The truth about our spiritual lives is that they are mixtures of things we've experienced and learned throughout our lives.
Lotus and Rose recognizes and encourages this.
As we look around, we can't help but observe that the universe loves variety, whether on the galactic level or in the lotus pond and rose garden. Lotus and Rose exists to offer encouragement to everyone to notice and appreciate the variations but also to look further, past, under or through appearances to the spirit, essence, or ground of all that exits -- and uncover who I am.
The organized religions of the world, unfortunately, often have a deadening effect on the life of the spirit. Constant bickering and feuding, condemning more than loving, bound by traditions and ways of doing things, institutional spirituality often rejects anything unlike itself.
A good example is the way a society's outcasts are treated by many religious organizations and leaders. The great masters humbly reached out to the most despised castaways of society, but their disciples have those lessons yet to learn. Frequently, certain folk are special targets of rejection and find themselves unwelcome in traditional religious communities. Institutions that preach love tolerate hate, knowingly or unknowingly. For many, this means isolation from spiritual communities, or inclusion at the expense of honesty.
Institutions organized to perpetuate established dogma of any kind spend a great deal of energy maintaining that authority and power, and those who differ from the accepted pattern, for whatever reason, are unwelcome.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson noted, "God builds his temple in the heart on the ruins of churches and religions."
Spiritual interests are not stymied by the most hide-bound doctrines. They aren't stopped by militant atheism or invading armies of religionists. Rejection due to race or sexuality does not kill the spirit's thirst. Difficulty searches for other streams in the desert.
Some of us are devout adherents of highly organized religious systems. If we were raised in a certain religious environment, those teachings and experiences remain with us, still influencing us even though we might outwardly reject them. Some of us have had little or no exposure to organized religion, and prefer it that way. Yet, still our spiritual waters flow just as deep, maybe so deep they're yet to be discovered in our inner caverns.
Regardless of our experiences, or lack of them, as we simply live from one day to the next, we learn new things. Sometimes these experiences result in profound changes, while at other times the change is more subtle. The point is, we grow and change. That, after all, is what it means to be alive.
When one first seeks the truth, one separates oneself from it. -- Dōgen.
Seeking assumes there is something to be found. But perhaps, like the Prodigal Son in Jesus' parable, that which we seek is where and who we are.
Anyway, that's what Lotus and Rose is all about
openness, growth, change -- discovery!