179: Living the Lotus Life

cloudsOften when I finish teaching I use the phrase from JH Lasater’ May you live like the lotus, at home in the muddy water’.

The lotus is an amazing flower both to look at and for what it symbolizes. Scientists have been trying to mimic the water repellant qualities of its leaves. When they get water on them the water curls up into a ball and rolls off. The leaves are clean and nothing can stick to them.

If we look under the surface though there is mud and fish and movement. Somehow the lotus sprouts a bud through the mud and comes up to the surface with the most beautiful bloom. The flower has a lot of symbolism for Buddhists both for it’s talent to bloom even through adverse circumstances and  its ability to be unaffected by the water that lands on it’s leaves.

I wish my thoughts could be more like the water on the leaf of a lotus. Somehow they appear ‘sticky’ I get one and then that sets off more and more, each of them plastering themselves on top of the other, vying for attention. In  the yoga sutras Vairagya means ‘letting go’ or more precisely putting our mind into neutral and learning to disengage from our thoughts, feelings and desires. When we learn to drop ‘our story’ or make our thoughts less sticky through practice then we can learn to be more like the clouds in the sky. We can see them floating in and then cheerfully watch them float past.

Our thoughts are just oceans of energy. They same energy that creates them also can destroy them. The substance they are made of can either stick to us or be repelled by us just like the lotus leaf.

Practice for today: To bloom fully in this life we need to create a more powerful mind that can work for us. Next time you have a desire, tension, become judgmental or analytical about anything try one of these visualisations to untie yourself.

Imagine your thought is a cloud in the sky, watch it form and then watch it dissolve.

Drop your thought into a glass of water and watch it dissolve like aspirin

Send your thoughts down the river like a leaf on an eddy

thank you to my yoga friend for reminding me to live like the lotus


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