I s’pose the theme, title, and avatar are things you’re meant to work out before you start a new blog.
Well, that’s the ideal.
But life is rarely that, is it.
This blog started with a post on Transforming adverse conditions into the Spiritual Path (or just a bad day to a better one)
late last November, and has continued on more or less the same theme. Folk seem happy with that, and I think it’s a useful trick to know.
But I’ve got that bloke-ish tendency to make something; then read the assembly instructions to find out why it isn’t working.
Hence the name changes. It’s like the site has a personality disorder or something; her distinctive character being malleable and vulnerable (as we all are) to change, developing as a reaction to her experiences of the world around her. So it’s taken a bit of time for a proper name to evolve, as honestly and meaningfully as it can.
“Shariputra, know that all phenomena are mere name.”
By this, Buddha was telling his disciple that a name is much more than a label; it’s how we create and define our world.
‘The Muddy Lotus’ symbolizes how we can grow through adverse conditions to become beautiful, strong beings. Just like the Buddhist symbol of a lotus:
Lotuses grow in mud ~ just as we start off buried in the mud of our worldly concerns. But we can use Buddha’s advice to grow through the mire of ordinary life, and emerge sparkly clean and pure in the sunlight. Even the lotus’s leaves are self-cleaning ~ the rain naturally washes the dirt away! And so Dharma revitalizes all areas of our life. The stalk of the lotus is strong, just as we are strengthened by the Dharma.’
(from the About page)
And ‘Muddy Lotus’ was an oxymoron! A name to make people think. I love the lotus symbolism, but I always felt vaguely embarrassed telling other Buddhists the name of my blog, I don’t think that many got it. And we’re getting more popular now, so it had to change.
I like that Geshe Kelsang always gives the newly ordained names to aspire to. They’re normally far from the present character of the novice. Really, ask what a newbie’s name means, and they’ll often give a little smile and a shrug as they say it.
But over the years as monks and nuns grow into their names, Geshe la’s wisdom becomes clear. Even after a couple of years, it can often be seen that someone given a name by Geshe la is growing into it. It’s a pleasant surprise when we can see that that’s happened.
☆*⋆ So it’s like we’re stood in the mud reaching for the stars on this blog – via the mind-set that it’s really just a little stretch – standing on tippy-toes.
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