I recently treated myself to a weekend yoga and meditation
retreat near Fort Collins at the Shambhala Mountain Center. I went because I did not take any time off
for the holidays from work and was feeling like I needed to surround myself
with some other spiritually inclined “seekers” and gather some higher energy
for myself. I also just watched one of
my best friends slowly die this last month and said goodbye to him for the last
time before I left for my retreat. Even
though I had already booked my retreat before I knew how sick my friend was, it
was perfect timing to have some space to myself alone to sort through my
feelings about losing him. I also had an
intuitive feeling that there was some kind of message for me up on that
mountain in Red Feather Lake, CO. That
proved to be exactly the case on the Saturday during my retreat. I received an answer to a burning existential
crisis that has been haunting me my whole life.
One that is so powerful it should be shouted from the rooftops of all
buildings and plastered over every bullshit advertisement, on every billboard
in the world; which is why I want to share it with you my dear fellow seekers
As I embarked on the 15 minute hike up to the great stupa of
Dharmakaya located on the property of Shambhala Mountain Center, I thought
about how fortunate I am to live so close to such an enchanting place of
wonder. The walk alone is gorgeously
inspiring and instead of going with the group tour I went early to sit by
myself in the stupa. I sat on a cushion
in front of a giant Buddha and meditated for about half an hour
before the tour group arrived with one of the meditation teachers.
Once everyone arrived, the teacher asked if
anyone had any questions about the inside of the stupa. A young woman gently commented on the fact
that the lotus flower is often used in Buddhist artwork and culture and
inquired about its symbolism and meaning.
I am so glad I was there to hear the teacher’s reply.
The teacher humbly answered that the lotus is a symbol of
rising up, existing peacefully and thriving out of the dark muddy water. Indeed when I looked up information on this
unique flower it turns out it is the only water flower capable of this.
“The roots of a lotus
flower extend into the mud and the stem grows up through the water and the
flower blossoms above the surface. In Buddhist thought, this pattern of growth
signifies the progress of the soul from the primeval mud of materialism,
through the waters of experience, and into the bright sunshine of
enlightenment. Though there are other water plants that bloom above the water,
it is only the lotus which, owing to the strength of its stem, regularly rises
eight to twelve inches above the surface.”
Excerpt taken from:
My ears perked up as I realized his simple reply was the key
to something very serious I had been thinking about for years and probably “the
message” I intuitively knew was there for me. I made a mental note to find the
teacher during meal time to delve deeper into this inquiry, outside of a group
setting. That night at dinner I got my
opportunity as I noticed the hungry crowd dwindling down and the teacher
sitting there finishing up his tea. I
had thought all afternoon about what I wanted to know and ask him and I knew he
probably didn’t have that much time, so I approached him very concisely. I came up to him and without even telling
him my name I said, “I heard your answer about the lotus in the stupa, and I’ve
been having a serious problem lately with the muck around the lotus. Do you think there is more muck in the world
now to deal with or that we are just more ill-equipped on how to deal with and
learn from it?” He subtly blew my mind,
by satiating my well stated, deep question with a purely transcendent answer. He said he doesn’t buy into all the doom and
gloom prophecies about the world although it has been speculated that we are in
one of the most difficult time periods for humans and the planet, that the real
point and answer to my question was that no matter what time period, 99.9% of being is internal.
OH SNAP, WHAM BAM THANK YOU MAN!
There you have it. I have been studying the science of the mind
and manifestation with how energy truly works in this world for many years but
never did I understand this concept so clearly as when he dropped that wisdom on
me. I don’t care how screwed up and sad
the world seems anymore and I am not going to waste my energy and time focusing
all my energy on that. If 99.9% of our
being is internal than all I ever need is to seek solutions to external
problems by going internal. All I need
is to use my time on this planet to cultivate a healthy body, a peaceful mind,
a wise soul and use my career to help as many other souls do the same as I
can. I am going to be the lotus. Existential crisis averted.
We spend many years learning how to exist and take care of
ours physical selves and needs, as we should.
However after the primitive basics of living are covered like food,
shelter, safety, most people never look beyond the curtain of the material
tangible world for much else. The lesson
of the lotus is the umbrella over books like “The Secret” and many other
spiritual teachers’ publications of the fact that the world is awakening and
changing its whole paradigm.
slowly transitioning from a world where we believe in scarcity and having to
fight for limited resources in the material world to a consciousness shift that
everything we want to manifest or heal comes from our own internal state. Quantum Physics, has validated through
science, much of the knowledge that spiritual text have declared for centuries;
that we as humans are not of solid form but are vibrating energy and that
whatever frequency our energy is on is also what it will attract.
When I said to the meditation teacher I was having trouble
with “the muck” around the lotus. I was referring to the fact that if you are a
seeker like me, that has been trying to be the lotus rising and help heal, in a
world that is one big shitstorm, it can be pretty overwhelming and discouraging
at times. In fact the whole effort and
experience of human existence can seem downright futile.
But if 99.9% of being is internal, then what I see in the
external world and chose to focus on is only a reflection of the shitstorm
inside of me and that is also the only path in which I can heal anything from-
internally from the inside out.
understand that a world that has solely focused on the external and material
for so long would not only dismiss but be highly threatened by such a concept
of having to look at and clean up your own internal state in order for the
external to heal. We have all been
approaching everything ass-backwards, working our fingers to the bone and
scratching our heads of what we can do to heal this seemingly broken world, the
solution in this Age of Aquarius is and always will be to use the lotus as our
teacher. We are in a time period where
no one can seem to get together on anything not even a simple you tube video
without conflict. There are so many
problems it seems we have all just thrown our hands up and become apathetic and
depressed. But the answer to all of it
if you want to help, if you want to know what this world needs the most, it
needs you to go inward. All you can do
to help the world is to help yourself.
This doesn’t mean being selfishly
inclined to only care about the shallow gathering of gluttonous material possessions
and experiences. It means that if you look at and heal your internal state everything
externally around you will follow. You
will be one little piece of a microcosm contributing positively to the bigger macrocosm and
therefore be helping the whole world rise.
Explore and heal your internal state and then you will be able to heal
and manifest a world around you and for future generations that is a beautiful,
harmoniously functioning reflection of one’s own beautiful, harmoniously
functioning body, mind and soul. Sound
like hooey to you? Just read about
quantum physics, because there is a whole branch of new science that can back
this up. It is us that have not awakened
and accepted this reality yet.
So be brave, choose to explore this new paradigm shift and
rise up and thrive like the beautiful lotus you were meant to be no matter what kind of muck is all around you. You will be working smarter not harder at everything to eliminate suffering and confusion within yourself and others. The treasures it will bring you are unparalleled
and you will be an example to the rest of the world as well as being an
antenna, raising the vibration for all others, making it easier for them to
SO GO INTERNAL AND THEN RISE UP BUTTERCUP, IT WILL ALL BE OK!