In last weeks blog post, I shared with you my first inspiration of Lila’s lotus flower. The summer solstice brought on this concept. As I saluted to the sun, that stands still in time before beginning its decline to the darker side of winter, I thought of its relationship to the nature of all beings.
If everything in nature is “One,” the essence of everything is the same; you and I, animals, plants, stars, universe, sun and moon are all but one. Therefore everything in nature emanates the other, and in particular, on an energy level.
The Sun is a cycle, just like we are all cyclical. On the 21st of June it shines its fullest light on the northern hemisphere. Isn’t it thought provoking that while the northern hemisphere is experiencing the lightest days of the year, the southern hemisphere is in complete opposite, living the shortest days of light? The nature of Yin and Yang springs to mind; positive and negative, darkness and light. Without one there is no other; just as the summer solstice and winter solstice coexist in parallel.
The Earth has to travel through the dark days of winter before it can reach the peak of light, just like the lotus flower travels through the murky waters of materialism, through the waters of experience, before it can become a thousand petals that signifies the light of enlightenment. According to Tantric philosophy, the journey of the lotus flower is the cosmic play of life, Lila. One minute we are in pleasure, the next in pain, without having a true grasp on any of it. Until one day the devotee understands pain as well as joy, but in its bliss transcends them both.
The more I delve into yoga, meditation and philosophy, the deeper understanding I have of this process in nature; coming to understand the relationship of “Oneness” we have with the sun, moon, Earth, stars, nature, the lotus flower. If we can accept there is no light without darkness, there is no happiness without sadness, there is no peace without war, I think we may realise a deeper understanding of life, contentment, grace and eternal peace. Indeed, some of the greatest spiritual philosophers of our time had to experience very dark times before reaching light, such as Eckhart Tolle and Byron Katie.
However, just as the Sun pauses on the 21st of June, when we reach moments of enlightenment, we too can stand still there for a while. In fact the term summer solstice derives from Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still).
The lotus flower pauses too, shining its thousand petals in sunlight before dipping its head under water at night. Unharmed, she releases her stunning glory back to the world at following morning light. In emanating this symbol, we too can reach a state of spiritual maturity and enlightenment, and sit there for a while, in the knowing that we will have to go underwater again. We do this with the rooted understanding that we are there to simply observe, without harm. Then we can reappear from all of life’s experiences, both positive and negative, in the form of the petals of the Lotus flower, like the Buddha being still in body, still in mind, still in soul.
Om Peace, Peace, Peace.