The life of a lotus flower
Updated: Jul 24, 2020
The lotus flower is a topic that has been continuously popularized through main stream media for the last two decades. Now I can twist this into a negative spiral and explain that it is overused for financial gain, lack of authenticity in purpose and that it has became a word more than a practice. On the other hand, I see it as an important asset and whether you take it in or not, it is extremely valuable to improve your emotional state.
A little Science
Our EI or EQ also known as emotional intelligence is something we can control. Our emotions control the path of our journey and can sway the current into another direction if we wish. In a Harvard study, 'When science meets mindfulness', it discusses the amygdala in a study where participants watch images, emotional content, before learning meditation. After 8 weeks of learning meditation, they discover the amygdala is less active. If you have more interest click the link below.
The Journey that sparked my meditation practice
After a 15 hour flight, I arrived in Hong Kong where I was visiting my brother who had lived and worked there at the time. I was tired from the long flight yet anxious for what I was about to experience; Asian culture and food. Excited to experience a new world and spend time with my brother, part of my mission to Hong Kong was to spend a day with the monks. Thanks to my wife Josie who sent me there, this wish of mine became a reality.
One early morning, as my brother was off to work, I packed a backpack and headed to visit a monastery with really no expectations. When I arrived, a young monk dressed in black walked me into the open concept room. He nodded for me to sit down. I joined 10 monks in full meditation and chanting for a whole hour. At first I was thinking, why am I doing this? Why would I put myself through all of this? Well after the hour, I knew this was meant to happen.
Next, I sat down with one monk who spoke clear English and we chatted while we walked around the beautiful gardens. He tended to the garden when needed, but stopped when approaching the lotus flower. He pointed to it and explained that this flower is life. The flower was literally in dirty water in my eyes.
He ran his finger in the water and then sat down with me by the flower. We were in silence for a few minutes. I just went with the flow. Then he spoke. He explained that many recognize the flower for its beauty. Then he began discussing the beginning of its growth. It starts in the bottom of the muddy water with no access to any sunlight. Once it reaches the sunlight it grows into a beautiful lotus.
"The Lotus flower is regarded in many different cultures, especially in eastern religions, as a symbol of purity, enlightenment, self-regeneration and rebirth. Its characteristics are a perfect analogy for the human condition: even when its roots are in the dirtiest waters, the Lotus produces the most beautiful flower".
He discussed that we all have a glow within ourselves the day we begin our life. Furthermore, he said that the luxuries we chase, the cars, the homes and more are one second satisfactions. When we have the intentions in our life to chase these items, their purpose and appreciation is lost. He actually explained that they are not harmful but that when you have the wrong intention, that is what causes the harm. He explained, that everyone is on a search for happiness and fulfillment and it has always been within us. The joy and light has been apart of us for a long time.
Afterwards, we sat down with the other monks and ate lunch in silence. If you have never tried something like this, I have no words but that you should at least try it once in your life. It gives you an entire new perspective towards food and appreciating the little things in life.
In the last meditation, we sat down for one more hour and this is where I was sparked. I began to understand the idea of meditation and that this will be an everlasting journey towards enlightenment. I came to understand there are tons of different ways of meditating, not only one single way. It’s all about being present in every moment with a clear mind and clear conscience. To be free.
Take some time for yourself to learn about meditation and don't stress about it. The surprising thing is that moment of silence with the lotus was really the moment when I discovered mindfulness.
When I left, I was told that I was with one of the most respected Tibetian monks that day. He was the one that sat with me and the lotus flower, in silence. At one point I thought I should take a picture. I left that day feeling at peace and realized that moment was something that I would cherish forever. I didn’t need a picture to remember it. It was already implanted in my memory forever.