Initially I was thinking the stalk is too long and is bothering me because it caused some limitation to my photo documentation. So I decided to cut it shorter.
Being a city kid (still), I realized the wonderful works of nature. 7 circles surrounded a center circle in the middle. I immediately recalled about the eightfold path in buddhism.
The Noble Eightfold Path describes the way to the end of suffering, as it was laid out by Siddhartha Gautama. It is a practical guideline to ethical and mental development with the goal of freeing the individual from attachments and delusions; and it finally leads to understanding the truth about all things. Together with the Four Noble Truths it constitutes the gist of Buddhism. Great emphasis is put on the practical aspect, because it is only through practice that one can attain a higher level of existence and finally reach Nirvana. The eight aspects of the path are not to be understood as a sequence of single steps, instead they are highly interdependent principles that have to be seen in relationship with each other.
1. Right View
2. Right Intention
3. Right Speech
4. Right Action
5. Right Livelihood
6. Right Effort
7. Right Mindfulness
8. Right Concentration
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And did some experiments with the stalk and chinese ink.
Here is my diary record of the first day in contact with the lotus.
What stood in front of me is the lotus in off white and tints of light green that reflect under the light. I am aware of the sense of joy and achievement in perceiving the full bloom lotus. And accepting that all things are impermanence, this type of joy is transformed into motivation. A motivation to embrace nature, to embrace transformation as part of life. The coming rebirth of the last flower may be seen as enlightenment, but personally, it is a step forward towards imagination.
I experimented with cutting the stalk and fiddled with it. The freshness of the process of rebirth, the scent resemble a freshly cut cucumber, or a sweet apple. Surprisingly, the flower gives no scent. Maybe at this moment before enlightenment, the flower makes one aware of our own senses and perception. Expect the unexpected. Accept the law of impermanence. The cross section from a portion of the stalk reveals what might seemingly be the one-pointed joy in Buddhism. Like the surprised smell it brings, the cross section consists of 7 holes arranged into a circular shape. I recall my biology lessons; they are the xylem and the phloem. In actual fact, rebirth is only made possible by them, which I see them as the core of the lotus flower. This shape that forms a cycle again reminded us about the cycle of life and death. What we always perceive to be the center of attraction for enlightenment is strip down to its basic form of circles.