Yesterday evening at the end of a difficult yoga class we sat with our eyes closed, legs crossed & hands in prayer at our hearts. At this time most teachers usually end the class with a quote, saying or short story to inspire you. Yesterday the teacher talked about the meaning behind the lotus flower in Buddhism and it really resonated with me.
The lotus has been a symbol of purity since before the time of the Buddha, and it blooms profusely in Buddhist art and literature. Its roots are in muddy water, but the lotus flower rises above the mud to bloom, clean and fragrant.
The mud nourishing the roots represents our messy human lives. It is through our human experiences and our suffering that we seek to break free and bloom. But while the flower rises above the mud, the roots and stem remain in the mud, where we live our lives. A Zen verse says, “May we exist in muddy water with purity, like a lotus.”
Rising above the mud to bloom requires great faith in oneself, in the practice, and in the Buddha’s teaching. So, along with purity and enlightenment, a lotus also represents faith.
Absolutely love this.