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Lotus Lily

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In the last newsletter I sent news from India, where I had just developed a new flower essence, the first new essence for as many years as I can remember. Soon after my home return, I started imbibing (what better word for this experience) the Lotus lily. After a month of researching first hand, I want to share with you and my experience and what I have learned. To read my account of preparing the essence follow the link

The lotus flower is sacred in Egypt, India, Tibet and China and earliest fossil records support the view that the sacred Nelumbo is indigenous to India. It is a symbol of divine beauty, purity, fertility and enlightenment. It has its roots in the mud and grows upward in the direction of light, which represents the aspiration to rise above and move towards the light and represents the journey from darkness to the light of knowledge or wisdom. Symbolising the progress of the soul from the primeval mud of materialism through the waters of experience and into the bright sunshine of enlightenment, in those cultures and philosophies it represents the spiritually enlightened person who bears or conducts him/herself without any material or emotional desires. This quality of detachment enables one to remain unaffected by worldly pleasures and gain and achieve spiritual perfection.

The location for solarising was at the Bodhi tree (in Bodhgaya, India) where the historical Buddha realised enlightenment. As well as the flowers I placed three leaves from the Bodhi tree around the inside edge of the bowl. They had virtually fallen into my lap as I sat under the tree and it was a spontaneous thought to include them. I saw them as falling blessings.

One morning, on taking the essence and meditating, I was impressed with this: “aspiration – to move beyond knowing into direct experience of truth/reality”. There was more, but this is the essence of it. The keynote of Lotus lily is aspiration – the aspiration of realising enlightenment, in Buddhist terms, bodhicitta. (The unique setting for preparing the essence and the symbolic and historical meanings associated with the lotus necessitates explaining some rudimentary Buddhist terms and concepts. Please see Comment 1 below)

This is achieved through right aspiration or motivation. “To move beyond knowing into direct experience of reality” I interpret this as meaning to transform theoretical knowledge into direct experience, i.e. engaging in or with (something).

Lotus lily essence helps to transform desire into aspiration through an awakening of the “heart-mind”. The essence helps me to clear my mind. I feel more ‘engaged’ or consumed in my meditation practice. It is difficult to put this feeling into words, but somehow there is greater constancy, dedication and love for and of my practice. I feel more motivated and energetic generally.

On the other hand, this essence symbolises fieriness. The element of fire is passionate and transformative. It can also easily get out of control. I would use this essence therefore for fiery symptoms: impulsiveness, over-arousal, fanaticism, restlessness and agitation.

Consider using this essence also for wrong motivation, such as a desire to do something that is wrong or unwise, or being tempted or diverted from our goal, spiritual practice or our chosen path. Buddha saw that disturbing emotions and attitudes such as longing desire or attachment, hostility or anger etc. interfere with our practice. (See Comment 2)

Research into traditional and herbal uses indicate the medicinal uses of this plant is sweet, cooling, astringent, diuretic, sedative and expectorant.

Nicholas Culpeper the English botanist, herbalist and physician prescribed the distilled water of flowers to cool inflammations, and to “settle the brain of frantic persons by cooling the hot distemperature of the head”.

In Ayurveda, a decoction of flowers is used for heart palpitations, giddiness, vomiting biliousness, and worm infestation (Home Remedies Vol 4, T.V. Sairam)

According to Sri Aurobindo/The mother, the message of this flower is wealth: emotional wealth, generous wealth, wealth in the mind of light, wealth in the most material vital, wealth under the psychic influence.

It is the only flower which fruits and flowers at the same time.

To summarise, Lotus Lily at the supreme level assists the spiritual self to conduct him/herself without attachment (material or emotional desires). This quality of detachment enables one to remain unaffected by worldly pleasures and gain, and achieve spiritual perfection – to let go the materialistic aspirations in life and rise to a selfless soul.

Om mani padme hum – hail the jewel in the lotus

Love and Light


* Comment 1

In Sanskrit, bodhi means “awakened” and citta means “mind”. Bodhicitta, means –“awakened heart-mind” and is the compassionate aspiration to realise enlightenment for all beings, not just oneself. The path to awakening opens when it becomes unselfish and compassionate. The realisation of bodhicitta means completely integrating this ideal in our mind and actions. A bodhisattva is a being (sattva) with the bodhicitta motivation (in other words, a saint). The Dalai Lama considered Mother Theresa and Jesus to be bodhisattvas, so bodhisattvas are not necessarily Buddhists.

There are two levels in the development of bodhicitta; aspirational – which is the aspiration to overcome our emotional afflictions and delusions and to realise our full potential in order to help other beings, and engaged bodhicitta – which is engaging in the practices and behaviours that bring about this goal. The difference between the two is similar to the difference between wanting to achieve something and actively engaging in achieving it. Aspiration arises from within us and requires action on our part.


* Comment 2

Just prior to Buddha’s enlightenment under the Bodhi tree, Mara, the tempter, attacked him. Buddhism utilises the concept of Mara to represent and personify negative qualities found in the human ego and psyche such as unskilful emotions, unwholesome impulses, cravings and seduction. The psychological forces of Mara are seen as distracting humans from practicing the spiritual life by making mundane things alluring, or the negative seem positive.


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