“Healthy and Happy” and the Symbolism of the Lotus Flower

Why “Healthy and Happy”? 

This is the sixth “active” blog that I have created since mid May, 2012.  The reason why I am interested in this subject  matter ” healthy and happy” is simple.  Like most people, I want to have a healthy and happy life.   Exploration and sharing are the motives behind this blog.

I am not an expert in this field but I do have some work related connections to this subject.  My curiosity to seek for knowledge to become healthier has driven me to create this blog. Whatever I write in this blog is what I have learned from friends or public information (like published researches) via the web or other sources.  If you are interested in similar topics, please read and participate.  I will refer to some researches that I have come across, and some evidence-based findings which may be of interest to you.  I sound academic here but truly I am not.  I am just an individual interested in exploring and sharing.  It happens that I have recently found a new hobby, which is… blogging!       

Most likely, the readers who are interested in this blog will be the mature group.  However, younger people should also be aware that a healthy life is the goal of everyone, of any age.   

What is the meaning of the lotus flower?  How does it relate to “Healthy and Happy”?

To celebrate the birth of this blog, I am posting a few beautiful pictures of the lotus flowers from my dear friend Terry. The beautiful picture on the header is also Terry’s.  

Although I am not a Buddhist, I love to study Buddhist art.   During my study (mostly self-study), I have come across the symbolism of the lotus flower in Buddhism.  I found it very meaningful and appropriate when we are discussing how to live a healthy life here.

Here’s an article I read in the most recent post of Buddhism.org, about the symbolism of the lotus flower in Buddhism:

http://buddhists.org/buddhist-symbols/the-meaning-of-the-lotus-flower-in-buddhism/

“The lotus flower represents one symbol of fortune in Buddhism. It   grows in muddy water, and it is this environment that gives forth the flower’s first and most literal meaning: rising and blooming above the murk to achieve enlightenment.

The second meaning, which is related to the first is purification. It resembles the purifying of the spirit which is born into murkiness. The third meaning refers to faithfulness. Those who are working to rise above the muddy waters will need to be faithful followers. 

The color bears importance in the meaning of the lotus flower in Buddhism. A white lotus flower refers to purity of the mind and the spirit. If a lotus flower is red, it refers to compassion and love. The blue lotus flower refers to the common sense; it uses wisdom and logic to create enlightenment. The pink lotus flower represents the history of Buddha and the historical legends of the Buddha. A purple lotus flower speaks of spirituality and mysticism. Finally, the gold lotus flower represents all achievement of all enlightenment, especially in the Buddha.

The stage of growth the lotus flower is in represents a different stage of enlightenment. A closed lotus flower represents the time before a Buddhist follower found Buddha or enlightenment. A lotus flower fully bloomed and open represents full enlightenment and self-awareness.

The mud represents an importance in the meaning of the lotus flower in Buddhism. All humans are born in a world where there is suffering. This suffering is a vital part of the human experience; it makes us stronger and teaches us to resist the temptation of evil. When we banish evil thoughts from our mind we are able to break free of the muddy water and become one with the Buddha. The mud shows us who we are and teaches us to choose the right path over the easy one.

Finally, the lotus flower represents rebirth, both in a figurative and a literal sense. The rebirth can be a change of ideas, an acceptance of Buddha where there once was none, the dawn after one’s darkest day, a renaissance of beliefs or the ability to see past wrongs. In a literal sense, the meaning of the lotus flower in Buddhism represents rebirth as a reincarnation, such as in the Buddhist religion, when a soul leaves this world in its present form to be reborn in another.”

I do not intend to go into a big philosophical discussion of the symbolism of lotus flower, because I am not knowledgeable enough to lead such an intellectual discussion.   However, I would like to use the symbol of the lotus flower to  request you to consider this question:  ” how can we empower ourselves to grow out of the mud, but not be polluted by it?” 

 

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