Got Mud?

When I travel to the San Diego area I make a point of visiting the meditation gardens at the Self-Realization Temple in Encinitas. Located on a cliff overlooking the ocean, their aquatic gardens are home to colorful koi fish and lotus flowers.

A lotus flower grows from the bottom of a muddy pond rising upward, emerging at the surface where it blooms into a beautiful flower. At night the petals close and it sinks beneath the surface only to re-emerge in the morning with the sunrise.

In my perspective, Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh’s observation, “No mud, no lotus,” is a lovely metaphor for the human experience.

Have you got mud? Turns out, it’s a good thing!


60 thoughts on “Got Mud?

  1. Hi Laurie,
    Mud? By the truck load 😉

    So much detritus from various disassembled paradigms that has drifted to the bottom of my subconscious that it isn’t really surprising that not too many people seem to really get what I’m pointing to much of the time. And it’s fertile stuff – lots growing there 😉

  2. Mud indeed! I’m heading to my residency in Minnesota in two days! So now is packing and saying good-bye. And trying not to forget anything important. I think I feel a lotus sprouting, however!

  3. I think everyone has mud. I think it’s finding the lotus flower and letting it open that people sometimes struggle with. My flowers definitely bloom in the morning–sometimes before the sun. 🙂

  4. Perhaps similar to: “Without suffering, there can be no joy.” We have to endure with the difficulties in life to appreciate when things go well. A great screenwriter said there is no life without conflict — and conflict, as well as other troubles, can sure seem like we’re immersed in mud. The idea is to come out of it like a lotus blossom — and not stay mired in the muck.

  5. It seems each of every recent year has brought a boat load of mud for me and various family members. Mud oozes out with each of us carrying some of the load. Personally, this year, other than holding the oozing mud of sadness with and for family members, has thankfully held less mud for me. I might characterize it as a light crust of drying mud. I hope to dust off the remaining cakey mud for a while. It is true that the lotus flower’s appearance is celebrated and looks more beautiful at this point. Thank you for sharing the picture of the lotus pool.

  6. Oh do I Laurie! 🙂 There was a time when I was not sure I would ever get above the mud and water to bloom. But with vision and persistence I managed. Though I wouldn’t wish this particular mud on anyone, I can say that surviving those experiences are part of the good parts of who I am today. Great post as always Laurie!

  7. Laurie. a deeply-rooted plant has a much better chance of survival when times are less than perfect. One with shallow and fragile roots can wither and die unless it has a deep foundation. I’ve always felt that the deeper your roots run, the more stability you’ll have during the dry times.

  8. Definitely lots of mud in my life – especially this year. Good motivation to go out into my garden and look – not at mud, but all the lovely flowers and the vegetables – yummy.
    And I write and write – good way to turn negative stuff into something creative.

  9. I do have my share of mud, Laurie, and I will hope something lovely emerges! I do love water gardens. I am in the San Diego area from time to time and know Encinitas, but I’ve never visited the Self-Realization Temple, and I must! I’m so glad you mentioned it. And I’ll be more appreciative of my mud! 🙂

  10. Mud ❓ buckets of it 🌻🌻🌻it’s what helps my inner flowers grow . What makes my inner Cherry flow . With the help of a good dollop of manure makes me human . Bring on the wheel barrows I say .
    Love that quote ‘ No mud , no lotus ‘ …how fab is that 👏👏

  11. Mud is something to be stirred and moved, and relished with the right frame of mind and partied time wear! If we had never learned it was to be avoided … Just imagine where it could have taken us.

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