China Adventures (1): Golden Lotus

While preparing for a a Zen course:
I did research on the Flower Sermon, which is briefly this…

When Shakyamuni Buddha spoke the Dharma,
Maha Brahma presented him with a golden lotus
and the Buddha held up the flower before the assembly.
Hundreds of thousands of gods and men were present,
but no one responded except Mahakashyapa, who simply smiled.
Mahakashyapa received the transmission of Dharma
and became the first Buddhist patriarch.

I was wondering if there is such thing as a golden lotus. A few days later, in China’s Wutaishan, the sacred mountain grounds of Manjusri Bodhisattva, we realised that the speciality drink there is golden lotus tea, grown at 1000-2000 metres above the sea level on the mountain ranges. Okay, it isn’t really golden as in gold, but close enough!

It’s a nice all natural tea – supposedly good for complexion and digestion, treating heatiness and constipation, and boosting the immune system. The package above comes with sachets of the flower with gouji berries (wolfberries). It’s interesting that this lotus flower that symbolises purity in Buddhism is literally purifying in nature.

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