Beer, Mud, and the Lotus Blossom

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Another interesting synchronicity in my present journey ~ On my walk yesterday morning I discovered that this mural for Schell’s Beer, a brewery that is located in my home town, is found just a few blocks from my new home.  Though presently it is only about 90 miles away, I have not visited my hometown for 30 years.   And here I am confronted by this “sign” ~  I am living just a couple minutes walk from an homage to my hometown heritage.

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In the past couple of months I have also been confronted by repeated requests that I finally, after all these years, make it to high school class get together; there is one scheduled for this summer.   It rather seems that the indications are that I should indeed attend.

The word “inescapable” comes to mind.  As does the phrase, “You can run but you can’t hide”.   Rather like being haunted in this lifetime by the karma of a past life.

Which is what it feels like, looking back, a past life. Though I live relatively close now, my life’s journey has taken me so far geographically, spiritually, and intellectually, from who I was.   How much I am still that person is a fair question.  My personality has not changed that much, I’ve just become more of it.  As the old saying goes, “The boy is the father of the man.”  And I have sought to live by the admonition coined by Nietzsche, “Become who you are.”   Nonetheless, I am not at all relishing the prospect of revisiting the chapters of my youth.

However, this morning I did encounter a nice counter point to this reluctant dredging up of the past.   Reading Laura Bruno’s blog, she has a post entitled “More Signs of the Lotus”  [www.laurabruno.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/more-signs-of-the-lotus].    In it she briefly recounts a dream:  “in which people kept mentioning and pointing to the calendar date 6/14/14.  At the end of the dream, someone handed me a lotus, in bloom, but still dripping with mud.”

Her blog brought to mind a lotus dream of my own from my days as a wilderness guide in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area ~ a dream from 31 years ago.

The dream occurred at the end of a night paddle that I had led – an excursion that lasted the entire moonless night that included a grandiose display of the northern lights, the calls of loons reverberating around small bays, the making of hot cocoa on a gas stove on the floor of a canoe to take the edge off the chill of the night, and the howls of animals engaged in mortal combat emanating from shadowy islands.

I had successfully navigated by the stars and led the group through a chain of lakes without having to land, but just before dawn we encountered a lengthy portage.  Carrying all of our gear across the portage to the next lake in the dark seemed hazardous, (but of course canoeing through unfamiliar lakes in the dark didn’t seem hazardous at all!) And so we stopped to wait for the sunrise, and all drifted off to sleep in our drifting canoes.  Here is the dream that I had in my gently rocking canoe:

Surrounded by the dark, I am held in the palms of two immense hands, that are gently rocking me to sleep. I have never felt so secure.  After long moments, I slip through the gap between the two little fingers of the cupped hands.  I fall through empty dark space.  Beneath me, a lotus begins to blossom. I fall into the lotus, pause just for a moment, then continue falling.  A second lotus opens beneath me. I fall through that one.  A third lotus opens beneath me.  I fall into and through that one as well.   Then I stop falling and am simply suspended in the dark, and begin slowly turning circles.  Myriads of voices emanate from the dark, from all sides of me, calling my name over and over again.  I am immersed in a collage of the sound of my own name. 

When I awaken I am surrounded by mists swirling over the water and through the trees. Through the mist, over the tree tops, is the planet Venus, still visible in the light of the dawn.

 

Doing a search just now, I found this website:  www.blog.gaiam.com/quotes/topics/lotus  …that has the following quotes about the lotus.   I could spell out the conclusions that I draw from these quotes as they relate to Laura’s dream and to my dream, and to the muddy past from which I emerged, but better to let what readers find this to draw their own…

 

“A pristine waterlily undiscouraged by its surroundings, rises from the depths of a murky pond. It’s lotus petals perfume the air, as it flowers and blooms brilliantly, purely, divinely, despite and probably because of its origins. Becoming a spiritual person does not mean you to leave your prior life behind, but instead you integrate, learn, remember, and respect what brought you to this point in the first place.”

Jacquelene Close Moore

 

“Like the lotus, you experience three primary stages of evolution. The first is marked by ignorance and darkness, when you lie below the dense mud – a closed chrysalis – which, by nature of existence, will eventually be pulled upwards by the warmth of the Sun. The second is exemplified by the climb through the clouded waters of your emotional experience, yet still the flower reaches to the Sun, knowing no other destiny … no other purpose. The third brings full illumination in the splendour of the light. The Lotus flower blossoms, baring its exquisite beauty to all those who are aware, enough to recognise God unfolding.”

