So many times in Life we want to just embrace The Lotus. We want to forget that beneath the beauty of our Instagram posts lives The Mud of Life.
In Pema Chodron’s book, ‘Welcoming The Unwelcome’ she dedicates an entire chapter to this propensity of human nature. Our inability to allow ourselves The Mud of existence.
The Mud is thought to contain all the labeled negatives in Our Lives. Our self-destructive tendencies and our closed hearts. All. The. Things. we are urged to overcome to reach up through the muddy waters and break through the surface to Enlightenment, Joy, and Be The Lotus to others. To show our pure beautiful souls for which The Lotus symbolizes.
In our efforts to be our best selves so many times we just ignore The Mud. We pretend it doesn’t exist. We struggle to the surface with difficulty never understanding what keeps us from breaking free.
My Best Friend and I were discussing this last night and he shared with me he felt The Mud held vital nutrients for our growth process. By ignoring the rich lessons and information available to us in our struggles, we turn our backs on the very thing we need to make the struggle to enlightenment easier.
I have very wise friends.
In her book, Pema Chodron advises us to embrace The Mud by using the practice of Tonglen. It’s the opposite of the old adage, “Breathe in Jesus, Breathe out Satan”. In Tonglen you breathe in The Mud. You take in as much as you can. Embrace it — wrap yourself in it — FEEL it completely. And then with an equal breath, you breathe out The Lotus. A positive loving, joy-filled, healing intention into The World. For yourself, for someone you love, for The World at large.
And in doing so, you climb a bit out of The Mud. And bit closer towards The Surface to enlightenment.
You see The Mud in yourself. You see The Lotus you want to be to the world. Enlightenment — one breath at a time.
The Mud and The Lotus live side by side — inside each of us. The most hardened criminal who has committed atrocious acts against humanity has The Lotus. The most loving and benevolent philanthropist has The Mud. Our challenge is to learn to recognize The Lotus and The Mud in ourselves.
And in each other.