The lotus flower grows in her beauty through the dark passage of mud and dirty waters
This long awaited season has finally arrived, with its longer and warmer days. Summer is often pictured as going on holiday, swimming, eating ice-cream, garden parties and all these enjoyable activities. Perhaps we had these pictures in mind when entering this new season. And now, what does summer looks like for you I wonder?
Summer, just like any season is not just one type of experience, it’s a mixture of pleasant, unpleasant and neutral experiences. It is a big change of routine for anyone looking after children or having a long break between school terms. Some people may experience a sense of connecting with family and friends and others may feel a sense of disconnection.
I have come across a number of people for whom this summer is a very difficult time. And of course, the same applies to the whole world; some beautiful events are taking place at the same time as some horrible ones.
So what do we do within all this? Well, just like the lotus flower doesn’t do much, it keeps growing, through the dark passage of mud and dirty water. It is through the mud that it comes out and becomes the most beautiful flower. There is nothing to do, a part from understanding that pleasant and unpleasant experiences are part of existence and both are needed for us to grow, to understand ourselves better.
The encouragement is to use these difficulties in our practice, not to see them as nuisance ‘which should not happen this way’ but to use them as opportunities to practice. When emotions or difficulties arise, we use our mindfulness tools and skills for healing, understanding and transformation.
It may feel unsuccessful at first, or not helping us much, yet, just like learning an instrument, it is through repetition, daily practice, patience, kindness and perseverance, that slowly these tools will permeate naturally through our ways of dealing with our experiences.
The lotus is the most beautiful flower, whose
petals open one by one.
But it will only grow in the mud.
In order to grow and gain wisdom, first you must have the mud —
the obstacles of life and its suffering. …
The mud speaks of the common ground that humans share,
no matter what our stations in life. …
Whether we have it all or we have nothing,
we are all faced with the same obstacles:
sadness, loss, illness, dying and death.
If we are to strive as human beings to gain more wisdom,
more kindness and more compassion,
we must have the intention to grow as a lotus
and open each petal one by one. ”
I hope you are having a restful time with moments of appreciation, awareness and kindness.
Please click this link so see the dates of all my forthcoming events.
Recommended books for your summer:
– “Mindfulness, Ancient Wisdom Meets Modern Psychology” Guilford press. This is a new book written by Christina Feldman (renowned meditation teacher) and Willem Kuyken, director of Oxford Mindfulness Centre. These two authors have in- depth experience and understanding of mindfulness and are doing an excellent work in keeping its integrity
– “The Mindful Way through Depression”, by Mark Williams, John Teasdale, Zindel Segal and Jon Kabat – Zinn. Available in paper book and audio book. Very concise and helpful book, giving excellent tools to help with depression and any negative thought patterns. “Through insightful lessons drawn from both Eastern meditative traditions and cognitive therapy, they demonstrate how to sidestep the mental habits that lead to despair, including rumination and self-blame, so you can face life’s challenges with greater resilience.”