Patricia Cori
Source: The Cosmos of Soul: A Wakeup Call for Humanity

 

“The one who wanders independent in the world, free from opinions and viewpoints, does not grasp them and enter into disputations and arguments. As the lotus rises on its stalk unsoiled by the mud and the water, so the wise one speaks of peace and is unstained by the opinions of the world.”

the Buddha
Source: The Sutta Nipata

 

“The Self is hidden in the lotus of the heart.
Those who see themselves in all the creatures go
day by day into the world of Brahman hidden
in the heart. Established in peace, they rise
above body consciousness to the supreme
light of the Self. Immortal, free from fear, this
Self is Brahman, called the True. Beyond the
mortal and the immortal, he binds both worlds
together. Those who know this live day after
day in heaven in this very life.”

Chandogya Upanishad

lotus,

 

23 thoughts on “Beer, Mud, and the Lotus Blossom

  1. Ah, the synchronicity unveils itself again! I love when I can see this and appreciate what I am seeing. As to the high school reunion, I went to my 40th this past fall, much against my gut feelings of “why dredge up this past life??” I was pleasantly surprised by my own memories and those I had not seen or thought of in years. It was not something I will do again, but I’m glad I did open myself to the experience.

    One particular pond that I kayak often in summer months is a garden of lotus/water lilies. They calm me and remind me of the passages you quoted above.

    Thank you, this was really well done.

  2. This is a beautiful reflection; I found it very poignant and moving. Remember, though, it takes courage, resilience and strength to rise up from those murky waters and to keep rising and to constantly aspire to reach the Sun; sadly, there are many who may not meet the challenge of that upward striving, and instead do get pulled down by the mud. But to understand life in terms of metaphors like this is very powerful; and often our dreams do help us on this journey.

    • Thanks for the very reflective comment, Sheila! Your words are so apt, “aspire to reach the sun”, it fits so well with my metaphor of the journey to the zenith of the solstice. Both in terms of the time of year, still beneath the zenith, and in terms of my internal journey, I am in the position of needing to summon more courage to meet the challenge of pulling myself ever more out of the mud. It’s a life-long process, of course, but I know where I am. Thanks for the encouraging words!

  3. Oh I know that sign. You’re from here, too? Interesting! 🙂 It’s just a city neighborhood or two away from mine. 🙂

  4. One of the most interesting psychology courses I’ve done, was about Dreams and Dreaming. The final assignment was to keep a diary of my dreams and to analyze them by applying the theories of three different psychologists. When you become tuned into your dream life, it is amazing how many you recall and also the level of detail.

    • So true. I have at times kept dream journals, it was endlessly fascinating. At one time, I was waking so many times each night to record my dreams that, in my fatigue from waking so often, I would begin dreaming that I was writing down the dream that I had just woken from. And then would waken from the dream of writing down the dream. I think my mind was becoming a little frustrated with all the interruptions!

  5. I was just doing some more writing and went back over a painting I did of a shamanic journey through a lotus flower, which is cupped by two hands, demonstrating the micro to the macro of the universal and shamanic experience, of becoming small enough to dive into a flower, and to come out the other side and find the stars, yet to come out of that dimension through the pores of ones own skin. That the cells in the body were like planets in the universe. The large hands, two hold the space for such a journey, as it is with my friend Djwal Khul. This was from a painting I did about 14 years ago, and the words to the piece I was looking for again only to find you have included them here. Let me know if you want to see the painting, I won’t spam it here, 🙂

    • Jacquelene, thank you so much for your comment and for providing the background to your quote that I had used. I love your words and am so glad that you found them here. My dream and your journey have remarkable similarities. So, yes, of course, I’d love to see the painting, as would others I’m sure. You could email it to me and I could post or if there is some other way to append it, please let me know. Blessings!

      • Will do, just got reminds to check back here now. Xx

  6. Reblogged this on Ethereal Nature and commented:

    I’m reblogging this so that I can attach a link to Jacqueline Close, whom I quoted in the post and who has an image of a lotus blossom that accompanies her words. Here is the link to her site: http://www.jacquelene.com.au/lotus.html For all of you lotus-people out there, it is worth checking out! Here are her words providing the back story of her painting – her experience was so similar to the dream that I recounted: “I was just doing some more writing and went back over a painting I did of a shamanic journey through a lotus flower, which is cupped by two hands, demonstrating the micro to the macro of the universal and shamanic experience, of becoming small enough to dive into a flower, and to come out the other side and find the stars, yet to come out of that dimension through the pores of ones own skin. That the cells in the body were like planets in the universe. The large hands, two hold the space for such a journey, as it is with my friend Djwal Khul. This was from a painting I did about 14 years ago, and the words to the piece I was looking for again only to find you have included them here.”

  7. So beautiful. You’ve inspired me to start keeping a dream diary. I used to record them all the time years ago and found that eventually I could lucid dream. I don’t know why I stopped but regret it.

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