Your Children are not Your Children

by Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts, For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Grieving the loss of a child

The unimaginable, the most painful loss in One’s life.

Some words, some art, some activities, some humans, some animals, some forests, some oceans may at different times offer comfort, some may not and that is expected.

The journey with grief is lifelong.

The waves of pain come and go, with different intensity and different frequency over a lifetime.

Surviving then living then thriving then giving is a unique path.

The above poem by Kahlil Gibran has brought comfort to me over the years and still does today.

I hope it touches you too.

O

Pink Lotus

The most important lotus, the true lotus of Buddha, is depicted as pink in color.

Stemming from this title, the pink lotus represents the history and essence of Buddha.

My pond offers moments of pure delight..perfect for meditation, relaxation and presence.

Origins of the Lotus Symbolism

Lotus flowers were symbolically depicted as early as Ancient Egypt, where white and blue lotuses are more common. In Egypt, the flower was known as Seshen and was associated with Egyptian gods. Because of the way in which the lotus emerged from the water, followed the movement of the sun and then closed back up and returned into the water, only to repeat the process the next day, the lotus was associated with the sun god, Ra.

The Ancient Egyptians aksi believed that lotuses were symbolic of creation, rebirth, strength and power. Perhaps, for this reason, during childbirth Egyptian women tended to wear lotus amulets with a picture of Heqet, a goddess of fertility. The lotuses were present in art, hieroglyphics, and paintings to represent fertility, a new beginning, and purity.

Other historical references to the lotus can be found in Ancient Greece and in Indian religions. In Ancient Greece, the flower represented innocence, modesty, and purity.

References to lotuses in Hinduism can be traced back to at least 1400 BC through Vedic texts that depict Hindu gods holding or standing on lotuses. Early references can also be found in the Buddhist religion, and the Buddha is often depicted sitting on a lotus.

Symbolism of the Lotus

The meanings behind the flower relate to the symbolism of the lotus growing out of muddy waters. The flowers’ roots anchor it in the mud, but the flower rises above its murky environment, blossoming open one petal at a time. Based on these unique growing conditions, the lotus flower has come to have many symbolic meanings.

  • The lotus represents spiritual enlightenment. Regardless of its dirty environment and the muddy water it’s rooted in, the lotus rises above it all to bloom in beauty, facing the sun. This is symbolic of overcoming the material world and emerging from the muddy waters of suffering to reach spiritual enlightenment and wisdom.
  • The flower symbolizes detachment as the lotus detaches itself from the water and filth that sullies its environment. This symbolism serves as a reminder to separate ourselves from things that could sully our soul and to instead focus on the things that matter, such as wisdom, relationships and spiritual enlightenment.
  • Lotuses also symbolize resurrections and new beginnings. The flower emerges in the morning, only to close up at night and disappear into back into the water. in the morning, a new blossom remerges and continues the cycle. This representation makes the lotus a common flower at funerals. This is also why the flower was popular in Egyptian symbolism.
  • The lotus represents purity and cleanliness, as it’s able to emerge from the murky waters pure and unsullied. In particular, the flower represents the purity of the human soul, as the center of the flower is never tainted by its journey, nor is it by the daily exposure to the murky water.
  • The lotus flower blooms slowly one petal at a time, which is similar to the gradual steps required to reach spiritual enlightenment. In this sense, the lotus is a symbol of personal progress. Regardless of the color of the petals, the middle is typically yellow, which represents the goal of enlightenment.
  • The lotus has also been associated with nature and womanhood. Some representations use a lotus bud to symbolize a virgin. In contrast, a fully grown flower is a mature, sexually experienced female.
  • The lotus is also an excellent example of remaining true to yourself and who you are. Regardless of the murky waters and environment, the lotus remains grounded, proud of what it is and yet still a part of its environment. It beautifies it and makes it better simply by being there.

Symbolism in Religion

The lotus is a religiously significant symbol, especially for Eastern religions. While many of the symbolic meanings are similar, each religion has its own associations as well.

  • Buddhism

Buddhists see the lotus as a representation of life. The mud is the suffering, challenges, and obstacles we face, and the flower symbolizes overcoming those obstacles. This growth can be viewed as progressing towards a state of purity or the path to enlightenment. Also related to life, Buddhists see the flower as representing rebirth and reincarnation. The flower also signifies purity, spirituality, and self-cleaning.

The Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Law is an essential Buddhist scripture that highlights the teachings of Buddha about the lotus. The lesson states that without mud, there can be no lotus, but the lotus remains untainted by the mud. This scripture serves as a reminder that suffering and happiness are not mutually exclusive. Without one, you cannot have the other.

