The Lotus Flower
In Buddhist perception, the lotus flower has special significance.
The efforts towards spirituality may be compared to the idea of applying fertiliser to a lotus flower which grows out of mud in a swamp, so that emerging from the surrounding muck of worldly passions will spring a beautiful flower of spirituality, blossoming to enlightenment.
Here the ‘muck’ or mud can be compared to our physical body; the emerging lotus flower can be compared to the developing (budding) perceptions of our minds.
The ‘fertilising’ relates to the direct application of exercise to the goal in view.
The fully opened lotus would be the full expression of the Buddha-mind, now visible as a beautiful lotus flower in full bloom.
Source: Davis, John R. The Path to Enlightenment: Introducing Buddhism. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1997.