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No Mud, No Lotus

Lately, it feels like we have been traipsing for miles through the mud with our boots growing heavy and the muddle of the world weighing down our ankles. This has been a time of real mud-slinging —there is the mud of politics, the mud of war, the mud of AI generated deepfakes, and the mire of conspiracy theories.

Personally, you may experience marital mud, the mudded mind of a loved one with dementia, the caked mud of aging arthritic joints, or the dregs of some trauma. None of us likes being mud bound. It can gunk up our insides and weigh down our spirits. However, no one gets through life without doing some version of the mud-asana. What we tend to forget is how the mud of today is nutritive for change and growth tomorrow. In order to transform, decay and decomposition is valuable, yea necessary, for new growth. In the wisdom teaching this is known as “no mud, no lotus”. Know that all muck settles with time and becomes fertile ground for the germination of new seeds. If you are not careful, you may get sucked into some vortex of Big Mud thinking, “Oh, this is terrible, oh, we are in real doomsday.” Change and growth involve a strange alchemy whereby awakening depends on suffering, just as blossoming depends on mire.

So the next time you find yourself unable to move, congealed by the woes of loss, hardship, pain and misfortune, remember that it is only a matter of time. Let your mud settle, for buried there is the promise of a new life.

Alchemy + Aim