May 25, 2010

Surviving Lotus Flowers

By Seleus Blelis aka Loflo

There are no coincidences in our practice. Everything is connected, happens for a reason and leads to places that you've never been before or right back to where you were meant to be. For a few years now, I was given the nickname Loflo (short for Lotus Flower). It is funny and sweet to be called that but I was never really comfortable with it. I am only one flower in a vast pond of possibilities. Everyone is a Lotus Flower. When it came to naming this blog, Lotus Flower was of course the obviously choice because if its significance in our practice. 

While searching for Lotus images for this blog, I stumbled across a site called After Silence- an organization, whose mission is to support, empower, validate, and educate survivors of rape, sexual abuse and all types of sexual violence by providing a safe, extensive, reliable and easy-to-read website where victims can find the answers and support they need to heal and reclaim their lives. 

Now why did this site turn up in my search you may ask? Well, their site's banners, logos, and symbol is of a Lotus Flower. And it also turned up because I am also a survivor of abuse.

After Silence, a message board and chat room for rape, sexual assault, and sexual abuse survivors.

From their website:  Why the Lotus Flower?

"Lotus flowers have strong symbolic ties to survivors.  The lotus flower grows out of mud. Yet, it rises above the surface clean, blooms with remarkable beauty, and its beauty remains untouched by the mud. The flower closes and sinks underwater at night, but it rises and opens again at dawn. Lotus flowers have strong symbolic ties to survivors. They start as small flowers down at the very bottom of a pond and then slowly grow and rise towards the surface, continually moving towards the light. Once the lotus flower has reached the surface of the water, it begins to blossom and turns into a magnificent flower.

The lotus flower is a symbol for courage, purity, and awakening, and it mirrors survivors' journey toward healing and recovery. Like the lotus flower, survivors have been at the bottom of the pond but can rise above it to show their worth, courage, and untouched beauty."

I can't think of a better symbol to use but The Lotus Flower to convey what surviving is all about. I always knew what the Lotus Flower meant but it was only until a couple of months ago when I started on my journey toward healing and recovery, that I fully understood my connection to it. And why I'm called Loflo for a reason. But there are millions of Loflos out there, men and women who are currently suffering from whatever it is- abuse, job and/or relationship loss, low-self-esteem, depression, sickness, etc.

For me it is comforting to know that we all can rise above the water despite the obstacles. Its important to remember that while we are under that muddy water, we are all still beautiful. We can achieve and bring forth our Buddha nature even when the waters seems dark. We can achieve this by chanting sincere Daimoku, having faith and making the right causes, through our thoughts words and actions. So when the time is right, a beautiful flower springs up and shines. Because no matter how hard things are, we Loflos can always bloom. As for me, its lead me to create this site for everyone but also having the courage to heal.


"A lotus is a flower that blooms in the mud, the deeper the mud the more beautiful the lotus blooms."

Please visit their site. Its very important to reach survivors and promote awareness on rape, sexual abuse, and sexual assault. Thank you


1 comment:

Priya Shankar said...

Hi!I just stumbled on your blog and wanted to comment :). Thanks for sharing your experiences and understanding of Buddhism. I am actually a follower of Hinduism, and I find a lot similar betwee the two religions. And I think people can learn things from any religion so look forward to hearing more of your thoughts. -Priya :)