Awake in the World

Awake in the World

Lotus Practice: Living In The World, But Not Of It

As a lotus flower is born in water, grows in water and rises out of water to stand above it unsoiled, so I, born in the world raised in the world having overcome the world, live unsoiled by the world. – The Buddha

The lotus is an extraordinary symbol in the East. It grows with its roots deep in mud and yet out of the gunk grows a singular, exquisite pink flower. As the lotus grows – so too the individual can grow. With the made made of earth, the soul which it houses, can rise up and soar high, unhindered by the unnecessary desire and low emotions like anger, greed and jealousy.


Two enormous pools stretch out in front of the Sarawasti temple in Ubud, Bali. Huge pink flowers, the size of dinner plates rise up and render the place magical and alive. The beauty of these flowers that rise up and open during the day and pull in to close up during the night, inspires the East to consider them as a symbol for a way to live in the world. Though their deep roots grow deep in mud, they rise high to reveal a pure beauty and give off a delightful fragrance.

Imagine being like a lotus. We’re often surrounded with environments that are not unlike muddy pools. Our bodies too, come from earth and when we follow the physical desires unchecked this drags the soul down into the muck. On the other hand, when we move with the whisperings of our spirits, it brings us to soar above the muck and blossom into beautiful and purehearted beings.


Imagine being a lotus and allow your spirit to soar. Remember that though the roots are in the earth, we’re meant to blossom with purity and spirit.

Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life. A visionary and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices at the Sophia Institute and other venues in the U.S. and Europe. Her mind/body/spirit articles, essays and stories appear in publications around the globe and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. She has spent over fifteen years practicing meditation, working with dreams and doing spiritual practices. Visit her online at

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