  • Hinduism

Within Hindu symbolism, the lotus is associated with prosperity, fertility, and beauty. The lotus is also associated with a number of Hindu gods and relates to the sacred Padma lotus. The Padma is the part of the soul that drives people towards spiritual enlightenment even through struggles. This drive is similar to the manner in which the lotus flower pushes through the mud and muck to reach the surface

The lotus is associated with several Hindu gods, including Lakshmi, Brahma, and Vishnu, who is known as the Lotus-Eyed One and is known for beauty and purity. Other gods are depicted with lotuses in artwork because of the association with purity and divinity.

Another association given to the lotus, according to some followers of Hinduism, is creation. Similar to how the lotus blooms with sunlight, Hindus believe the world bloomed into creation in the presence of consciousness.

  • Sikhism

The lotus flower is used as an analogy for how to live life, as explained by Bhai Gurdas Ji, an influential Sikh figure and writer. These writings are referred to as keys to understanding Gurbani and grasping the basics of Sikhism.

Accordingly, just as the lotus remains unsullied in the water, you must stay unaffected by the evils of the world. Another important point is the idea that as the lotus loves the sun and blooms for it, so will the person who, through loving devotion, know the Lord.

Those are just two of the many references he makes to the lotus flower throughout his teachings. It is mentioned an estimated 420 times as representing the human soul.

Other meanings of the lotus in Sikhism can be considered the same as the general symbolism of the lotus. However, it is worth noting that the lotus flower is not commonly used as a Sikh symbol today.

  • Jainism

The lotus is not a main religious symbol of Jainism, a faith centered around self-help, but it is an identifying symbol for some Jains. The blue lotus is the symbol of Nami, the 21st Jain. A red lotus represents the 6th Jain, Padmaprabha.

Breaking Down Lotus Colors

The lotus flower naturally comes in a variety of colors. While the Hindu religion mainly uses the white lotus in its depictions, Buddhism uses a range of lotus colors, each with its symbolic meaning.

  • Blue represents the importance of spirit over knowledge. It also represents common sense, wisdom, and knowledge.  
  • White symbolizes Bodhi, which is a state of enlightenment. White lotuses are also known as the womb of the world and represent the purity of the mind and soul.
  • The eight-petal lotus is shown as purple and represents Buddha’s eightfold path to the noble truth, also known as the path to self-awakening. Because of its association with the path, the purple lotus is viewed as mystical and spiritual.
  • Red represents the heart, so the red lotus symbolizes pure love and compassion.
  • The most important lotus, the true lotus of Buddha, is depicted as pink in color. Stemming from this title, the pink louts represents the history and essence of Buddha.
  • When true spiritual enlightenment has been achieved, it is represented by the gold lotus.

lotus meaning and symbolism

Copied from Wisdomsage.com

Photography V.O Photoblog

Travel as a Spiritual Purpose

As a Spirit inhabiting the body, One already is traveling, therefore Travel IS a Spiritual Purpose.

Everything One does is a Spiritual Purpose.

This is the premise.

How, Why, Where, When One Travels can explain the finer details of One’s purpose generally in One’s life.

Examine your travel life for deeper understanding of your needs, desires and fears
  1. What type of travel do you do? Leisure, rest, business, family, tourism, local, overseas, solitary, group, road, air, water, sport, hobby, art, culture, etc etc…
  2. What type of travel do you enjoy, despise, or feel obligated to do? why?
  3. What destinations do you return to? why?
  4. Is travel a conversation topic for you as a recognition tool (for instagram, facebook posts), a means to keep up with the Jones? to feel successful?
  5. Can you travel without showing photos to anybody? without telling anybody about it?
  6. Do you travel to ” off the beaten track” destinations to explore the unknown ?
  7. Do you get travel anxiety? why?

Being mindful about travel can save you time, money and effort.

You can focus on the benefits of travel for your life and minimize the negatives.

If travel brings up anxiety or fear, it could mean fear of the unknown, or a lack of control especially if your routine is quite rigid.

If travel is never enough and so much better than “home” could mean you need to examine your life, your work and other aspects you need to change.

If travel is addictive and you can’t stay anywhere very long could mean a lack of roots, or connection, or you could be a nomadic soul here to explore.

Travel can teach us so much about ourselves if we use it as a means of self-discovery.

Travel can inspire creativity.

Travel can teach us impermanence, flexibility, adaptability, patience, tolerance, acceptance.

Travel can bring deep transformation and healing.

