The World Is Both Lotus and Mud
The lotus symbolises purity; its roots are in the mud that nourishes the lotus. They are inseparable, and there cannot be one without the other. This unity signifies the connection of appearances and seeing. It’s spontaneous. This is how negative emotions are wisdom in the very first instant when the emotion arises. If this goes unnoticed, we sink back into the mud of concepts and despair.
The fully blooming lotus flower is enlightenment, while the many stages of the flower opening indicate levels of realisation. We move from ordinary sight to intuitive insight to clear seeing, with some little conflicts in between. 😀
The conflicts or doubts are important as these are how we transcend the levels. Unfortunately, many regard doubts as heresy, and shun disbelievers. This shows a lack of empathy and love – not to mention a lack of intelligence – on the part of the believers as we all enter a spiritual path because we are confused. Chanting compassionate prayers doesn’t mean we are compassionate.
We forget that all doubts can be cleared up, and that individuals need direction. Groups are made up of parts, and so have no inherent reality. They come and go. Failing to find clarity from a group, we leave (or get kicked out 😉 ) but the universe has a way of providing unusual, conduit outlets.
The mud – our complex human lives of dissatisfaction – is our path to enlightenment, teaching and nourishing the roots of the lotus. It is in the midst of our human suffering that we seek help to break free and bloom, in order to be truly what we already are.
While the flower rises above the mud, the roots remain in the mud as it is here where we live out our lives. We exist within two truths – the clear mirror and the reflections. The purity and the muddy water of concepts.
To rise above the mud requires understanding of the Buddha’s words. Faith may be our starting point, but we need to know directly, and that requires compassion for the global mud!
The Lotus is heaven.
The Mud is hell.
We clean off the mud with the soap of the teachings.
Finally, we rinse away the soap through dropping the meditation.
Don’t cling to the teachings: realisation is beyond the words.
In the first stage of meditation, we control our mind by focusing on something, such as the breath. Then, we relax into that which is aware of the breath. Gradually, we note that there is only awareness, which is the reality of what we are – pure consciousness. The meditation is dropped in the realisation that we are nothing other, and we come to rest in non-duality. That is what is meant by ‘dropping the meditation’. We now only meditate when we drift off and forget.