I've been thinking a lot about lotus flowers lately. *Pauses for collective eye-roll from the peanut gallery* No, I didn't eat a kale smoothie for breakfast. I haven't gone completely down the west coast hippie spiral, but hey, no promises.
I've been all around the issues of mental and physical health for the past few years, doing a lot of self-reflection and hard work. And after a whole lot of downward-facing dog and mindfulness practice, tough-questions therapy sessions and heavy sweating in the gym, you know what? I'm finding myself more and more on the same page with the ancient yogis, who had a few things to say about the lotus.
"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."
"Because the lotus rises from unclean water to blossom as a pure, uncontaminated flower, it is a symbol of purity and resurrection. In the same way the lotus flower goes through much in its growth...the individual consciousness does the same on its path to enlightenment as the so-called impurities of unenlightened thinking gradually fade...As the lotus is pure in the water, so the soul is also pure."
I can completely understand why, over tens of thousands of years, this beautiful symbol has not lost its potency. Because aren't we all like the lotus, rising from the mud to become something more - something pure?