Travel can show differing perspectives and broaden the mind.

Travel can simply be a change.

Travel can be in your own backyard, literally, with a new vision, a new state, a new presence.

Travel can be a pilgrimage.

Travel can be in your chair whilst meditating, watching an amazing show or reading an engrossing book.

Whatever type of travel you do, see it as your purpose in that moment.

Happy travels!

O

My Second Home for my spiritual purpose as a nomad

Co-Create with Nature

Mindful Gardening is so in right now..anything mindful is in right now..finally..

However can we just be mindful about mindfulness please..too much is just too much already..

Being in the present moment whilst gardening in a no brainer..do we need to give it a name? A procedure? Mindful gardening..booooring.

If you’re thinking about mindfulness whilst gardening you’re not mindful. Worse, you’re not gardening.

My mind goes all over the shop when i garden and i find it very healing.

I always talk to my flowers, plants, insects, butterflies and other creatures.

The trees answer back.

My nails scratch the earth like chicken claws digging for worms.

I celebrate those worms making my soil richer.

Mother Nature is always in charge and as a mother myself i respect that.

However we do argue and i try to have my way.

But if mother says no, that seed ain’t gonna grow.

I feel honoured to co-create with Mother Nature if She finds me worthy of her abundance.

Get your hands filthy, dig in the mud, love your weeds and medicinals, pot plants, grow seeds, get outdoors.

Co-create with Nature.

More Nature, More Art.

Great Article: https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/health-and-wellbeing/articles/why-gardening-makes-us-feel-better

My Garden is 12 months old (August 2021) 100% co-created with Love. (Pesticide free)

Even Baguera Cat loves it!

Wisdom Bits by Olivia

Photography by (V.O)

The listener Archetype

How much time do you spend talking and listening during a social interaction with certain individuals?

Let’s apply the Pareto Rule to this phenomenon.

80/20.

80 percent of the time listening and 20 percent talking or inversed?

The Listener Archetype is alive at 80 percent listening.

Active listening 80/20 is empathic listening, caring, giving feedback.

Passive Listening 80/20 is disconnected.

Dumping is 80 percent talking about your issues.

Narcissism is 80 percent talking about yourself and your world as “more” or “better” or “the best” or “less”, “worse”, or “the worst”.

Bullying is 80 percent talking and interrupting and arguing and needs to be right and to win.

Sharing is 50/50 ish…

Resources for Active Listening

Resources for Narcissism

V.O

Forest Therapy

When the wave of pain arises from the deep

Seek the trees in the forest

Sit under their canopy of comfort

Wash your tears in the waterfall

Connect to Mother

Breathe

Let the wave roll away

Stay in moment

Here

Now

Photography https://vostudiophoto.wordpress.com/

Cascade d’Orlu, Ariege, Pyrénées

Feather Symbolism

This week has been a “feather” week.

Went hiking way up in the Pyrénées to a waterfall and found a white feather on a rock near the water. oooh i love finding feathers in unusual places.

On the way down the mountain a black feather flew across my path. hum two feathers same day..mmmm ok…

Next day I go shopping for kitchen mats (as you do) and the only set available was the feather set…right. feathers. again.

To end the week in beauty, during the visit of my favourite yearly garden exhibition in the region, the Lieurac Gardens, I luxuriated in the Plumerium.

Feather is obviously communicating with me! right?!

So I researched (googled) the symbolism, archetypal, religious, spiritual, all rational and irrational beleifs that have existed for eons, from Dream analysis to Native Shamanism and Biblical references.

Needless to say, it was very interesting reading.

So thankyou Feather for the experience. The photography of feathers will be all the more fun now.

Olivia

Hiking and finding White and Black feathers
White Feather means connection to the spirit and angels are with you
Head in the feather cloud at Lieurac Plumerium
It’s like walking on a cloud..I am Luxuriating…
mmmm..the softness underneath the feet..yes angels are here!

I liked this blog amongst others: https://www.worldbirds.org/feather-symbolism/

All photography by V.O

Perfection as Delusion

Perfectionism, or seeking Perfection as the goal, means the mind has created and idea of what that looks like.

The image of the “perfect” result then guides the inspiration, the effort and the commitment to achieve .

Then something happens and the goal gets pushed out further and further as Perfection is never reached.

The ego freaks out in crisis.

One ego fights on and still holds on to the beleif that perfection will be obtained.

One ego collapses, flagellates, quits in shame.

One ego, after failing at the options above, gets “woke” and sees perfection in everything as is.

Photography and words by V.O

https://vostudiophoto.wordpress.com/