Inle Lake, Myanmar. November 2019 (11 photos)
The lotus flower is a cherished symbol across multiple Eastern traditions, including Buddhism and Hinduism. Growing naturally in ponds, the lotus starts out rooted deep in mud and scum. In order to blossom, it must make its way through the murky water until it finally breaks the surface. In time it emerges and blooms in the sun, beautiful and whole.
Because of its unique transformation, the lotus has long been regarded as a symbol of enlightenment, purity, rebirth, and triumph over obstacles. In Buddhism, the religion of Myanmar, the journey of the lotus is said to mirror our own spiritual journeys. The lotus appears frequently in Buddhist mythology, art, and scripture. And it is found in abundance at Inle Lake, particularly on the waterway that joins Inle Lake to Samkar Lake.
“Floating with the lotuses”
Coming across a large patch of lotuses, my pilot turned off the motor and allowed the longboat to drift for a while. Naturally I took plenty of photos.
“Like the lotus flower that is born out of mud, we must honor the darkest parts of ourselves and the most painful of our life’s experiences, because they are what allow us to birth our most beautiful self.”
– Debbie Ford
“Just like the lotus we too have the ability to rise from the mud, bloom out of the darkness and radiate into the world.”
“The lotus flower is a reminder of the beauty that comes from change, the magic that a new beginning brings, and the seed of potential that’s buried in the most unlikely places.”
– Jennifer Williamson
“In the lotus garden”
“If you feel lost, disappointed, hesitant, or weak, return to yourself, to who you are, here and now and when you get there, you will discover yourself, like a lotus flower in full bloom, even in a muddy pond, beautiful and strong.”
– Masaru Emoto
“The lotus flower blooms most beautifully from the deepest and thickest mud.”
– Buddhist proverb
“Be like a lotus”
“Be like a lotus. Let the beauty of your heart speak. Be grateful to the mud, water, air and the light.”
― Amit Ray
“Welcome to Samkar Lake”
After traversing the lotus field and arriving at Samkar Lake, these two young girls presented me a lotus flower. Yes, I posted this photo before, but it just seems appropriate to post it again.
“It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day…”
In fact I didn’t need to venture far from my accomodation to see lotuses and other water plants. My accomodation was a hut on stilts on Inle Lake, surrounded by such plants. The hut fifth from the left was mine.
“…And I’m feeling good”
Above is the long walkway, a 10 minute walk connecting my accomodation to dry land. That morning, photographing from before dawn, I suspect I photographed every staff member coming into work for the morning shift.
I hope these photos and the symbolic hope offered by the lotus have allowed you a brief diversion from the current woes of the World.