Ah! The Post-Pandemic Lotus Blooms!
Blog Post 29: Ah! The Post-Pandemic Lotus Blooms!
“One year after the entire world locked down, we are feeling it’s all getting over. Is this just another manifestation of the illusion of samsara?”
The pandemic has been difficult for many, but not for everyone. Those who were ready and willing to change according to the needs of people flourished. We can see how many people are doing things differently. It has been very tough for those who continued to hold on to past ideas and past ideals. And the message is this… whether there is a pandemic or not, the biggest plague we all face is the one called samsara.
We might not think about it in that way because we have all gotten so used to it. We think about birth, sickness, old age and death as things that just happen this way. Wisdom is the best practice for any time. The wisdom that is self-arising. Which comes from the great store of merit. It must come from the ability to transform everything that comes along into something that we can use or see as something for us to overcome.
The lotus plant grows in conditions that many of us see as being not so nice. It grows in swampy areas where the water stinks. The mud and silt where it grows is dense, sticky and smelly. Yet, the whole plant is useful. It is edible – the flowers can be made into tea, and the seeds, leaves, stems, and roots, can all be eaten. Even the lotus silk strands can be used to make clothing. The whole plant can be thought of like the Buddha's teaching.
We must take whatever condition is imposed by samsara to break through and grow into a strong plant that blossoms fragrantly. The lotus plant teaches us patience and humility, that we need to keep calm when weathering the storm, to never give up, and to have resilience which comes from discipline.
For Vajrayana practitioners discipline comes from holding our vows. With time and patience, it becomes a part of our nature. So we must reflect upon the immense kindness of our Gurus. If our Gurus did not put in the pain, effort, and love to develop within themselves, it would be impossible to learn, study, uphold, keep, and transmit the teachings of Buddha to us. The best disciple sees one's Guru as Vajradhara.
The best practice is to hold all beings as most precious, realizing that if there were no sentient beings, there could never have been the dharma. Buddha would not have manifested if there were no sentient beings. As a Buddhist, we should see all beings as future Buddhas.
The best way to practice dharma is to be like Mother Earth. Practice to support others. We must release ourselves from our own prisons of judgement and be of service to others. When we give, we must give joyfully. Always be true to ourselves and our practice.