This photo was quickly taken by me at one of the entrances/exits to Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia in the summer of 2019.
The expansive temple complex is a little overwhelming to say the least, and as my daughter and I were adhering to the sunrise experience with the vast crowd of people from all over the world it would have been easy to miss this lone little lotus flower as one enters and departs. It caught my eye because it stood out against the flurry of thoughts racing through my mind in that moment. I was trying to absorb one of the grandest Hindu turned Buddhist temples on earth by generating a linear timeline in my head contemplating it’s formation. I was trying to determine how many people rolled rocks onto pulleys, conjuring images of crushed feet, laboring bodies, exchange of power from Hindu to Buddhist leaders, Khmer Empire v Khmer Rouge, the symbolic meaning behind statues and various dancing figures, blah blah blah.
While lost in these thoughts the little blossom popped out to say, ‘Hey you lady be quiet- take me in, experience my appearingly singular beauty as we are all here together, in this present moment now.
There are a handful of Buddha quotes surrounding the lotus; the roots of the flower beginning in the mud, forming in water, ultimately reaching for the sun to bloom in the light. There is also the idea that one simple flower can encapsulate all of life’s origin and beauty in one fleeting moment. And then there is the famous Zen Flower Sermon in which Buddha silently uprooted a lotus, muddy roots and all, from the pond and showed it to his disciples. It was the one who responded with a smile who would walk in Buddha’s footsteps of leadership as he was aging and ready to pass the baton, so to speak.
A kind suggestion to the paradox #AloneTogether may be the opportunity to connect more with your inner lotus, the flower that blooms within you during this muddy period, knowing your inner guidance system may help you reach for the light.
Yes, there may be a weeding out process, be it voluntary or involuntary -habits, behaviors, friends, family, employment. By making a choice to stay with your inner source, you give yourself the opportunity to blossom. Take time to listen to yourself-knowing each of us is potentially the ‘alone’ flower while together we go through Covid-19. Choose protection and healthy steps by washing your hands and keeping a safe distance from others.
Consider allowing a flower to remind you just how important our interconnectedness is within ourselves, others and life itself in the present moment. The relatively small cost for flowers in the home may provide you and others with a free smile!
As George Carlin said, “Everyone smiles in the same language.”