If you’ve been wondering about the lotus flower and what it symbolizes, you’re not alone. This perennial, aquatic plant has been showing up in backyard ponds and as tattoos for many years, and it is only growing in popularity.
What’s the big deal with the lotus flower, anyway?
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What Is a Lotus Flower?
Lotus plants have wide-ranging native territory that ranges from India to Indochina and even into Australia.
Lotus roots grow from the bottom soil in ponds and rivers, with the stems extending up to 7 feet long and the leaves and flowers floating on the top of the water’s surface.
Some lotus flowers are simple, with few petals, and others, like those in China, have between 3,000 and 4,000 petals in a single blossom.
This exotic plant is well known for its hardy nature, growing from mud and muck. It can regulate its own temperature, adjusting to the needs of the flowers and adapting to its environment.
It is also edible, and up to 70% of lotus produced for human consumption comes from China, where it grows with rice and vegetables. It can also grow in ponds alongside fish and other aquatic life.
The plant’s root, which is sliced open lengthwise, can be added to soups and stews or stir-fried.
What Does a Lotus Flower Symbolize?
Because the lotus flower rises from mud and muck, truly requiring nutrient rich, loamy soil that may look like simple mud to the naked eye, it is a symbol of overcoming, of enlightenment, and of awakening.
The Hindu tradition believes there is a lotus flower in every Hindu’s heart, ready to grow and blossom after descending to the depths of hardship.
The Buddha is also often portrayed seated on an open lotus flower, fully enlightened. In Buddhism, the lotus is seen as the highest spiritual attainment, full awakening.
In Buddhism, the flower is depicted with eight petals, which symbolize the traditional eightfold path of its spiritual followers.
From mud to full blossoming, the lotus flower symbolizes the growth for the Buddhist through right understanding, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and finally right concentration.
Many Asian traditions, irrespective of religion, also see the lotus flower as a symbol of karma. The blooming lotus flower carries its seeds inside itself while it blooms, a constant reminder for us that we can both grow and stay unchanged as a person all while sharing good karma.
The lotus flower is most closely aligned with the seventh chakra, the crown chakra, or the seat of wisdom, intuition, and our connection to the divine.
How Can I Incorporate the Lotus Flower in My Daily Life?
You can incorporate the lotus flower into your daily life in many ways.
Of course, if you have a backyard pond, you can plant lotus flowers in your yard as long as you have a minimum of 12 inches of water.
You can also invest in lotus flower art and other symbols to place throughout your house, and you can place artificial lotus flowers around the outside of your house to encourage growth and enlightenment.
If you have regular location where you meditate or an altar in your home, you can place a lotus flower there, as well, to remind you of your connection to your higher power, your higher self, and your dedication to overcome and reach a higher level of spiritual enlightenment.
It certainly cannot hurt to bring the lotus flower into your constant awareness!
Do you have a lotus flower in your house or yard? How do you work with the lotus flower and its symbolism? Let me know in the comments below.