Saturday, November 04, 2006
The sacred lotus
The lotus appears frequently in Buddhist teachings. Why is the lotus such a powerful symbol?
The sacred lotus, nelumbo nucifera, grows in marshy areas. Its roots cling to the bottom of the pond or stream in which it grows, while its petals floats on the surface of the water and its flower sits atop the stem a couple of centimeters above the water.
The lotus flower, therefore, symbolizes purity of mind. By practicing the Eightfold Path, the practitioner can elevate her mind above the muddy quagmire of suffering. We should all seek to be like the lotus, remaining aware of the pain of existence and yet rising above temptation, hatred and greed to express the natural beauty of compassionate consciousness.
May each of you bloom like the lotus...