No mud. No lotus.
Today is the continuation day for Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, which literally means universal worthy. He is the guardian of law and always placed on the right of Shakyamuni, while Manjushri Bodhisattva, the guardian of wisdom, is on the left.
Bodhi means enlightenment and Sattva means sentient and conscious. Therefore, Bodhisattva refers to the sentient being of great wisdom and enlightenment. Bodhisattva's vow is the pursuit of Buddhahood and the salvation of others and of all. He is devoid of egoism and devoted to help the others. The way and discipline of Bodhisattva is to benefit the self and the others, leading to Buddhahood.
A few weeks ago, my good friend Nat has taken the Bodhisattva vows in Dharamsala under His Holiness's blessing. Another close friend of mine, Koh, has also taken the vows while he attended the winter retreat late last year at Plum Village of France under the ven Thich Nhat Hanh.
I feel blessed while being with Nat and Koh. They are truly like the lotus in the mud. The lotus is born out of mud, yet it is clean and beautiful. So out of the dirty mud arises the symbol of purity itself. Things in our daily life are only "dirty" or "clean" because we perceive them to be that way. We do not have to erect a wall between them.
Coincidentally, 3 of us are also born on friday, the day the Buddha was born. I have specially made two stone buddhas in contemplation pose as a dharma gift to them. The stone buddhas, carved out in a really minimal way, can only tell of its buddha presence if we feel it inside us. We only need to purify our minds so that our perceptions become pure and unmitigated by defilements such as attachment to the self. Buddhahood is truly everywhere.
On the Dalai Lama's official site, I found one of my favourite quotes by Shanti Deva, "For as long as space endures, and for as long as living beings remain. Until then may I too abide to dispel the misery of the world. "
May we turn the muddy world into a pond of clean water, with lotuses blossoming everywhere.
Lotus shot with intentional camera shakes, Siam reap, Cambodia.