Being that my yoga site is called “InnerLotus” – it is only natural that I would be extremely excited to take part in the Asian Art Museum’s effort to break the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest, human lotus flower! Yes! Hooray! I am there!
We gathered on Saturday, July 15, 2017 at San Francisco’s Civic Center to wear green and pink ponchos while a camera flew overhead to take a photo of our enormous, sweaty lotus flower.
Seriously, we were sweating in our pink ponchos – it was a rare, hot, summer day and those ponchos really keep in the heat. But I would not have missed it for the world because I truly love the symbolism of the Lotus Flower and it means so much to me.
The lotus flower has long been a symbol of enlightenment. Historical references of the lotus flower date back to early civilizations, including Egyptian history as a symbol of rebirth. However, it is most often associated with Eastern Hindu and Buddhist cultures where sages and saints were seen floating in meditation on top of lotus blossoms and it is often seen as a symbol of enlightenment.
The lotus flower is associated with enlightenment because it blossoms while growing in muddy, murky waters. In many ways it is an inspirational symbol that truth, and even beauty, can exist in what we might perceive to be imperfect and perhaps difficult circumstances. I like to think of it as a reminder that we can achieve enlightenment right where we are, as we are – and we do not need special circumstances to do so. We can find true and deep meaning in the muddy, murky water of our everyday life and everyday mind.
In fact, the symbol of the lotus may ask us to wonder, is it the muddy, murky aspect of existence that allow the lotus to blossom? Does the gorgeous flower of the lotus get its nutrients from that muddy soil? Are our challenges and difficulties here to teach us something important about ourselves and about life itself?
Given these difficult times we are in, it was such a joy to create this symbol with over 2,400 friends and neighbors. In my heart I am holding my personal hope and dream that as a society we can all blossom from the muck of existence and shine forth our love, our compassion for humanity and for our Earth to be honored and protected.
It is in difficult times that our practice is here to support us. Often we find that during hard times, our spirituality grows stronger and our need for each other brings us closer together. In this case, we can make one, big, beautiful sweaty lotus flower for the universe, the sun and stars to see.