The lotus symbolizes the simultaneous nature of cause and effect or the laws of karma because it blossoms and produces seeds at the same time. We can create our own happiness under any circumstances. This is also symbolized by the lotus. The lotus grows and blossoms in a muddy swamp, yet remains utterly free of any defilement.
Monk 1: “The wind is moving.”
Monk 2: “The flag is moving.”
Sixth Patriarch: “Not the wind, not the flag; mind is moving.”
– Zen Koan
The Nature of Reality
Reality cannot be expressed by conceptual knowledge or by written and spoken language. A person who has never tasted a mango cannot know its taste, no matter what and how many words someone uses to describe the experience. We can only grasp reality through direct experience.
The nature of all things is unconditioned and can be called “suchness,” or “Tathata.” Suchness is the nature of all things. From suchness the lotus arises. You and I arise from suchness. We can call someone who arises from suchnessa a tathagata , or one who thus comes.
Teaching is from Old Path White Clouds by Thich Nhat Hanh, Photograph by my me.