That quote came over my Facebook Timeline recently attributed to the often quoted and well-respected spiritual teacher Thich Nhat Hanh (the Vietnamese Zen Buddhist Monk).
That’s put so simply that it startles one—or it did me. I collect images of the lotus flower and really love that symbol related to spirituality. Then I had to break out laughing thinking how my downstairs neighbors from India are like my mud and tonight when their voices trailed up alongside me at my computer desk… the quick, choppy straining human voice sounds began to distract while I was writing. No mud, no lotus I thought. Likely, I’m their mud too in reverse. We hear each other mostly because they do not put on their air conditioning to muffle the sound and have no furniture to absorb sound and the floor has no sound proofing!
I had a message for a client this evening and there was a reference to using others in relationships in order to process mental energy. Suddenly, I wondered if this is like the two Indians beneath me—maybe they have to ‘talk it out’ all the time in order to process busy intellects. Sounds like venting; releasing — lovely.
It’s neither their fault nor my own that there is no insulation and that we are living in essentially a mocked up tent and that they love the heat (apparently) and don’t run air conditioning. The maintenance guys tell me that Indian apartments are stifling. I sometimes resent that I run my unit to keep their noise down and they don’t and their heat rises to my upstairs apartment—no mud, no lotus.
I’ve essentially been dealing with the neighbor issues much better—although no one would know it but me; it’s all an inside thing. Tonight was a mild setback—their incessant talking got to me. But Nhat Hanh says that dirty dishes, red lights, and traffic jams are spiritual friends on the path to “mindfulness”—the process of keeping our consciousness alive to our present experience and reality. Same for the boisterous and talkative downstairs Indian couple—when they go at it, it brings me to the present reality too.
Should be this way since I have Saturn transiting my 3rd house in Scorpio now; well, maybe not ‘should be’ but the location of the planet of lessons in the house that represents neighbors does explain a few things.
I’m going to turn to Nhat Hanh for more spiritual teachings because I do like that one–its simple, direct and profound:
No mud. No Lotus.
No challenges. No spiritual evolution.
Okay, I still wish they would go away… meanwhile, mindfulness of the present reality is what it is.
Difficulties and Tensions Happen to Spiritual People and the Truth about the Number 11! Spiritual Flaccidity and May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor
Maybe it’s the Aquarius or Uranus part of me, but I’ve always gone the opposite way of the crowd. And in this instance I’m talking about the crowd that thinks or believes that if you have a difficulty in life or tension in any way that you’re doing something spiritually wrong! Natural Law, you know? Nature as an example: the flower, in order to grow, requires the resistance of the earth to push against in order to find the light, the Sun. Of course, how often do we hear of the other example of the lotus pushing up from the mud to symbolize our life on earth—without the mud the lotus couldn’t grow!
Tension! There’s been a lot of that this year so far but this is (for me) and 11 year after all – numerology. Anyway, the soul needs the tension, the strain, the stress, the pull within caused by life on Earth for growth and development just as flowers need rocks in their soil against which to push in order to reach the sun. If we avoid tension at all costs—the way that the spiritually elite white-lighter population does—we become flaccid of spirit! And live in yet another delusional state!
We seem to learn and to grow though tension: maybe that’s what an 11 personal year is all about. Does the tension and stress of earth living keep the spirit from going flaccid or getting fat and flabby? Don’t we have to keep in shape (even spiritually)? And so don’t we need challenges or some sort of oppositional energy (Ha! Thinking in astrological language now) in order to draw us out of our otherwise sleepy white-light delusional haze? I’m just asking, contemplating—that’s an 11 year thing. The word “tension”, interestingly enough, is used in describing the vibration of the number 11; Google it, you’ll see. Other “T” words associated with the 11 vibration are these: trials and tests. Surprised? If so then you might be a white-lighter in need of some 11 “T” vibe reality.
I mentioned at the start of this post the Uranus/Aquarius aspect of psyche and guess what the number 11 is associated with in astrological terms? Yeah, Uranus/Aquarius is the answer. And in soul astrology when we look in a chart to find where the soul has experienced trauma or wounding, we usually have our eye scanning for the location of Uranus and what where Aquarius is located. Anyway…
Any trauma or crisis creates divine possibility and probability for spiritual growth—right? We can’t have a flaccid soul or spirit now, can we?
Like I was saying, we need that tension in order to grow—or so the theory goes. Tension is the key to growth; we learn through tension and we exist through tension here on Earth. Tension creates that oppositional energy that pulls our lotus-flower-self right up out of the mud! Light does that, sun does that and who says that the light or the sun (the 11 energy) doesn’t come right along with exactly what we need to grow, including crisis and all those T words mentioned earlier? I’m just sayen’—just contemplating the idea of the necessity of opposition, of the right amount of necessary tension to shape our souls, our hearts, our minds, and our spiritual journey here.
Take the Yin-Yang; within the light there is darkness and vice versa. And as the white-light crowd goes one way seeking spiritual flaccidity and I go the other contemplating the necessity for oppositional tension, life goes on as it will despite our theories. Are our experiences in life on Earth all about haphazard odds? Or is there a divine force of intelligence guiding those odds? As they say in the book and movie The Hunger Games, “May the odds be ever in your favor!”
Meanwhile, if any of those T words are part of your experience (tensions, trials, tests, and trauma), don’t immediately jump to the conclusions that those white-lighter’s push about creating your reality and positive thinking and all the rest of that. You don’t need a crash course in the Law of Attraction (gimmie’ a break!) and you don’t need to escape into the white-lighter nihilistic delusion either. Simply realize the true 11:11 vibrational message: there needs to be balance, yin/yang and avoid the flaccid spiritual extremes.
White and black are the colors of the numbers of 11 which is reminiscent of the yin/yang symbol—two sets of opposites, the world of duality—light in the darkness and darkness in the light.
The number 11 represents challenges; do people know this?
Here’s something I found online [http://www.professionalnumerology.com/chaldeansystem.html] about the number 11: This is an ominous number to occultists. It gives warning of hidden dangers, trial, and treachery from others. It has a symbol of a “Clenched Hand”, and “a Lion Muzzled”, and of a person who will have great difficulties to contend against. [Based on Chaldean numerology]
My greater point is that great difficulties happen even though we wish that “the odds be ever in your [our own] favor” … despite that, sometimes struggle, strain and striving happens and like the flower pushing against the rock and soil or mud, that’s how we grow. Don’t let those white-lighters make you feel bad – it doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong! It’s only life on earth; it’s soul growth and maybe it’s the odds! 😉
I just remembered a few things. First, I’ve not been blogging regularly and with this recollection, I (once again) vow to be more consistent. Secondly, what ever happened to the 37 Verses of the Bodhisattva that I said that I was going to start doing? Opps, see all of the above; it’s an 11 year! However, with the above in mind, I did draw a verse number out of the basket here to add to rectify my delinquency. I drew vow #23 which has to do with attachment and impermanence. It talks about not holding on to anything — yin or yang, light or dark and those rainbows in life and not being attached to anything. What do you think about how this verse applies to what I’ve written in this post? Here it is:
When you encounter attractive objects,
Though they seem beautiful
Like a rainbow in summer, do not regard them as real,