The Mud, The Lotus

Bringing light to issues ofThe Mud, The Lotus

This Monday night, Mick will facilitate.

Many come to the practices of mindfulness and meditation looking for a permanent relief from their suffering. As we take that first courageous moving of body to cushion, and take part in looking inward, we discover that there is no getting rid of thoughts and emotions. There is no getting rid of the outward afflictions and influences either. The end game of enlightenment where all troubles vanish is a mirage. By the time we undertake the practices of mindfulness and meditation and wake up to Inner world and the outer world through mindfulness, it is too late for us. Too late for us to go back to sleep, to late for us to ignore our inner and outer world. 

Herein lies the challenge of living mindfully. We don’t always feelbetter, but we feel better. We feel and recognize more deeply the sunshine and the sorrow in us and around us. Feeling better, can often mean that we feel more deeply our pain.

Thich Nhat Hanh teaches about the mud and the lotus. No Mud, No Lotus. 

“It is possible of course to get stuck in the “mud” of life. It’s easy enough to notice mud all over you at times. The hardest thing to practice is not allowing yourself to be overwhelmed by despair. When you’re overwhelmed by despair, all you can see is suffering everywhere you look. You feel as if the worst thing is happening to you. But we must remember that suffering is a kind of mud that we need in order to generate joy and happiness. Without suffering, there’s no happiness. So we shouldn’t discriminate against the mud. We have to learn how to embrace and cradle our own suffering and the suffering of the world, with a lot of tenderness.” 

― Thích Nhất Hạnh, No Mud, No Lotus: The Art of Transforming Suffering

As mindfulness practitioners it is important to reflect and inquire, “ What do I do when I am feeling covered in mud and overwhelmed by suffering?”  The mud is always there and in getting overwhelmed by the mud we lose sight of the sunshine, the lotus.

The mud, or suffering is a given of existence. The lotus, or happiness is also a given. Mindfulness practice gives us a way to be with both, to hold both simultaneously and in balance. We fluctuate from high to low, sorrow to sunshine, mud to lotus.

This Monday we will have the chance to reflect and share on how you experience and navigate The Mud and The Lotus. I look forward to the time together.