‘In Zen, the word flower, often refers to the Buddha, who is said to have been born under flowers, to have become enlightened under flowers, to have transmitted the dharma with a flower, and to have passed away under flowers.
When the Buddha was enlightened under the Bodhi tree, he saw the morning star and exclaimed, “How wondrous! How wondrous! All beings from the origin are endowed with this same bright clear mind to which I have just awakened!” For forty-nine years the Buddha taught that each and every person has the possibility of awakening and that this opportunity to awaken is the deepest value of being alive.
One day on the Vulture Peak, instead of lecturing as usual, he silently held out a single flower, and Mahakasyapa smiled spontaneously. With this the transmission of the dharma began.
The Buddha knew that his awakening was the awakening of all people and that no fame or fortune or any possession of knowledge brings a joy as great as the joy of awakening to our deepest mind. We too can be born and die under flowers, can finish this life as the Buddha did.
When a single flower blooms, it is spring throughout the world.’
- Shodo Harada, Moon by the Window.