Why We Chose the Lotus Flower
The lotus flower represents one symbol of fortune in Buddhism. It grows in muddy water, and it is this environment that gives forth the flower’s first and most literal meaning: rising and blooming above the murk to achieve enlightenment. Additional meanings include – purification of the spirit born into murkiness and faithfulness to be able to rise above the muddy waters.
A white lotus flower refers to purity of the mind and the spirit.
The mud from which the lotus emerges, figuratively speaks of all humans that are born in a world where there is suffering. This suffering is a vital part of the human experience; it makes us stronger and teaches us to resist the temptation of evil. When we banish evil thoughts from our mind we are able to break free of the muddy water and become one with the Buddha. The mud shows us who we are and teaches us to choose the right path over the easy one.
Finally, the lotus flower represents rebirth, both in a figurative and a literal sense. The rebirth can be a change of ideas, an acceptance of Buddha where there once was none, the dawn after one’s darkest day, a renaissance of beliefs or the ability to see past wrongs.
We at Didi Bahini are experiencing our own rebirth after 10 years, when the seed was initially planted. We have worked with our partner artisans in Nepal, purchasing, designing new products, helping with business systems, encouraging them in their work. We have sold their beautiful products on a small scale from home, at local community centers, Christmas Bazaars, a few trade shows and through our website to both retail and wholesale customers. We thank you for supporting us! We have learned so much from our challenges and successes. Now we are ready and committed to grow our efforts.
Firstly, we have created our new beautiful website to showcase the beautiful handmade treasures of our partners. The website has fabulous integrated management systems to make it easier for everyone involved. Secondly, we will be working towards building a capacity building program in Nepal for our artisan partners. The aim is to learn to work better in cooperation with each other – building synergy between small fair trade businesses in Nepal as well as between small businesses in Nepal (capable of creating beautiful products) and small businesses in the West (that can help design and sell products). We need and can support each other!
This is our rebirth. We have learned in the “mud” for 10 years, now we are ready to blossom together with our partners to build a mutually beneficial business where all can prosper. The petals of the lotus represent for us, the supplier partners as well and those in the West who are joined together to create something of beauty. A business based on creativity, compassion, respect and FAIR TRADE has all the right energy to move us collectively to a state of mutual abundance.
Let us know if you would like to get involved. We need creative and committed people to grow this together.
Director, Didi Bahini