Friday, November 15, 2013

Chrysanthemum -- Flower Essence of the Day

Well, here is a flower essence I have never used but it is the one that came up when I dowsed for the Flower Essence of the Day. Chrysanthemum is often thought of as a Fall flower. Florists in the U.S. have designated it the flower for October. But I think of it as appropriate for this season for another reason. Just as Fall, for some, reminds people of death (falling leaves, longer nights, Halloween, the Day of the Dead), Chrysanthemum in many cultures is symbolic of death and grieving as well.

In the Flower Essence Repertory Chrysanthemum is recommended for people coping with fears about their own death and mortality. It's especially useful for people in the midst of a mid-life crisis or dealing with aging.

Some of us worry excessively about the potential death of  a loved one. We see them age, develop health issues, cope with a mid-life crisis of their own, and it reminds us of how fragile life on the physical plane can be. We want to grasp tightly to them. If we fear our own aging and death, we fear life itself.

Life is about being. Here. Now. In the present. Even if you don't believe the soul is immortal, fearing the future interferes with living fully grounded and present with today. At the worst it keeps us from enjoying our lives. "Don't eat that chocolate ice cream! It's bad for you!" "Watch out! Don't drive so fast!" "Be careful, don't take risks, don't ride that skateboard, don't ski, don't ride a bike, don't do anything that could lead to injury or worse."

From a Buddhist perspective, such grasping to life—grasping and clinging too tightly to anything— is the source of all suffering. While it is part of any creature's nature to try to survive, we miss out on the joy of being alive if we focus on what might maim or kill us too much. I think of wild mountain goats traversing the edge of the steepest cliff. You can't do that if you focus on your fear of falling more than on the adventure or need to travel that route. All life is transient. Becoming less attached to things and more at peace is the purpose of Chrysanthemum.

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