This painting took a while to complete, interruptions kept coming and it would sit for a few days, even a few weeks, and I would return again, trying to find the flow. My original intention was to show the lotus blossom within the heart of the Buddha, interlinked with all of Nature.
I practice tai-chi and as the painting progressed, my understanding increases of the feel of the chi, playing within the dance, the energy links all within and without. The aura, the energy that surrounds us is the chi, learning that in its softness is its strength.
The Lotus Flower has its roots in the murky darkness at the bottom of the pond, representing material life, the flower sits atop the water bringing beauty to the world. The flower emerges clear and bright into the warmth and light of the sun, its petals opening and expressing the rays of the sun. The awakened mind grows towards the warmth and light of love and compassion, rising through samsara into the beauty and clarity of enlightenment.
“In esoteric Buddhism, the heart of the beings is like an unopened lotus: when the virtues of the Buddha develop therein, the lotus blossoms; that is why the Buddha sits on a lotus bloom.”
The Golden Lotus from the Buddhist sutras is a symbol of enlightenment, guiding us towards a real flowering beyond our normal perception.
In the scriptural language and sacred poetry of Hinduism and Buddhism, the lotus perfectly embodies the soul, rising up through the murkiness of worldly experience until it reaches the surface of the spiritual realm and blooms, vibrant and pure, free from all taint and attachment.
Rising from the mud, the physical world of body,
Striving through the murky waters of mind desire,
Penetrating through to the surface of ideas,
Embracing the light of the sun, illumination,
Blossoming into the Light of the Lover.
Ancient legends tell us that the Buddha was born able to walk and with each step the lotus flowers bloomed.
One lotus flower is like a complete world. The lotus leaf is like a great Buddha.
Lotus flowers grow in shallow water. Each stem of a lotus flower has 4 main parts: flower, leaf, root and seeds. Lotuses blossom in white, pink, red and sometimes yellow. Lotus leaves are big and round like elephant ears. Lotus roots grow in sections and they are as great as a fruit or vegetable. Lotus seeds grow in lotus cupules and are green. The lotus seeds must be peeled before eating. The heart in a lotus seed tastes bitter but is cool in nature. It has a calming nature and can be used for tea or herbal medicine.
Lotus flowers are beautiful, fragrant, and edible. The most precious characteristic of Lotus flowers is that they grow out of the mud yet remain pure and unpolluted by it. They are called the “true gentlemen of flowers.” It is why countless generations of Chinese poets and painters are attracted to lotus flowers. Poems about lotus flowers started to appear in China three or four thousand years ago. Legend has it that the Western Paradise of Ultimate Bliss is filled with lotus flowers whose majestic beauty cannot be described in words.