02 July 2013

Focus on the Flower

When I was in grad school one of my professors told us about the Lotus flower.  I have reflected on the symbolism of this flower many times, so I'm now sharing it with you.

The Lotus flower is sacred in Buddhism.  It means purity, cosmic harmony, potential, and enlightenment among other things.

But what is symbolic to me about this flower is where it comes from.  Lotus flowers grow in murky, swampy, shallow waters.  The seed emerges from the mud at the bottom of a swamp and blooms on the surface of the water.  There is the obvious symbolism that beautiful things are created from dark circumstances, and that is surely significant.  But there is another lesson in the flower.

Imagine being there.  In a swamp.  Shallow, warm, muddy.  Bugs everywhere.  A less than pleasant smell.  Hot, humid, murky as far as you can see.  And there, a Lotus flower.  Amidst the unpleasant surroundings, a beautiful flower has blossomed.  

What do we choose to focus on in our lives?  Are we so caught up in our murky circumstances that we fail to see the beautiful gift that is born from that very swamp?

Are we able to look past the swamp to appreciate the beauty of the flower? 

Without the swamp, there would be no blossom.

We all have swamps in our lives, and each swamp yields something beautiful that would not otherwise be there.  Find your Lotus blossom.  

Focus on the flower.

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