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Remember The Sacred Lotus: Rise Above The Fray…

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“To keep the body in good health is a duty, for otherwise we shall not be able to trim the lamp of wisdom, and keep our mind strong and clear. Water surrounds the lotus flower, but does not wet its petals.” Buddha

Remember the Sacred Lotus: Rise above the fray... be present

Are you feeling stressed or irritated by the daily grind or the mini dismissals that cross your path from time to time? Are you distracted by the demands of all who need your attention? Are you finding yourself pulled into events and exchanges that do not give you peace? To de-stress our body and mind, we must learn the important lesson of the sacred lotus; to rise above the fray and learn detachment in the midst of chaos. The lotus is revered in many religious traditions and cultures; particularly in Hinduism and Buddhism. In India, and parts of the Asian continent, and even in Egypt, the beautiful lotus can be found in poetry in sacred texts from around the world. It is a beautiful flower that floats above the dirty water and mud it grows in… Everything and everyone that glances at the lotus is struck by its beauty and presence…

“Do not go to the garden of flowers! O friend! Go not there; In your body is the garden of flowers. Take your seat on the thousand petals of the lotus, and there gaze on the infinite beauty.” Kabir

Remember the Sacred Lotus: 1000 Petaled Lotus ... the connection to God

One of the things Yoga practitioners learn is that the sacred lotus can be found not only in the lotus position as a sitting posture/asana, but also as the 1,000 petaled flower scintillating in the crown chakra at the top of our head ( in the sahasrara).   It is also a calming image to visualize in meditation, and a powerful centering/calming flower often depicted in pictures of gods and goddesses.  The Goddess of abundance, Lakshmi, stands on one, others carry a lotus, sit on one, or have it as a symbolic image of their detachment from the material world; from our world of action and inaction.  Compassion and self-care are still important, but the lotus teaches us, from a place of detachment and recognition, that conditions shift constantly and that such is the nature of all life forms and the world we live in…

“You must be a Lotus, unfolding its petals when the Sun rises in the sky, unaffected by the slush where it is born or even the water which sustains it!” Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Remember The Sacred Lotus: Rise Above The Fray... The lotus blooms regardless of conditions...

In case you wonder what brought me to this conversation, I’ll tell you. I was catching up on the news yesterday and was profoundly struck by the range of distressing global events; from one terrible story after another, to one unresolved conflict after another.  As I scanned the summaries of news events globally, I could feel the tension rising, the shared pain growing and the shifting sands of change beckoning…. We are all directly or indirectly affected by current global situations;  in Japan, Libya, Ivory Coast, and by other tremors felt behind closed doors, unemployment, homelessness, and the pain in the hearts of men and women.

The wisdom of the masters remind us that we must see the world for the stage that it truly is. Happiness, laughter, sadness, and joy all have their place and space on the stage, and each of us, in our roles, play them out daily… the secret of the lotus is to not get caught up in the illusion that our emotions or experiences are permanent… thus, the lotus reminds us to rise above the fray; above the illusion or Maya. But How?

“I love the lotus because, while growing from mud, it is unstained”. Zhou Dunyi

Remember the Sacred Lotus: Rise above the fray... be compassionate

While some of the events going on globally are being addressed and handled by capable hands, we remain in a world where many continue to suffer in quiet, pained silence… perhaps simply ignored. Sure, we can only do our best, our bit for our fellow man, even as we seek or enjoy our version of happiness. However, we can’t shut out the horrific images; at least not completely.  As I reflected on all of this, I remembered a saying from one of my yoga teachers; that the sacred lotus grows in dirty waters and mud, yet remains serene, untouched by the drama of its surroundings… We must see events for what they are and remember that everything in life is in constant motion; a state of impermanence. We can enjoy the good that comes now, and when the pendulum shifts, recognize that things will change again… My hope is … for the better. Below is a beautiful poem by Ryokan. Enjoy it and be uplifted. What are your thoughts?

The Lotus, by Ryōkan
First blooming in the Western Paradise
The lotus has delighted us for ages.
Its white petals are covered with dew,
its jade green leaves spread out over the pond,
And its pure fragrance perfumes the wind.
Cool and majestic, it raises from the murky water.
The sun sets behind the mountains
But I remain in the darkness, too captivated to leave.

Positive Motivation Tip: In the midst of chaos is a place of beauty; the sacred lotus can be found there. Seek its gift of detachment.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: Photos of fresh blooming lotus flower via Wikipedia, Dried lotus pod/friut via Wikipedia, and 1000 petal lotus via Wikipedia Ryokan poem via Chaikhana

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

17 Comments leave one →
  1. 21/03/2011 4:26 am

    hi Eliz,
    you wrote: “happiness, laughter, sadness and joy, all have their place and space on the stage and each of us, in our roles, play them out daily…”
    yes, but sometimes it is difficult to forget the turmoils around us; maybe we should not watch the daily news?

