No mud, no lotus

‘The lotus flower blooms most beautifully from the deepest and thickest mud’. – Buddhist proverb

This is a very personal design for me. The shorthand version of this proverb has been my go to when I felt overwhelmed during these challenging times. It’s helped me stay mindful that growth is always possible and that beauty can arise from unexpected situations.

It’s a nuanced saying though – one that you can interpret in many different ways. The monk, writer and peace activist Thích Nhất Hạnh used the image to suggest that suffering does, in fact, make us:

‘There is the mud, and there is the lotus that grows out of the mud. We need the mud in order to make the lotus’. – Thích Nhất Hạnh

The lotus is symbol of beauty, purity and enlightenment. In many Eastern traditions, it symbolises regeneration and rebirth, as its startling beauty seems to appear from nowhere, from the deep and dark, muddy reaches of the water. Both Hindu gods and goddesses, as well as the Buddha are often represented as sitting on a lotus, as it symbolises perfection.

Now, I don’t expect or want perfection, but the lotus helps me remember that I am where I am because of what I’ve been through. That all of the current difficulties will pass. And to look for beauty everywhere. I hope stitching this design will bring you some peace and tranquility, as you remember how precious you are.

I stitched my model using Weeks Dye Works, Gentle Arts and Classic Colorworks and the chart has a full DMC conversion provided. The fabric is the gorgeous 36-count ‘Spun Sugar’ by JaysXStitch on Etsy. It’s the most beautiful, barely there pink that just seems to to glow and bring lustre to the colour palette I’ve chosen.

If you stitch it on 36-count, it will fit into a standard 5 x 7 inch frame, so you can use what you have or find something easily.

The chart is available now through stores (see my Stockists page), and the printed chart or a PDF file will be available through my Etsy store at the start of October.