I chose the title “Turning Arrows into Flowers” after a dear friend suggested I read Thich Nhat Hahn’s retelling of a Buddhist parable (see below). My rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis was unexpected and shocking. I am attempting, through this blog, to turn arrows into flowers and find some joy and hope in this journey.
‘The night before his enlightenment, the Buddha was attacked by Mara, the Tempter, the Evil One. Mara and his army of demons shot thousands of arrows at the Buddha, but as the arrows neared him, they turned into flowers and fell harmlessly at his feet.’
This is a powerful image. We can all practice so that we can receive the violent words and actions aimed at us and, like the Buddha, transform them into flowers. The power of understanding and compassion gives us the ability to do this. We can all make flowers out of arrows…
Thich Nhat Hanh, Creating True Peace, Ending Conflict in Yourself, Your Family, Your Community and The World.