    • 23/03/2011 7:16 am

      It would be wise at times to stay away… but then we are curious beings and we do want to catch up on other events. Somehow, the sad stuff sneaks in… I try to stay away form the histrionics and choose my news but not always successfully. 🙁

  2. 21/03/2011 9:35 am

    The only constant in life is change. I share your concern and unease about what’s going on in the world, but if we allow ourselves to get overwhelmed by it we will lose ourselves. Good post eliz, thanks.

    • 23/03/2011 7:36 am

      Well said Barb and I am fighting that sense of overwhelm… I switch off the news or change locations when it comes with all the doom and destruction stories…
      We need some respite from the violence and the noise; we need compassion towards each other and assistance to those who need it… My heart is in Japan, Libya, Ivory coast… you got it 🙂
      Help us all God… Peace!
      Thank you,

  3. 21/03/2011 10:11 am

    beautiful post, and an encouragement!
    still dealing with back strain…but will visualize the lotus…at peace, and removed from the chaos.


    • 23/03/2011 7:38 am

      Oh Jane…
      Sending you mega doses of healing energy, Reiki and divine light! Visualize the blue lotus rejuvenating your back muscle… Breathe! 🙂

  4. 21/03/2011 7:50 am

    Every day you can write great post.
    I remembered “Ryōkan” for the first time twenty years.
    There are the lotus park in Saitama prefercture Japan.( I live in )
    You can see forty two kind of lotus in the park.
    ( sorry Japanese only)

    • 23/03/2011 7:24 am

      Thank you for the link to the lotus gardens and your comment… I checked out that site and the lotus flowers and pictures were beautiful. I like the cartoon lady with the lotus head. LOL! 🙂
      Beautiful… It was great to find Ryōkan too and I’m glad you enjoyed his poem.
      Thanks again,

  5. 21/03/2011 9:04 am

    Thanks, Eliz. Wonderful post and reminder. Namaste.
    I love the symbolism behind the lotus. If you’re interested:

    • 23/03/2011 7:33 am

      Thnak you so much Nancy,
      I don’t know how you do it but I’m so behind in comments/replies that I am huffing and puffing along. I did go back to visit the link you left and check out the post on the lotus; it was a beautiful story and the revelation at the end was priceless. 🙂
      Thank you,

  6. 21/03/2011 4:19 pm

    Hi Eliz,

    I stopped at the moment and imagined the lotus flower in front of me. Your article was like a moment of briefer- meditation to me just by reading it. Imagining the flower opening its leaves, the aroma coming out of it and fresh water drops coming through the leaves, this was a relaxing moment to forget about my duties. Thank You, The latest: and Terrans

    • 23/03/2011 7:41 am

      Hi Terrans,
      Thank you for stopping by! You have a very informative service site that benefits immigrants; very helpful! I will stop by your blog spot blog again to say hello. Keep up the great work. Thank you! 🙂
      I’m glad you enjoyed the lotus post too…

    • 29/03/2011 3:38 am

      Hi Terrans,
      I don’t know why but I can’t seem to find your blog. Please leave the link and email me too. 🙂

  7. 21/03/2011 6:58 pm

    Again, a wonderful inspiring post. A beautiful flower is the Sacred Lotus-we walk our daily walk with a smile, hope, and dreams. At times, we can feel pulled in different directions, but its taking those ahhhh moments, for focusing on God’s beauty around us and for His joy we carry in our hearts.

    • 23/03/2011 7:44 am

      Hi Penny,
      Thank you for your support and beautiful, poetic feedback on the lotus above. It is a remarkable flower and never ceases to invoke the best in all of us. The imagery of a divine plant growing above muddy, dirty waters has always fascinated me. 🙂
      Thanks again,

  8. 22/03/2011 7:18 am

    Peace in the middle of chaos, I do well under pressure. It’s just me, the more pressure the better productive I am. I am learning about chakra’s and all those body energies. Your flower is a great way to wake up each day as a screen savor! Unfortunately, I am high wired. Heart Disease is a scary thing, and I am so glad you are into that. It doesn’t run in my family. 🙂 Great post.

    • 23/03/2011 7:47 am

      Thank you Jackie, we are all blessed in our own unique ways; good for you! Yes, that flower would make a great screen saver, right? I love the purity of the shot and sometimes wish I could take pictures as focused and sharp… As per heart disease, it is scary; but with attention and care, it is manageable too. 🙂
      Thanks again for stopping by,

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