In Buddhism, the term Renge, literally means "Lotus Flower, " hence the title Lotus Sutra. The lotus is deeply significant in the traditions of Buddhism. In nature, the lotus plant flowers and fruits at the same time, thus symbolizing the simultaneity of cause and effect. We know from the study of the scientific method that cause and effect underlie all phenomena. Everything has its causes and its effects. In Buddhism, this cause and effect has a deeper resonance as applied to human life. We create causes through thoughts, words and actions. With each cause made, an effect is registered simultaneously in the depths of life and those effects manifested when we meet the right environmental circumstances. The Lotus flower is also symbolically prized in Buddhism because it blooms in a muddy swamp, thereby signifying the emergence of our Buddha nature from the "swamp" of everyday desires and problems. In a similar vein, society is also likened to a muddy swamp in which Buddhas appear. This, no matter how difficult our lives, how trying our circumstances, the flower of Buddhahood can always bloom.
(The Buddha in your Mirror, sgi-uk.org )
A good and talented friend of mines Artman2112- used my likeness as a illustration of this. He said he got the idea from a photo of mines. He said "it looked like my face was emerging from darkness - the swirling purple stuff (my fave color!) is sort of "life's confusion" and the lotus' and you are emerging from it together. I thought about the lotus flower, the practice and how the lotus symbolizes that same thing, rebirth, reawakening, etc. It seemed more and more fitting to me as I learned more about you, your struggles/triumphs last year and from the past. And the picture came to represent "you" more as time went on."