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Because the bamboo plant can survive harsh winters,blistering summers and fierce storms it is an important symbol of enlightenment in Buddhism. Like the bamboo, enlightenment requires persistence, strength, flexibility and adaptability. The presence of bamboo also creates a sense of quiet and peace while providing shelter for human and other beings. It is especially venerated in China, Korea and Japan where the relationship between Buddhism and Bamboo is tightly linked.
For example, many Buddhist temples grow and nurture the plant on their properties. In addition, some temples include the word ‘bamboo’ in their names. Various bamboo species are named after the Buddha such as “Buddha Belly Bamboo”, “Mercy Buddha Bamboo”, and “Arhat Bamboo.” Buddhism has also inspired various wisdom statements around the bamboo plant –
Bend but don’t break. Be flexible yet firmly rooted.
You can lean on a bamboo stick but not on a rope.
Like bamboo, be resilient and bounce back.
The higher the bamboo, the more it bends.
Commit to continuous growth.
Anytime you face a major life obstacle, bring to mind the bamboo and it’s ability to adapt, adjust, survive and thrive. Do the same.