Lotus is heavily used in Buddhist iconography to depict rising above the muck of samsaric existence to become enlightened.
There are instances in our life when we face difficult situations or people. Suffer a little and maybe feel helpless facing off those adversaries.
It is natural for our mind to experience turmoil and anguish during those trying moments.
During those difficult times, we can remind ourselves of the lotus qualities.
Although it is rooted in mud with a huge volume of water covering its root, it still grow towards the Sun (Truth) while adapting to its environment.
The first lesson is adaptability and resilience. Buddhism is not about being passive, it is more about recognising the situation at hand and wisely surviving it. While not losing sight of ultimate goal of attaining enlightenment.
The lotus is also useful in many ways and it also teaches us how we can practice to be a Bodhisattva.
Its root can be eaten and is a source of food. People harvest its roots but it continue to live. Likewise, when we suffer some setback or when people take advantage of us, we can also learn from the lotus. Instead of raging with anger and screaming revenge, we can choose to let it go. Offer our losses to that person and give it away.
There is a famous story of a zen master. A thief broke into his temple and was caught. Instead of punishing the thief, he reminded the thief to say ‘ thank you’ while giving away his possession to the thief.
In life, sometimes people may steal our opportunities or ideas. When there is nothing we can do about it, then lets be a lotus. We decide to let go and give instead. When we change our mental attitude in this manner, anger leaves our mind.
We tell ourselves that we are giving to that thief. May they be well and happy.
Instantly, we are doing the spiritual practice of giving and sacrifice instead. This will be the seed for our future happiness.
If we cling on to anger and vengeance, we may end up doing something stupid. Or our mind can become so clouded by negative thoughts that we become careless with our tasks.
When we learn from the lotus, we learn to let go and live on. Just like the lotus, we continue with our life. When its root is snapped, it grows a replacement.
May all be well and happy.