Plants are amazing and wonderful life forms! The other day I was reading about how some animals can actually photosynthesize like a plant! Insane! Life is truly amazing.
Now, some plants we might think of as boring. We may even call them weeds. But nothing is boring! Even some ‘boring’ plants can hold amazing surprises. Some plants look fairly nondescript, and can live in this manner for years, even decades… and then, without warning… BAM! an amazing flowering display occurs!
Somewhere inside that plant, this towering flower is waiting to be born. Is it not already there in some manner? Scientifically, you can say this exists as information encoded in its genome. Does that take away its magic or mystery? I don’t think so!
In Buddhism, it is said that all beings are already Buddha… we just fail to realize this, so we never bloom. But that kernel is inside us… in fact, it is not inside us, it is the entire Universe. And that is not just words, not merely symbolism and metaphor. It is the truth. Our inherent Buddha nature is, in a way, a gift from the entire cosmos… it is always speaking to us, trying to get us to bloom. Just as a plant must face the sun to flower, we must face the Universe too.
Inside of trying to become enlightened by turning inward, we must turn outward… and this in turns unfolds itself inwards… then outer becomes inner and inner becomes outer… in fact, neither exist. Freedom lies within this dance between inner and outer…. actually, it doesn’t it lies when the dance is just a dance without an inner self or an outer self… the Dance itself is freedom.
In Zen, it is said that Enlightenment is nothing more than washing the dishes…. When washing dishes becomes a dance, this is true.