Mud Lotus: Starting Fresh

The germ of change is always present in our life.

In our wisdom, we might see that we’re caught in a pattern that doesn’t serve us. Turning our wheels in the mud without getting anywhere or going fast in the wrong direction, it’s time to start afresh and try something new.

Practicing stillness we can clean up old patterns and create a clean slate for a more intentional life. Tuning subtlety and staying on the new path can have a profound cumulative effect. A small pivot and a wheel will begin to roll in a whole new direction and over time find itself in a different place.

To begin again it takes honesty and a gentleness. The opportunity to change appears when we recognize how we’ve harmed ourselves and others with our thoughts and actions. In order to fully leave behind an old pattern, we must look at ourselves boldly, identify the root causes, seeing the reality of our own suffering, and the particular shape it takes. The early Buddhists called this “dukkha”—the experience of suffering (literally, a wheel out of its axis). A kind of brokenness, we must attend to the painful places of dukkha where an unhinged wheel rolls us where we don’t want to go.

The intention to start afresh is what many traditions enact in rituals of baptism. In Buddhism, it often takes the form of a “renewal of vows.” These vows are the promises we keep for the benefit of ourselves and others. Plum Village tradition, teaches a practice called “beginning anew” intended to help two people to clear the air and start over together.

This Sunday, we will reflect on our intentions for change and water the seeds of our new beginnings.

Please join us. 🙏🏽

*Featured Image is “Red Moss” from the Wikimedia Commons

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