Have you ever really seen spring flowers bloom? Here and there are blossoms fleshy and full, captivatingly beautiful for the benefit of all the world. Others droop with dull fatigue, however, ready to sink into the earth from whence they came. Still others bide their time, holding their petals close, saving up their sap. They’ll have their day tomorrow, and if not, surely the next.


If it were necessary for all of them to bloom at once, then surely they would. But while flowers blooming all at once might be a delight for human eyes, it would bring on catastrophe for the bees and other pollinating insects once the blossoms had all played out. And what if the flowers ended up blooming before the bees ever arrived? That might well sound the death knell for all the flowers as well.

Ryokan said:

When the flower blooms, the butterfly comes;
When the butterfly comes, the flower blooms.

Nature exists in harmony for the benefit of all things, with each thing simply being what it is. This blossom gets more sun each day. That stem had sap rise up within it sooner. Different parts of even the same body have different causes and conditions. And so it is that each blossom opens in its own time – enriching the entire world as it does. The flower and the butterfly continue a conversation that has taken place for millions of years without the utterance of a single word. They are but two parts of a single mind.

Nature exists in harmony for the benefit of all things, with each thing simply being what it is.


Enlightenment and delusion similarly coexist. Some even say that they are one and the same! Delusion sees delusion and calls it enlightenment. Delusion sees enlightenment and calls it just so much delusion. Enlightenment sees enlightenment and enjoys its wondrous blossom. Enlightenment sees delusion and sees a perfect bud that has not yet opened.

What if enlightenment came all at once for all beings here and now? Would it remain that way forever? Could it; or would it exist only for a time like all other conditioned things? And how would the children ever see it bloom after its petals had all dispersed? What if all the world were in delusion not even knowing that a bloom awaits? And yet a bloom awaits, nonetheless. Flowers never cease their activity of creating blossoms, which is why blossoms never cease to exist, even after they’re gone. So it is that enlightenment already exists for all beings here and now.


Copyright 2018 by Mark Robert Frank

All images are the property of the author unless otherwise noted.

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