud and bloom.
The stage of growth the lotus flower is in represents a different stage of enlightenment. A closed lotus flower represents the time before a Buddhist follower found Buddha or enlightenment. A lotus flower fully bloomed and open represents full enlightenment and self-awareness.
I’m not a Buddhist but I like to think that I’m a seeker of enlightenment. Maybe not so much in the Zen meaning but in the real, applicable way my life unfolds. I seek enlightenment in parenting better, teaching better, running better, eating better and loving better. I’m nowhere near finding that enlightenment but like the Louts Flower, I practice everyday at finding it while staying above the mud and blooming where I am.
I’m the lotus flower yet to open.