In our Youth class, the children are each growing a lotus from a seed. Here is a picture of Sophia after her seed has been in the water for only two weeks. She is so happy to see that her baby lotus has two strong stems with curled up leaves. The leaves will expand and open up like two large saucers in a couple of days. Monica’s seed has several roots on it which means that we need to transplant it into the mud. Sophia’s should have roots on it by the end of the week. So next week in class, it looks like we will be going on a regular soil hunt to transplant the seeds from their artistic containers of water into a pot of soil with water.
The lotus in Buddhism is one of the Eight Auspicious symbols. It represents purity, enlightenment, mercy and compassion. The growth of the lotus is sometimes seen as an analogy to human existence.
I will share with you a story in Bojo’s words. I hope that you like it since it is the only way that I can understand to explain the lotus. It is a story for each of you:
For you, always try to remember the lotus, the bloom of your true nature:
I wanted to show you the flower that I see. I cannot even hold it. It is what I see of you.
It sprung from the water. Deep from the depths of the mud, it rose and tipped the edge of the water and still it tried to touch the sky. And I said, “it’s simply beautiful.”
But you couldn’t see it. It was as if there were storm clouds in your eyes.
There it was opened and free, breathing in all of the sun.
It had planted itself deep in the mud at the very bottom, consuming it but not becoming it. Weaving here and there. It didn’t hold the hardships or the joys that it was given: the many burdens, the tears and the laughter, but still it sought the opened air, passed the suffering of all that came, past/present, and comes, taken like a leaf that holds the bubble drop. No carving of the shape did it give as it struggled and climbed. It rose through the muddy water, the delusion of what is and what is not, and still it climbed, seeking only …
The truth of itself, and there it appeared before me, toppling the water, opening the sky, and I could do nothing but take in all that it is and say…
It is the most beautiful person that I have ever seen, and that person is you.
(If anyone is interested in growing your own lotus from a seed, you can come attend our workshop and grow it or if you cannot attend, here is a website that offers an assortment of lotus seeds for sale. It is a family owned business located in Oregon: Horizon Herbs. You can enter the term, “lotus seeds” in their search box and easily find the lotus seeds. It will take up to a year to see the first bloom, but it is so rewarding to grow the lotus from a seed. I hope each of you try it.)